Inspired by my fellow SOFREP writer, BK, and his regular—and always hilarious—News Roundups, as well as the seemingly insatiable appetite out there for any news about the Navy SEALs, I figured, why not start a semi-regular Navy SEAL news roundup feature? Of course, I cannot promise these will be even half as entertaining as BK’s, but let’s give it a shot.
First, cue the chorus: “Haven’t we heard enough about the Navy SEALs!” “Why don’t those guys shut their mouths!?” And, “Why do they wear those super short dive shorts?”
Sorry haters. Feel free to stop reading here if you cannot abide any further stories about the Navy SEALs, or pictures of men in “catch-me-kiss-me” shorty shorts.
First up on deck: SOFREP’s own Drago Dzieran. In a feature today on WCNC.com (Charlotte, North Carolina’s news leader!), Drago’s story is told in all its glory. Dzieran, along with former SEAL Brad Bailey, rode in a float in the Harrisburg, North Carolina Fourth of July parade, and the reporter tells the viewers of North Carolina about Drago’s arrival in the United States, at age 24, following a two-year stint in a Polish prison camp during the Cold War.
Sounds like the premise of a Regan-era sequel to “Red Dawn,” doesn’t it? “Red Dawn II: Drago’s Revenge!”
In the parade, Drago highlighted the Navy SEALs Fund, and in the featured piece, he spoke of his pride in being an American, and of his thankfulness for all this country has given him. If that does not inspire you to the heights of patriotic pride, then you ought to pack up and ship out for North Korea, China, or some other ‘not-America’ crap hole.
Next on deck: an inspirational, downright heartwarming story in today’s age of jaded politics and self-aggrandizement. Though he is often ridiculed as a poor man’s George W. Bush, with a penchant for forgetting his lines in presidential primary debates, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has shown true compassion and admirable care for his fellow man in his treatment of former SEAL and “Lone Survivor” author, Marcus Luttrell.
In an article in The Washington Post, readers are presented with the picture of a broken-down, battered, and still-recovering Luttrell as he shows up unannounced at the Texas governor’s mansion in 2007 (following the 2005 events of Operation Red Wings, detailed in Luttrell’s book), seeking Governor Perry by name. Luttrell had briefly met the governor and his wife in California when Luttrell was still stationed at Coronado, and the two had kept in touch via sporadic emails in the following months. Otherwise, Luttrell had no connection whatsoever with the Texas politician.
Yet, in spite of this lack of a connection, and owing to what can only be described as a truly charitable soul, instead of calling for security and throwing the SEAL out on his ear, or at a minimum, showing him a removed disdain and sending him on his way with a pat on the back and a perfunctory “Thanks for your service,” the Texas governor welcomed Luttrell into his home, and more accurately, into his family.
Luttrell told the Post reporter that Perry and his wife allowed Luttrell to use a spare bedroom in the house, helped him find a spinal surgeon to tend to his wounds, and that the governor took him bass fishing and the Texas first lady counseled him on his love life. Luttrell, who at the time was largely unknown outside of the SEAL community, is now married with children and is a well-known author. Guess who is the godfather of his children? Rick Perry.
You cannot make this stuff up, unless you were writing a cheesy Hollywood politico-military feel-good drama. Now, I know what you all are thinking: The Navy SEAL News Roundup cannot be all good news stories, all the time. Unfortunately, you are correct.
Next on deck is your daily dose of “what kind of jacked-up crap has a Navy SEAL done this time?” Today’s answer involves former SEAL Matthew Mullaney.
In a story in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the paper details the former SEAL’s sentencing following his guilty plea after being accused of defrauding 12 investors—11 SEALs and one family friend— of roughly 1.2 million dollars in a shady investment scheme. Mullaney pleaded guilty to securities fraud, tax evasion, and grand theft, and received a minimum sentence of six years and eight months in prison.
Apparently, at least one of the defrauded SEALs testified on Mullaney’s behalf, claiming it was not in Mullaney’s character to steal. Regardless, the former SEAL was sentenced, and will do his time for the crime. Not the SEALs’ finest moment, but here at the Roundup, we cover all angles.
Finally, let us not end on a completely negative note. We will hit one more story in today’s roundup, this one again heartwarming, though sad, and ultimately illustrative of the bonds of brotherhood often found in the SEAL teams, and across the U.S. military.
For the last story on deck, we turn to The Virginian-Pilot, which describes a skydive in Suffolk, Virginia on June 27th, honoring the 19 fallen service members (Army air crew as well as Navy SEALs) who attempted to rescue Marcus Luttrell and his teammates in the mountains of Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings in 2005.
The SEAL skydivers honored the fallen men’s service by trailing streamers and smoke, as well as unfurling a billowing American flag, to a drop zone near Virginia Beach, home of one of the SEAL teams to which some of the operators were stationed. The event itself was organized by the widow of Navy SEAL Danny Dietz—Patsy—who attended the event with other family members of the fallen.
This last story serves to remind us of the continuing heroism shown and sacrifice endured by our men and women in uniform, as well as by their families, and is as good a place as any to end today’s SEAL Roundup.
I guess we will have to save those pictures of short shorts for another day.