I originally published this a while back for our Team Room members and also wanted to share this with our regular members. Team Room members get a lot of access to our writers and we often share work in progress with the TR. It’s a great community to belong to, and don’t forget our annual members party! I’ll post at least one other excerpt in the TR before the book is released. Regardless of your participation level on the site, we all appreciate the support.

Among Heroes will be published (NAL Penguin) May of 2015. Meet Mike Bearden. Please remember that I appreciate everyone respecting the copyright – please don’t share outside of SOFREP or you’ll get me in trouble with my editor at Penguin.

Thanks and let me know what you guys think.

— Brandon

Among Heroes

A U.S. Navy SEAL’s True Story of Friendship, Heroism, and the Ultimate Sacrifice

Chapter 1: Mike Bearden

It was still early, maybe one o’clock in the afternoon, and already creeping into the low nineties. It would get hotter still, we knew that for certain. Late spring in California’s Central Valley: dry and brown, a clear day, the barometer high and steady, but to us the atmospheric pressure felt like roughly ten thousand pounds per square inch.

My best friend, Glen Doherty, and I were crouched down side by side at the front of a thousand-yard high-power shooting lane on the last day of the marksmanship phase of the Naval Special Warfare Sniper School, arguably the toughest military training program on the planet. We were about to start our final test of this phase, the test that would determine whether we went on through the rest of the school or returned home in defeat. We’d been here for six weeks. A third of the class had already washed out, and we were terrified that we were next.

The idea of sniper school probably sounds romantic, exciting, adventurous. It’s none of those things. It’s fucking miserable. We would come back to our tents at the end of every interminable twelve-hour day dirty as hell, beaten down, exhausted, and already feeling the crushing weight of what loomed ahead of us the next day.