Dalton Fury and I have exchanged emails about this book and I think he provides some valuable insight into the highly complex cultural and OPSEC issues. -Brandon

Next week I will visit hallowed ground. I will stand on the corner of West and Vesey Street, face the National September 11 Memorial, and look skyward toward the flight paths of American Airlines flight 11 with 175, which struck the World Trade Towers eleven years earlier. I will do it because I have a choice, because I am one of millions of Americans that hasn’t forgotten, and because there is no place on earth I’d rather be than downtown Manhattan on the anniversary of 9/11.

Since that first jumbo jet slammed into tower one at 8:46:30 AM that Tuesday morning our nation has struggled through two long wars that have tested the mettle of America’s finest young men and women—and which were arguably were focused on killing one man. This past week not only reminded me of these long wars, but it also offered some odd nostalgia and a large dose of déjà vu.

First, I learned the same time as the rest of the world that one of America’s secret members of SEAL Team Six, which executed Operation Neptune Spear, had authored a book titled No Easy Day about the shadowed exploits of the team and how al Qaeda mastermind Usama Bin Laden really met his maker. I was a shocked by the news. Like most tier one operators, I thought I was still in tune with the happenings of the secret world I left behind, even in retirement.

Then I learned the book’s author elected to invoke a pseudonym. The author chose to conceal his true name for two reasons—reasons with which I am very familiar. One, to ensure America focuses on the story and his teammates, not on “Mark Owen,” the individual. Had Owen used his true name, the claims of glory hunting would be loud and wide spread. Second, he chose to author under a pseudonym to protect his family and former teammates from enemies of the state.

During his many years in Six, Owen kept secrets. He is now sharing some of what he experienced. His critics have called those experiences “secrets.”

But Owen isn’t the first Six guy to share his experiences. With a quick count, I know of five Six guys to beat the pseudonymous Owen to the punch. The tsunami of negative press and personal attacks on both the author Owen, and his co-writer Kevin Maurer, surprised me. Sure, I knew they would take it on the chin for a bit, but I didn’t anticipate the massive amount of character bashing, name-calling, and the irresponsible leak of Owen’s true name and home address. It hit close to home.

Four years ago I authored the book Kill Bin Laden, appeared on 60 Minutes, and took on a pseudonym to protect my family and stiff arm the cries of glory hunting. These same steps were taken by Owen, who isn’t looking for fame either. “The UBL raid was such a gigantic event that this story needed to be told for the history books,” Owen said.