Life has not always been so easygoing for me. I have my fair share of ups, downs, and challenges. In this excerpt from my book, The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen, let me share with you the challenges that changed my family’s life. This is the beginning of the making of a Navy SEAL.
Then, about the time I turned six, our lives changed.
My father had always been into sailing. My parents had a dream of sailing around the world, and business was now doing so well they decided it was time to take a few years off and hit the water, just the four of us, to make that dream into a reality. We owned a beautiful 60-foot Sparkman & Stephens ketch, which he kept moored on the California coast; why not let that become our new home as we circled the globe?
Just as we were getting ready to leave, my dad decided to do one more big project. My mother objected, but my dad prevailed: One last gig, he said, and that would really set us up. A group of investors was going to put up the money, so he took out a large construction loan and built the place. Then the recession of 1980 hit—and the project collapsed. My dad was left with the bill and no investors. He tried negotiating with the bank and kept trying for two years. They came and took our house. My dad declared bankruptcy, and we lost everything.
Being so young at the time, I didn’t quite grasp what was happening, and nobody ever sat me down and said, “Brandon, we’re ruined, wiped out.” Even so, there was an ominous undercurrent that I couldn’t have missed.