I receive a lot of books to review for various reasons. Most often the publishers send them over or people either recommend or loan books to me. Every now and then though I’ll see a book at the store that I just have to read right then. I don’t want to wait until it goes on sale or until the much cheaper paperback version comes out. This was the case with SEAL Team Six by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin. I saw it on the endcap the other day at Wal Mart and knew I needed to read it right then.
I’ve been a fan of the Navy SEALS since I was a wee lad and they first received notoriety with the 1990 Navy Seals movie starring bad boy Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn. After graduating high school I had the opportunity to visit the UDT/SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce, FL. At the time, the museum was being run by Chief James Watson, a plank owner in the SEALS. He was a very likeable guy and ran a pretty good operation at the museum. I still have an autographed copy of his book Point Man on my shelf.
My fascination with the SEALS was further fostered by Richard Marcinko’s book Rogue Warrior. He was the founder of the super-secretive SEAL Team Six of which this book’s author was a decorated member. Wasdin has a few unkind words to say about Marcinko and his books in this one. It’s not the first time that I’ve read that in a Navy SEAL memoir. Marcinko made a lot of enemies and non-friends during his time in the service.
This book fostered my high regard for both SEALS and the upper tier found even in that high speed, low drag organization. I’ve read about BUD/S and SEAL training so much that I think I could quote the class syllabus, but Wasdin didn’t spend an unnecessary amount of time there in the book. He told enough to relate the most important experiences but instead used most of the book to tell us of his experiences elsewhere.
What I like most about this book is the telling of another chapter in the Battle of Mogadishu fiasco. I’ll admit after reading Blackhawk Down and watching the movie half a dozen times I never knew the SEALS were involved. Both the book and the movie mainly played up the Rangers and Delta Force involvement. But SEAL Team Six and Wasdin were right there in the mix. As a matter of fact, he was shot several times during the battle.
I’ll stop there in an effort not to spoil any of the details. If you’re a fan of military history, special ops, or just good human interest stories where the ending isn’t always perfect but reflects real life, then you need to read this book. It’s a great one.