To the Editor:

I enjoyed the Nov. 6 Daily Republic article, “Navy Seal: ‘If you get knocked down … get back up again.’” The article is very insightful regarding the unique role and patriotic deeds of the SEAL teams and special forces members. This article showcased some great patriots and did that from a decorated hero’s and ground zero perspective.

I have been a witness to the pre-dawn regiments and rigorous training of the Seal teams, Airborne Ranger and other expeditionary forces.

I am grateful to have observed these super-fit volunteers whose special call to duty could ultimately result in death of physical harm.

I vividly recall the 5:30 a.m. echoes of these spec-ops’ trainees resonating in cadence while carrying and running with rubber rafts, or telephone poles above their heads. They would swim for hours in the cold, murky Pacific Ocean waters to mimic the harsh conditions found in the Indian Ocean or elsewhere. The SEALs and Rangers are prepared for extreme combat that is often embroiled in geo-political entanglements. The dubious prize for participation may require the ultimate sacrifice. They are heroes: America’s finest, volunteering for the toughest forays that often take their lives. Maybe they do have patriotic aspirations, they are acclimated to serve our country and to serve it well.

The Daily Republic article intimated that some men and women will not complete this gut-wrenching week-long SEAL Team training. That is accurate. This training is a week of little or no sleep; of physically exhaustive routines. Those that don’t finish will ring the bell that means, “I had enough.” Only a small number will complete this grueling training and their rewards will not be monetary but the honor of serving for these elite forces.

Winston Churchwill said it best, and is befitting of the SEALS and special forces, “Never has so much been owed by so many because of the actions of so few.” They are “the few” but, an awesome few whom I am indebted to. Also, thanks to the many veterans who serve and have served so admirably.

Tom Oberembt

Mitchell