I came across the poem below when a friend and former SEAL teammate shared it with me last week.
Dave, and I were talking about our past experiences in the Navy, and SEAL Teams, and then the conversation turned towards the small percentage in our community who let themselves be consumed by professional jealously and hatred towards former teammates. They lash out, and in the end make us all look bad.
The sad truth is that many of my friends and I have been stabbed in the back by men we considered, if not friends, professional colleagues. The SEAL community is not unlike other organizations that have their issues, remember this.
Most of my own personal haters I know, and these are guys that often times separated from the community under less than honorable conditions. This is the main reason I choose not to engage with them in any capacity, and each time I have, I’ve regretted it. Most these guys will never put their true identities behind what they say, and this fact alone should speak volumes of to their true character, and motive. The usual hater will claim to “speak for the community” and talk of guys “selling out” by writing books; books that none of them have ever taken the time to read or understand. They know that I know their backgrounds, and they have to live with themselves, not me, and in many respects I feel sorry for them.
On the positive side of things, I’ve built some amazing friendships and bonds of brotherhood in the Special Operations and Paramilitary communities. These friendships will last a lifetime, and have been forged by the mutual respect that comes from hard work, hard training, and professional operations.
It’s rare that you find the thousandth man, and I’ve been fortunate to have found more than one in my life. Most but not all, I’ve met through my time in the SEAL Teams. So I’ll take a few haters, knowing that my true supporters, and friends have my back.
Enjoy the poem, share it with others, and thank you for all the support.
The Thousandth Man
By: Rudyard Kipling
One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worth while seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin you.
‘Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for ‘ee.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em go
By your looks, or your acts, or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don’t matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.
You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As though there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ’em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man he’s worth ’em all
Because you can show him your feelings.
His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season.
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight
With that for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot – and after!