By Eric Blehm
Waterbrook Press, $21.99, 257 pp.
It’s hard for a book to stand out in a publishing world filled with excellent accounts of valor by America’s warriors in the fight against al-Qaeda, the war in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan.
But in Fearless, Eric Blehm — author of the excellent The Only Thing Worth Dying For, the underreported story of the fight in southern Afghanistan and the worst “friendly fire” incident of the conflict — has given us an inspiring and unlikely story that is unique in several points:
- It’s probably the only biography of a Navy SEAL I have ever read that will appeal equally (or nearly equally) to both men and women.
- It features a hero whose biography is even more compelling than his considerable combat exploits.
- It’s the first such book written by this bestselling mainstream author for a Christian publisher.
- And I imagine it’s the first book published by an imprint associated with said publisher, Waterbrook, an imprint associated with the venerable Christian publisher Multnomah Press, to include the words “shit” and “ass” (unless the latter refers to the animal that talked to the prophet Balaam or provided Jesus’ mode of transportation on Palm Sunday).
But aside from such publishing and marketing considerations, the story of Navy SEAL Adam Brown would be unique for a trio of reasons, any one of which would have been enough to disqualify Brown from the SEAL teams on its own.
To my knowledge, Brown is the only former crack addict to become a Navy SEAL, an extraordinary testimony to faith and determination. SEAL training is some of the toughest military training in the world, designed to weed out candidates by breaking them mentally.
Then after overcoming that — though not without the occasional temptation or backslide — Brown overcomes losing an eye in a training accident and having the fingers of his right hand severed and reattached.
Forget any sports rehab story you thought was the best you ever heard. Brown taught himself to shoot well enough with his left hand to not only stay a Navy SEAL but also move up to DEVGRU (Naval Special Warfare Development Group), the most demanding unit in the SEALs. It’s better known as SEAL Team SIX, basically the Navy’s version of Delta Force.
Like the Army’s DELTA Force, Seal TEAM SIX is one of our nations Special Missions Units, anti -terrorist teams called upon for the most important and dangerous missions, with orders that come directly from the Oval Office and/or top ranks within the Pentagon. These are our nation’s most secretive warriors with millions of dollars invested in their training. To put it mildly, they don’t often take guys who just learned to shoot with the hand he’s using.