Synopses & Reviews
FOR YOUNG READERS—A SPECIAL EDITION OF THE BESTSELLER, SEAL TEAM SIX
When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit made up of the finest soldiers in the country, if not the world. I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior is the dramatic tale of how Howard Wasdin overcame a tough childhood to live his dream and enter the exciting and dangerous world of U.S. Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers.
His training began with his selection for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world. After graduating, Wasdin saw combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. But he was driven to be the best of the best—he wanted to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, and at long last he reached his goal and became one of the best snipers on the planet. Soon he was fighting for his life in The Battle of Mogadishu. This is Howard Wasdin's story of overcoming abuse and beating the odds to become an elite American warrior.
and#160; Best Teen Book of 2012 "An uncommon (to say the least) coming of age, retraced with well-deserved pride but not self-aggrandizement, and as thought provoking as it is entertaining."--Kirkus,
starred review "Adapted from the adult title The Heart and the Fist (Houghton, 2011), this volume has been rearranged, shortened, and streamlined in way sure to appeal to its new audience."--School Library Journal
and#8220;Greitens describes his adventurous life in a manner that many teen boys will find inspirational."-- VOYA
"It's no small feat to make a difference in somebody's life. By sharing these stories with young readers, [Greitens] now has a chance to make a difference in a few more."--The New York Times Book Review
"[An] engaging and important book."--LA Times
Eric Greitens, theand#160;New York Times best-selling author of The Heart and the Fist, shares his adventures as a young man that led him to a life of service as both a humantarian and a Navy SEAL in this inspirational book for young adults.
In this adaptation of his best-selling book, The Heart and the Fist
, Eric speaks directly to teens, interweaving memoir and intimate second-person narratives that askand#160;readers to put themselves in the shoes of himself and others. Readers will share in Ericand#8217;s evolution from average kid to humanitarian to warrior, training and serving with the most elite military outfit in the world. Along the way, theyand#8217;ll be asked to consider the power of choices, of making the decision each and every day to act with courage and compassion so that they grow to be tomorrowand#8217;s heroes.
About the Author
DR. HOWARD E. WASDIN graduated with BUD/S Class 143. Awarded the Silver Star following the Battle of Mogadishu, Wasdin medically retired from the U.S. Navy in November 1995 after twelve years of service. He lives in Georgia.
STEPHEN TEMPLIN completed Hell Week, qualified as a pistol and rifle expert, and blew things up during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. He is now an associate professor at Meio University in Japan.
Reading Group Guide
- Where is Howard—which continent and country? Why? (Page 3)
- Howard says, “The words drilled into our heads since SEAL training were, ‘The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war.” (Page 4) What does he mean?
- Why does Howard run away from home when hes five years old? (Page 8)
- Howard says he felt it was his “duty” to agree to be adopted by his stepfather. (Page 9) Why does he says this? Is this the same as the duty he later felt as a soldier?
- Howard says that when a junior high school football coach discovered Howard was being physically abused, the coach told no one. “In those days, whatever happened in the home stayed in the home.” (Page 11) What was different about those days? Is it certain the coach remained completely silent, or is it possible he told adults who made some effort on Howards behalf? If he did, were those efforts enough? Would you break a confidence to help someone in Howards situation? What if that meant breaking a law?
- Howard says that when the coach saw the bruises, “I remember feeling so embarrassed that someone had discovered my secret.” (Page 11) Why might Howard have felt embarrassed instead of relieved? Why might he have kept the beatings a secret? Why didnt he just tell another adult? If you were Howards friend then, and you had discovered his secret, what would you say to him?
- Where does Howard first meet and speak with SEALs? (Page 19)
- Where does he learn more about them? (Page 20)
- Howard says about the stories he heard from the SEALs when he was still a Search and Rescue swimmer: “They worked hard and played hard. Lots of camaraderie. I thought Id joined an elite unit before, but now I knew about a unit that was more elite. There would be no satisfaction staying where I was. I wanted what they had.” (Page 20) Why does Howard feel the need to take on the toughest challenges he sees?
- Where is the main training location for SEALs? (Page 23)
- How does Howard feel about his chances when he first arrives? (Page 23) What about after he has attempted some tests alongside the other candidates? (Page 25)
- Speaking of the training, Howard says, “Of course, my tough childhood had prepared me for this moment.” What exactly did he mean? How did it prepare him? (Page 27)
- One of Howards toughest SEAL instructors was later a contestant on which reality TV show? (Page 39)
- What were some of the countries where Howard trained? Why would it be important to train with commandos from other armies? (Page 40)
- What happens to make Howard return home during this part of his training? (Page 40) What has happened to Howards relationship with his stepfather? (Page 41) Do you think this is right?
- Where does this chapter primarily take place? Why is the United States fighting there? (Page 43)
- Howard says “The amount of intel and planning that goes into a mission is mindboggling.” (Page 45) What are some of the school courses that relate directly to the kind of planning Howard and his teammates had to do?
- During a mission, fourteen enemy Iraqis surrendered to Howard unexpectedly. He says, “I realized they werent bad guys . . . They were human beings just like me. I discovered my humanity and the humanity in others. It was a turning point for me—it was when I matured." (Page 60) Why did Howard have a sudden change of heart? Why does he consider it a sign of maturity? Do you think he should have fed the Iraqis and helped them, even though his mission wasnt over? Have you ever had a sudden change of heart in the middle of a conflict with someone? Did you consider it a sign of maturity?
- Returning from Iraq, Howard to face the fact that hed taken a human life. What was his feeling about that? (Page 61)
- Howard says of SEAL Team Six, “We practiced land warfare, parachuting, and diving—all taken to a whole new level.” (Page 65) Why a whole new level?
- What are some of the mental exercises included in sniper training? (Page 71)
- Whats the name of the kind of suit snipers wear? Why is Howard required to make his own? (Page 72)
- Where in the United States was Howard stationed as a member of SEAL Team Six? (Page 79)
- Howard says, “Working with foreign units like the Australian SAS was often easier than working with U.S. counterparts like Delta Force. Rivalry between U.S. units was a problem.” (Page 79) Why would this be a problem? Why would it be easier to work with foreign units?
- All of the Joint Special Operations Commands (JSOC) snipers, both SEAL and Delta operators, saw the light. (Page 83) Saw the light about what? What does Howard mean about becoming “realistic?” (Page 83) How important is that? But isnt it the opposite of believing a SEAL can do anything, which Howard says is also important?
- Where is Howard, and why? (Page 85)
- Can you name a country working with the United States? (Pages 85, 87)
- Is the rivalry between the Special Forces units completely gone? What evidence is there? (Pages 87, 89)
- Italy has a long history in Somalia. What is Howards understanding of it, and of its effect on the operation? (Page 92)
- Howard called the medical help he gave a wounded Somali teenager (pages 95-97, 100-102) “my most successful op in Somalia.” (Page 103) Yet he had to disobey a direct order not to help, and then was reprimanded for his disobedience. Do you think he should have disobeyed? What risks did he take? Was he only risking himself, or was he risking the safety of teammates? Would you make the same decision? Why?
- What does Howard call “one of the best moves JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] ever made”? (Page 111)
- Why does Howard believe it is important to capture Atto? (Page 113)
- Howard points out that, “Although SEALs are known for their small numbers and efficiency, the military as a whole is huge and cumbersome.” What does he says is required of SEALs as a result? (Page 120)
- What are some of the internal conflicts the U.S. military showed during the mission? How did this affect Howard? (Pages 123-124) Do you think this is inevitable?
- What was the goal of the allied forces in the operation that turned into the Battle of Mogadishu? (Page 131)
- How many troops were involved? What kind of equipment did they have? (Page 132)
- What were Howards feelings as the operation began? (Page 132)
- What did Howard first notice was wrong? (Page 134)
- What does Howard describe as the difference between his training and the training of the Rangers? (Pages 136-137)
- Towards whom does Howard begin to feel anger during the battle? Why? (Page 138)
- What were the immediate personal and political results of the battle? (Pages 146-147)
- Where is Howard flown after being evacuated from Somalia? (Page 148)
- Howard says, “Sitting at home in my wheelchair, I committed one of the Teams gravest sins..." (Page 152) What was that “sin”? Do you think Howard could have done otherwise? If not, why is it a sin? Was that extreme attitude helpful to Howard?
- What does Howard say was Gods message to him? (Pages 153-152)
- What does Howard learn when he does hunting? (Pages 154-155)
- Earlier in the book, Howard says that SEALs endure so much extreme training, “Often we think were indestructible. Forever the optimists, even when were outnumbered and outgunned, we still tend to think we have a chance to make it out alive—and be home in time for dinner.” (Page 37) However, after leaving the SEALs, Howard was so pessimistic he considered suicide. (Page 157) Why did his thinking change so much?
- Why does Howard become a police officer? (Page 159)
- Why does Howard consider becoming a chiropractor? (Page 160)
- Why does he resist this desire? (Page 160) Do his reasons make sense to you?