My Review: “FEARLESS” by Eric Blehm

THE MAKING OF A HERO

The Undaunted

Courage and Ultimate

 Sacrifice of

Navy SEAL Team SIX

Operator Adam Brown,

A  Legendary Operator


Book Blurb:

When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me.”

Long before Adam Brown became a member of the elite SEAL Team SIX—the counterterrorism unit that took down Osama bin Laden—he was a fun-loving country boy from Hot Springs, Arkansas, whose greatest goal had been to wear his high school’s football jersey. An undersized daredevil, prone to jumping off roofs into trees and off bridges into lakes, Adam was a kid who broke his own bones but would never break a promise to his parents.

But after high school, Adam fell in with the wrong crowd and his family watched as his appetite for risk dragged him into a downward spiral that eventually landed him in jail. Battling his inner demons on a last-chance road to redemption, Adam had one goal: to become the best of the best—a US Navy SEAL.

An absorbing chronicle of heroism and humanity, Fearless presents an indelible portrait of a highly trained warrior who would enter a village with weapons in hand to hunt terrorists, only to come back the next day with an armload of shoes and meals for local children. It is a deeply personal, revealing glimpse inside the SEAL Team SIX brotherhood that also shows how these elite operators live out the rest of their lives, away from danger, as husbands, fathers and friends.

Fearless is the story of a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman. It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the US military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

Adam Brown was a devoted man who was an unlikely hero but a true warrior, described by all who knew him as fearless.

Author Bio:

Eric Blehm is a bestselling and award-winning author of nonfiction books.  In 2006, Eric Blehm won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for The Last  Season (HarperCollins), a gripping account of the disappearance of legendary National Park Service ranger Randy Morgenson; The Last Season was also named by Outside magazine as one of the ten “greatest adventure biographies ever written” in 2009. Eric Blehm’s next book, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Only Thing Worth Dying For (HarperCollins, 2010), was hailed by former congressman Charlie Wilson, of Charlie Wilson’s War, as a “must read” among books about the current war in Afghanistan.

In 1999, Eric Blehm became the first journalist to accompany and keep pace with an elite Army Ranger unit on a training mission. His access into the Special Operations community and reportage set an important milestone for American war journalism two years before reporters began to gain widespread embedded status with the U.S. military in the War Against Terror. Blehm’s immersion with the Rangers is what led him to the previously untold story of an elite team of eleven Green Berets who operated in the hinterland of Taliban-held Afghanistan just weeks after 9/11 (The Only Thing Worth Dying For), as well as to his current book: FEARLESS (Waterbrook/Multnomah; Random House). On sale in May 2012, Fearless is the heartrending and inspiring story of Naval Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Adam Brown, who overcame tremendous odds in his rise to the top tier of the U.S. military: SEAL Team SIX.

Eric Blehm is the founder of Molly the Owl Books, the independent publishing company behind Molly the Owl—his popular nonfiction children’s book about a barn owl and her family—which won the 2011 Nautilus Award and the 2011 San Diego Book Award. Currently, he is working on his next nonfiction book, which takes place during the Cold War era.

Blehm lives in Southern California with his wife and children.

A Special Endorsement:

“As a rule, we don’t endorse books or movies or anything regarding the command where I work—and Adam Brown worked—but as the author writes in Fearless, ‘you have to know the rules, so you know when to bend or break them.’ This is one of those times. Read this book. Period. It succeeds where all the others have failed.”
—Anonymous SEAL Team SIX Operator

My Review:

Disclaimer:  There is mild cursing in the book.

FEARLESS is typically a book you would find men reading.  For some reason, I am drawn to stories of men who have sacrificed their lives or given their service for our country through the military.  This is Adam Brown’s life story, from Hot Springs, Arkansas, and it has touched my heart in a million different ways. He was proud to be from the state of Arkansas, which you will see as you read through the book.

As it states in the book, Adam was born three minutes after his twin sister, Manda, and it was the last time she beat him at anything.  She came out crying; he came out quiet, looking around.  From an early age, he pulled off dare-devil feats that would keep his mother on pins and needles.  Pain was something that didn’t bother him.  What mattered to him was helping others, doing the right thing, not letting pain hold him back, and standing up for the underdog, all with deep, heartfelt compassion.

Adam’s shenanigans throughout this high school years made you wonder if he’d live to graduate.  But he did.  When his three best buddies went off to college, Adam seemed to lose his sense of purpose.  He got into the wrong crowd and did what he never thought he’d ever do–street drugs, which led to jail time.  This went on for some years, until he met his sweetheart, Kelley, whom he married, had a son and eventually a daughter, and was guided into the service.  How he got into the service is a story in itself!

Eric does a spectacular job of describing the man, Adam, with all his quirkiness, fun-loving personality, dedication, failures, achievements, faith, deep compassion, and his deep love for his wife and children, as well as his dedication to the men he served with and the country he served.  Even through his extensive training as a Navy SEAL (and no, I do not remember all the titles), you will find him standing out partly due to his quirky behaviors, but also because of his overcoming achievements and bravery.  Never have I ‘met’ a man with the caliber of commitment to his country, fellow servicemen and family.

Your emotions will ride high and low as Adam’s life takes on the highs and lows of achievement and disappointment.  This is a book of reality, and there are some crushing moments.  You will find yourself rooting for Adam, but also taking stock of the steadfastness of his wife.  Military wives are one of a kind and are to be commended for their own bravery while their husbands are gone on duty and encouraging them throughout.  What would bring Adam and Kelley through all the struggles and deployments was their deep faith in the Lord.  God worked many wonders through their lives.

The combat missions are told in such a fashion that you are going through the elements and conditions along with the men.  Their tenacity and endurance make me proud to know we have men who are willing to fight for our safety at the cost of their lives if necessary.  The select mission at the end will bring it full circle, though the missions have not ended. Though the book revolves around Adam, he knew that working with the SEALS was a team effort.  He took no glory for himself.

The other major thing you will find in this book is what these Navy SEALS did for the women and children in the countries they were serving in that the American media did not show us on TV.  That truth alone stands out to show us that Americans were not evil-doers out to just conquer another nation as we were led to believe back home.

This book will inspire young boys and men to be proud to serve in our military, holding up a standard for them to work toward.  Special thanks go to Eric Blehm for writing this gutsy, true story about Naval Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Adam Brown, who overcame tremendous odds in his rise to the top tier of the U.S. military: SEAL Team SIX.  The tender warrior.  This story was  told to Eric by Adam’s family, friends, teachers, coaches, the military, his SEAL team members, and letters and journals he wrote.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group  in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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