I’ve been debating about if and how to respond to the article that appeared in the Virginian-Pilot yesterday. It was disappointing, to say the least. Interacting with the reporter and then seeing how the story turned out made me reflect on three things.
First: It’s not simply me under fire these days, it’s the Navy SEAL community as a whole.
Second: The sooner Naval Special Warfare recognizes this and develops protocols for dealing with it effectively, the better off the active and veteran communities will be.
Third, I thought about the incredible weekend I had with my children. I took them to see the movie “Tomorrowland” (I highly recommend it). Seeing the movie reminded me of an old Native American story of the two wolves that live inside us.
A Tale of Two Wolves
One evening, an elderly
Cherokee brave told his
grandson about a battle that
goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is
between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
One is evil. It is anger,
envy, jealousy, sorrow,
regret, greed, arrogance,
self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride,
superiority, and ego.
“The other is good.
It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence,
truth, compassion, and faith.”
The grandson thought about
this for a minute and then asked
“Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee replied,
“The one you feed.”
Among Heroes is a positive story. It was cleared by the Department of Defense review board, and it honors fallen Navy SEAL heroes and their families. The family members quoted on the back of the book—parents, siblings, and widows—speak to this.
The more relevant thing about this book is how it portrayed each individual in a personal light that has not been done before. There were no security issues, tactics, etc. Lots of politicians and senior officers parlay their background into making big bucks. Why not an enlisted guy .
While books/movies like Black Hawk Down or American Sniper fill the insatiable appetite for combat tales that Americans crave; Among Heroes takes a turn from this genre and paints a personal picture of what makes most special operators truly unique and role model worthy.
13 years ago, I am pretty confident that Dave would not want to be written about. He believed in the code of silence. But we cannot view that mindset in a time capsule within todays context. Dave’s personal story which shares how truly special the guy was is a legacy that will be shared with the world which I think is a worthy endeavor to keep his memory alive.—Mike Scott, brother of former Navy SEAL Dave Scott (His brother Dave is featured in Among Heroes).
We all have a choice to make in life when it comes to the dueling wolves inside us. After a difficult transition from military to civilian life, and seeing so many friends maimed or killed since 9/11, I made a choice a few years ago to start feeding the wolf inside of me that was focused on hope, kindness, compassion, and faith.
Brandon is a proven warrior and in every sense of the word a SEAL operator of distinction. He is known for telling it like it is and has demonstrated the courage to buck the system when the system is wrong. He has my full respect and admiration for doing what is right.—Former SEAL Team Commander and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke
You are who you hang out with, and I judge people by the company they keep. Since then, I’ve found myself surrounded by some of the most incredible people I’ve met in my life, including former teammates and business professionals. The right wolf won, and I’m grateful for it.