When I heard the news about Chris, my close friend Brandon Webb of SOFREP was at my house. As we got to talking I began to feel that familiar feeling of regret and remorse, the feeling that I’m sure every Special Forces Operator carries with him after he leaves his team. Every news story, every movie, every book pulls at your soul trying to call you back in. Since I left the SEAL teams in 2008 I’ve been able to, more or less, avoid the things that would yank me back into the only skin that has ever fit me. Much like an addict taking it day by day avoiding all the “Triggers”, I just barely managed to not go back in.

It’s now been over 4 years since my last opportunity to make a difference, serve my country and do a damn thing about anything. Helpless, mad, disappointed and afraid I began to selfishly share my powerless frustration with Brandon. He simply looked at me and said “Why don’t you write about your time with Chris and I’ll post it on SOFREP?”

Head down, kicking the ground like a kid who just lost his lunch money to a bully, I replied “Dude, I’ve got no business writing anything about Chris.” He simply looked at me, again, and said, “Dude, Chris was your student. You personally trained the best sniper in the world. You have a voice and Veterans and their families need more Veteran leaders to speak up.”

Like any Special Forces Operator it’s in our nature to be the “Gray Man“, “Quiet Professional,” to keep to the shadows out of sight. Standing up and talking intimately about what we do is a “No-No” in our world, and to be honest I was more afraid of being “That Guy” if I wrote something about Chris. But then it hit me as I wrestled with the notion.

If it weren’t for the stories, books and movies about men like Chris Kyle and Marcus Luttrell I would have never wanted to be a Navy SEAL. In fact, it was the movie “Navy SEALs” from the 1990’s where I learned about the elite force. Reluctantly I began to write about Chris and I slowly began to actually feel like we were doing something. Probably not much of anything, but it was the first time I felt like I was part of the SOF community in a long time and I desperately missed my brothers. I sent Brandon what I wrote up and thanked him for the opportunity to at least try and contribute to the mission. Again it all felt very selfish, but damn it, I needed to do something, anything to serve Chris and his memory.

As these things go, I ended up in San Diego at 3:00am this morning to speak to a news station about Chris and the situation. In preparation for some of this commentary several journalists were asking different questions about Chris, the situation, what the family might be feeling, how Chris was as a student, what do I think about PTSD and other details. Now properly nervous about going on live TV, I thought it best to take some time and get some of my thoughts together so that I had a chance in hell to not fumble my words and let Chris and the community down.

Having given it all some thought, I became fully convinced there was an actual real opportunity to serve Chris and his legacy. I actually began to tilt in wanting to wake up the American public and get something done for Veterans and their families, thinking that Chris might have wanted something like that to happen.

Long story short, I got my notes together, read them over and over again. Wrote them on a whiteboard, placed it underneath the camera, and settled in. As fate would have it the studio had technical difficulties and the interview had to be cut short. We answered two quick questions and then we were done. It was just over.