I Hate Funerals

Call it denial, not getting closure and I say whatever.  If I went to every SEAL or SOF brothers funeral that I’ve lost, I’d lose months of my year and precious time lost with my own children (one of whom was born when I was in Afghanistan).  Don’t ask about them because there’s too many creeps out there and I keep a pretty tight lid on my amazing kids.

Hating funerals comes with a price though.  I’ve actually been yelled at by former teammates: “What kind of friend are you! You didn’t even show up to (insert fallen SEALs name) funeral! Now you’re writing about it?!”

I’ve paid my fucking dues gents and I’m sure my friends and former teammates will appreciate my absence and one less grown man crying at their service.  You try holding back tears when a five year old boy tugs at your uniform pants and asks you where his dad is. Fuck me.

Instead I’ll choose to remember my buddies quietly and deal with things my own way.  Usually it’s tipping a good single malt scotch skyward with a “see you on the other side”…. Then I work on capturing their stories and sharing them.   That and I donate and help the SOF charities as much as I can.

The Legendary Jerry McCauley

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Every once in a while you meet someone in the TEAMS that is the stuff legends are made of.  This was the case when I first met Jerry in the hallways of SEAL Team 3 back in the late 90’s.  At the time Jerry was a senior E-6 and most likely one of the most senior guys at the TEAM, not counting the Vietnam hate crew of Half-ass (land mine in Nam took the other piece), Senior Chief Martin and Billy Nehl of course.  Shit, I remember walking into training cell at TEAM 3 and being terrorized by those guys (including Jerry).  Martin would grab me by the scruff and start yelling at me about stabbing some dude to death in the jungles of southeast Asia.  Crazy good stuff….and the stories!  It’s something today’s teams have lost a little of, along with a good ass stomping hazing.  It goes a long way to feeling proud that you’ve earned your Trident and been accepted by the warrior clan. Rest assured BUD/S is tough as ever but the probation period should be put back in place.  SQT instructors bond to much with their students and that makes it hard to shit can people and be unbiased about it.  Jerry would agree I’m sure.

Jerry’s Career Highlights

BUD/S

TEAMS

SKY GOD (just under 10,000 sky dives)

DEVGRU

TEAMS (TEAM Enf0rcer)

OGA -Last I heard he was running deep covert ops with a three letter agency. This would explain the photo of him below in an Army uniform (Jerry was Navy).

LEGEND

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From The UDT-SEAL Association (A Few Years Back)

Passing of Jerome McCauley:
We are saddened to report the loss of one of our Teammates. Jerome “Jerry” McCauley was killed while serving as an advisor in Iraq. Details are not clear at this time and Jerry is being escorted home to Sligo, North Carolina where Jerry and Belinda have a home. He was “on duty” for us again after a full career in the Teams. He continued to serve his country using the same skills and dedication that made him a memorable Frogman. He will be dearly missed and our prayers are with his family.

Anonymous TEAM Guy’s Story of Jerry

I was at SEAL Team THREE around 1996’ish and we were doing OTB training out at San Clemente (Island) in the winter. Water was cold as usual in the winter. The fag supply LT said we were a desert team and we didn’t need anything more than 2 mil wetsuits. Jerry brought this LT out to watch our training.  When they got down to the beach he gave the LT a 2 mil wetsuit made him go in up to chest deep water, to appreciate the chill factor. After one cycle of us hitting the beach the LT was ready to get out. Jerry basically didn’t let that happen, he made him stay in for three or four cycles. Needless to say we were aloud to order anything we wanted soon after that.

That is all I remember from the story but always thought that was bad ass. He was a funny character, and even though I was just a fucking new guy he treated me well.  -Anonymous SEAL

One of My Favorite Stories Told to Me by Jerry McCauley at SEAL TEAM 3

“There I was!”. Seal Delivery Vehicle Ops of South America-

I was just back from Army parachute rigger school and in the air loft at Team 3 sewing up a riggers belt and some uniforms when Jerry came over to keep me from sewing my fingers together (I had just learned how to sew and already broken one machine).  You know the saying: Put a SEAL into a locked room with three large steel ball bearings and he’ll lose one, keep one (say he lost it) and break the third.   A crowd of eager GOLF platoon guys quickly gathered around as Jerry told us about his work with the SDV Teams. Side note: The CO of Team 3 (McRaven I believe) had just given a congressional tour. Jerry was popping tall when the congressman asked him how long he’d been a Navy SEAL. Jerry replied “I’m no SEAL but I did stay at a Holiday in last night sir”. McRaven quickly moved along and shot Jerry a “you bastard look”. Jerry just smiled and winked back….

The Story

“The submarine was submerged about 50 feet under 100 miles off the coast of  some god forsaken south American country. It was holding station at a couple of knots. We ran a trunk line up to the surface to prepare to lock out a couple of Zodiacs  for  some maritime ops (not sure if that’s the correct order, I’m no SDV guy).  I was to be first up to the surface to have a look so I grabbed a breath of air off my tank and did a free ascent to the surface.

I had my hand up to shield the harsh sun from my eyes as I was holding onto the line and being slightly towed forward.  When I took a look around I saw a couple of south American fisherman in a panga (small boat) about 500 meters off in the distance.  They must have seen me and thought I was a big bait fish boil because they started high tailing it over to me. Damn, this insertion spot is burned I thought.

In less than a minute they were along side of me and began looking towards the heavens and rubbing their eyes talking to themselves.

Like any good Team Guy would do, I asked them in flawless Spanish, “En caso de que el infierno es la tierra?”.  Translation: Where the Hell is the nearest Land?.

Mouth gaping open the three fisherman pointed landward. I yelled Muchas Gracias and submerged beneath the crystal clear blue ocean never to be seen by them again.

I can only imagine the stories those fisherman have passed on to their village about the strange Frogman that emerged from the depths to ask directions to land a mere 100 miles offshore.
Jerry had a few but this was one of my favorites.

Rest assured that Jerry has a crowd gathered around him right now and they’re all listening intently as he tells one of his amazing stories.   See you on the other side when I get the green jump light Jerry.

Brandon

Brandon Webb is Editor-in-Chief for SOFREP.com and US Navy SEAL (BUD/S 215, ST-3, NSWG-1, NSWC)

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Jerry loved sky diving, his memorial site is here.