“I will never quit” By Laura Griffin
Several years ago I stood knee-deep in the Pacific Ocean, teeth chattering, wondering what on earth would possess a sane man to join the Navy SEALs. I was on Coronado Island that day, and my mission was partly tourism and partly research. I had decided to write a SEAL character in my next book, and had spent the past few months researching what many would call the most elite fighting force in the world.
Coronado is a place where young men who aspire to be SEALs suffer through a ruthless training regimen that boggles the mind. For weeks on end, bands of SEAL trainees run with telephone poles, do five-mile ocean swims, undergo “drown-proofing,” endure sleep deprivation. They are systematically broken down—pushed beyond all limits, both physically and emotionally—and if they survive, they’re built back up again. Few make it through, and that is the point. Those who do come out stronger and more deeply committed to their jobs than most of us can imagine.
It takes a special sort of man to become a Navy SEAL, which is precisely why I had decided to write a SEAL character in my next story. I want my heroes to be, well, heroic. I had recently finished reading Lone Survivor, a book about Marcus Luttrell, the SEAL who managed to live through a deadly firefight in the mountains of Afghanistan. Three of his teammates died. After being blown off a mountain by a rocket-propelled grenade, Luttrell--severely injured--crawled and walked seven miles to a village where he was taken in by a local tribe.
How did he do this? The man is a SEAL. The word “impossible” is not part of the SEAL vocabulary. Men who become SEALs share a special vision of what it means to stand in the face of adversity.
I will never quit…If knocked down, I will get back up, every time…I am never out of the fight. Sound hardcore? It is. It’s straight from the SEAL creed.
A man such as this—one who is unwilling to give up under the most dire circumstances—was just the sort of hero I needed for my story, UNSTOPPABLE, which involves a terrorist plot on American soil. After months of research, I started writing about U.S. Navy SEAL Gage Brewer, and I’m still writing about him today.
I thought about the SEAL creed this week as I watched the news about Osama Bin Laden. I am never out of the fight. It seems fitting, and not altogether surprising, that SEALs were the ones to finally track down the world’s most wanted man. They risked their lives, in an operation that could have ended in disaster, in order to make the world a safer place. These guys are tough, they are committed, and they never give up—not even after ten years. They are heroes. And it’s a good thing we have them in real life, and not just in books.
UNSTOPPABLE appears in the Pocket Books anthology DEADLY PROMISES.
You like what you just read? Well you are in luck. I have a copy of this anthology to give away to one lucky reader. Open to US and Canada only. Just leave a comment as to why you want to read this anthology and email address. Ends May 29th.