Day 18 – Giving thanks for an unique experience this morning!

This morning I had the opportunity to have a tour of the Naval Special Warfare Center located in Coronado. It is the home of the Navy SEAL training. Going into the tour, I had an idea that the SEALS were hard core but until you watch the introductory video and see them training at the facility, you really have no clue! Holy cow! These men are insane! This happens to be Hell Week for the new class of recruits. Their training starts on Sunday around noon and ends on Friday afternoon. In that time, they are allowed 4-hours of sleep. A total of 4-hours in 6 days, not just 4-hours per night! At any time during their training, a candidate can opt out and essentially withdraw from the SEAL training program because he finds it too hard. In order to quit, they have to ring a bell three times and publicly display their named helmet in the courtyard. You can imagine that they must think about quitting long and hard before they actually do given how public their decision becomes. Imagine if we all had to do the same if we decided to quit when something got hard? I’m sure we would think twice!!

Our tour consisted of watching training, playing with big guns, a visit to the parachute folding room and the diving locker, as well as the obstacle course. We also took a minute to visit the shrine to the two SEALS that have been lost in active duty. Although I found the tour entertaining because it was so outside my normal world, the profound significance of the work these men do around the world was certainly not lost on me. These men have an unbelievable responsibility and must go through a training regiment that is beyond comprehension, but what is most impressive is that they raise their hand and volunteer for this position. We sleep safe at night because somewhere on the other side of the world a Navy SEAL is in the middle of an operation, being asked to do something incomprehensible for most. These are the operations that can never be discussed. You can’t help put walk through their training center bathed in total respect. I give thanks that I was given the opportunity to experience the Naval Special Warfare Center today and have profound gratitude for the insanely brave SEALS!