Last night I finished listening to Brandon Webb’s book Among Heroes. It an anthology of stories about eight men, fellow Navy SEALs he had considered dear friends. These men died in freak accidents, training accidents or in combat, essentially doing what SEALs do–live large and hard, accomplishing all the things that make them who they are, America’s elite.
Webb prefaces each chapter with a commentary in his own voice and ends with a reaction from that fallen soldier’s loved ones. Each story is as different as the person whom that chapter profiles. Webb’s narration is moving and provides a true example of a man who cared about and misses his friends. It is not a sad book; in fact it is filled with crazy stories and daring feats that give the reader, especially those who haven’t had the privilege of knowing such men, feel as if they now know these heroes. Their inspiring stories made me want to be a better person. I don’t know is this was Brandon’s intent but this is the effect it had on me.
Over the years I have become acquainted with numerous veterans who have been wounded in war–life threatening wounds that leave one wearing prosthetics for the rest of their lives. Most of these vets rarely, if ever, complain. I am sure that in the privacy of their homes with the ones they love or with others who have suffered from these same catastrophic injuries, the vets may feel more freedom in voicing their frustrations. I have not suffered the way some of them have, so it is certainly not my place to judge. I do want to say that I have been inspired by these people, in how they have confronted their adversities and how they continue to move forward.
There are a lot of young men and women who have perished in the last fourteen years. Each and every one has a unique and sometimes comparable story. The stories should all be told. Well done, Brandon. Keep doing what you are doing. Later.