There hasn’t been a book released in some time that has been met with as much controversy and media coverage prior to its release date as No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL by Mark Owen.
The book, written like a frat-house memoir (that was harsh, I admit it) offers a ‘firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden” in May of 2011.
In the foreword of the book and the first few chapters, it is clear Mr. Owen has a profound love of country and the brotherhood that he was a part of for over a decade. Mr. Owen reflects back to his adolescent dream of becoming a Navy SEAL someday and the years of training and determination it took to achieve that goal.
But WHY, then write this book that so clearly betrays all the ethics and codes of honor those military personnel are expected to live by? What kind of example is this team leader from the elite Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six, setting for the team operators coming up the ranks after him?
No Easy Day was a fast read, and it was fascinating at times to be privy to the confidential detail of military operations both in training strategy and in combat deployment. But that fascination waned quickly due to the sophomoric pranks and foul language that increased as the story progressed. While these elements may be necessary to lighten the mood in real-life, they were unnecessary to the legitimacy of the story at hand.
Today marks eleven years since the 9/11 attacks orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, an event in American history that will never be forgotten and will forever shape our future. On this day, one must ask the question: do the details of the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011 really matter? Or is it more important on this day for Americans to have the comfort of knowing that through years of hard work, perseverance, skill and sacrifice, American soldiers got the bad guy?
In closing, I challenge you, Mr. Owen, as you challenged everyone who reads your book, “to sacrifice a little something…Don’t just live, but live for a purpose bigger than yourself. Be an asset to your family, community, and country…”