I love to read, however pre-pandemic life left little quiet time for me to pick up a book, and I don’t enjoy listening to audiobooks. Since the pandemic has effectively slowed down our lives, I have had the opportunity to read again. I love all genres, but I particularly enjoy historical non-fiction. I gravitate towards books about events that create sovereign history, form governments, or about defining moments we remember. In other words, books about wars or conflict, and the individuals embedded within those conflict. I read three books that I will share with you.
The first book is “No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy, The Life of General James Mattis”, written by Jim Proser. I didn’t know much about General Mattis until he was nominated as the Secretary of Defense, but there was a catalyst that made me want to know more. When a man nicknamed Mad Dog is asked, “What keeps you up at night?”, and he answers, “Nothing, I keep other people up at night”, frankly I am all in. The General is a genuine character, has nothing but sincere concern for the Marine Corps and how they conduct themselves, and demonstrates a leadership quality that made him one of the most respected leaders of the U.S. Marines, ever.
The second book I read was “The Operator, Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a Seal Team Warrior”, by Robert O’Neill. Navy Seals are a different breed than normal humans. My father and grandfather served in the Navy, and I have the utmost respect for the US armed forces, but the SEALS are something else. Testing a person’s limits during the legendary 24-week BUD/S training, and during something called Hell Week, invariably produces leaders, and producing leaders is the point. There is a story about one of O’Neill’s first missions when his SEAL team was dropped into foreign land to take out a high value target. He watched his unit leader move through an extremely dangerous house they breached with ultimate calm and calculated control. Even in the face of death, the leader instilled this feeling of command to his entire unit. During this current time of unrest, how valuable is that? Don’t succumb to the chaos, know that God is in control and lead your unit through it, whether family, business, church or friends. This was such an important reminder for me. The other thing that resonated with me is O’Neill’s description of the family that develops during training and combat. Simply put, they trust each other with their lives. Oh yeah, I haven’t even touched on the many amazing combat stories he was involved in, not to mention taking out the most wanted terrorist of our generation.
The last book I read was “Thank You for Being a Friend, a Golden Girls Trivia Book”, by Michael Craig. Nothing to say here, except that I love the Golden Girls, and I can destroy a Golden Girls Trivia night.
George Watson, Operations Manager