New Media is My SEAL

This is my last post here, friends.  Find me from now on at my new gig.

I stated reading The Heart and The Fist at the strong urging or my mother. Jan is a big fan of Veterans and an even bigger fan of the Today Show. The author, Eric Greitens was on the Today Show and my mom just knew that I would love a good book about one of my favorite subjects – Vets.

I downloaded the book to my Nook, and despite the rhyming, I absolutely love love love reading electronically. I immediately fell in love with Eric’s stories. He vividly tells about the myriad of commitments he’s made throughout his life. He starts with the {what to me seems to be random} decision to box. You know like train to be a fighter. He starts off kind of rocky and then he ends up training with one of the best fighters in America. Of course. Then he travels to Bolivia, Rwanda caring for people. India, Gaza, Croatia, running into Mother Teresa, caring for people. Children, people who wanted and needed it – some who didn’t {want it. They needed it}. He took pictures, he learned to appreciate life, how to live well, and most of all that there is something certain to live for – to live well. He also did well to go ahead and get himself a Rhodes Scholarship – not a dumb guy.

But, despite his commitment to doing good and living a good life, he understood that goodness came at a price and the price was born and paid for by those who were willing to lay down their lives. And so instead of becoming an academic, or taking a hgh paying job at a consulting firm, Eric joins the navy and becomes a SEAL.

Of course, becoming a SEAL literally almost killed me. The things that those men had to do – have to do – made my stomach hurt and exhausted me. But I was so impressed. Eric left everything that might have meant something to other people, probably everyone else – esteem and money – to do something that mattered to HIM. Something that mattered in a way that aligned with chosen trajectory of his life. As I read and felt tired and scared for those men, I said to myself probably the only rational thing an overweight 28 eight year old Washington DC-er can and should say to herself: I’m going to become a Navy SEAL.

Well, according the Navy, the Internet and about 7 people I talked to in person about this resolve, not only could I not legally do it there is no way that I would physically handle the training. THOSE PEOPLE ARE DROWNED PROOFED LADIES AND GENTS. Drown proofed. Whatever.

What I’ve failed to mention to this point is that 3 days before I started reading The Heart and the Fist, I had my thrice yearly mental break down. You know the one, where I lament the trajectory of my own life and how disappointed I am that I haven’t done anything with my life that directly benefits others. And my statute of limitations is quickly reaching its expiration – In two years I’m not going to be able to jump on a plane and go deworm orphans in Somalia. Or start a nonprofit that directly helps the poor. Or really anything that would seem radical and in any way helpful. And then I read about this guy who just goes out and gets it. He improves himself radically, serves other for like years and then determines that oh that wasn’t enough I should probably serve my country by going through the most serious training in the world.

I had a mental breakdown.

For about two days I thought about joining the Army Reserves, the Peace Corps, a Church Youth Group. Anything.

And then Kate reminded me I do serve Veterans. Mostly indirectly, every day.

And that’s when it hit me – New Media is my Navy SEALS.

The training has not been easy. Now it’s not been drown pool, PT log hard, but it’s been a serious transition. And there’s so much work to do. It’s not reconnaissance of Pakistan or good will missions to Borneo much but it’s important. As Brandon says we are here to get the right information to the right Veteran at the right time. It’s not easy. We’re meeting them online in way that we know, but they’re challenging us to find them elsewhere, with even more germane knowledge every day. And who says I can’t or shouldn’t train and commitment like the seals do. No one. As a public servant, especially one of Veterans it’s my responsibility to train like there’s no tomorrow, because the hardest mission might just be the very next one.

Some days the work bleeds into the next – and there are fire to be put out and meals ot be skipped and comrades to be saved – in the figurative sense of course. And it’s all important. Just like the work the SEALS do. And just like a SEAL (minus the muscle and the trust of a nation) I have to, for the good of my team and the people I serve (love you VETS!) I will give my all. Every day. For the rest of my life (or my career – at least)


5 thoughts on “New Media is My SEAL

  1. One of the things I love best about you LNRB is your never ending quest to improve yourself and fulfil a greater purpose in this world. It’s refreshing to find someone who cares so much about the choices they make, and continually evaluating them to see if they can’t do better. I have no doubt that you (we) will look back on your life someday (when are in a nursing home together) and be proud of the way you have lived. love you always.

  2. Pingback: 2012: The year of the marathon? | I Now Pronounce You Wife & Blog

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