Editor’s note: We hope that you enjoy this Among Heroes chapter excerpt, Daredevil: Dave Scott.

On August 14, 2000, a few weeks after Mike Bearden’s funeral, my platoon took off westward across the Pacific on our first deployment, bound for the Indian Ocean as part of an amphibious readiness group (ARG) attached to the transport ship USS Duluth. Our days as new guys were finally coming to an end—and not one moment too soon. After years of training and preparation, we were so glad to be getting the hell out of Coronado, on our way to becoming seasoned operatives at last.

You’d think this would have been really exciting.

It wasn’t.

For one thing, being part of an ARG was at the top of exactly nobody’s list. As part of an ARG, we had weeks of being shipbound to look forward to. This was smart in an operational sense, but it sucked for us. Yes, SEALs are technically part of the Navy, but in practical fact we have nothing to do with the Navy per se, and the last thing we want to do is spend our time on a boat. Not only is it tedious as hell, it’s also practically impossible to stay in decent shape on a boat. Still, we gave it our all, putting in as much time as we could at the onboard gym lifting weights. On a ship, as they say, the acronym SEAL stands for Sleep, Eat And Lift.

Even when we did get off the boat there just wasn’t all that much going on in the world. Trade sanctions against Saddam had been in place for a decade now since Desert Storm, and as part the multinational enforcement effort SEAL teams were routinely involved in interdictions to curb the constant oil smuggling traffic out of Iraq. That was an interesting gig, and we figured we would eventually have some fun doing ship boardings in the Gulf. But there wasn’t any serious action happening anywhere.

We steamed southwest across the Pacific with a few brief stops along the way at exotic locations, including Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands and Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, until we reached the port town of Darwin, Australia, where we spent a week doing the things SEALs do to keep themselves occupied: joint training exercises with the Aussies, working out, and blowing off steam when we could. From there it was a quick hop north to war-torn East Timor, which had recently fought for its hard-won independence from Indonesia and was still in a shambles. A team of our guys went ashore for a few days to help in some humanitarian efforts there. And that was about as exciting as things got in those days. It was a time of unprecedented prosperity and stability, both in the States and in the world at large. To put it in SEAL terms, a pretty boring world. Or at least, so it seemed.

That was about to change.