ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chance Meeting of a U.S. Navy SEAL

Just to demonstrate how small a world this is...

I was on a flight from Tucson to Atlanta yesterday . About halfway through I opened a book called The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228by Dick Couch. I'm using the book as reference and source material for my up-coming St. Martin's book, SEAL TEAM 666, which I'm starting right after I finish BLOOD OCEAN. The Warrior Elite is a day-by-day walk-through of BUD/S training and gives an excellent perspective on what it takes to be a SEAL and what they have to go through during training. That they have nearly an 80% attrition rate says a lot.

Anyway, I'm reading this book when I get a tap on my elbow. I have an aisle seat and the fellow behind and across the aisle from me has just tapped me on the elbow.

"I see you're reading about Class 228," the man says.

I'd noticed him at the Tucson Airport. About 6'1" and 180 pounds, the muscles in his shoulders and arms were pronounced without being gaudy. Dressed in civilian clothes, he could have walked out of one of the adverts in my Esquire. He is good looking and self assured.

"I am. It's pretty good so far. Have you read it?" I ask by way of response.

"I have. Actually, I'm Class 227."

And there you have it. A SEAL on my flight. Small world. We get to talking. When two military men meet there is a certain dance we have. It usually starts with where we've been and how long we've done things and ultimate ends up by comparing assignments. Now, although I've deployed with SEALs on a number of occasions in my previous life, my assignments can't compare to theirs, so we proceeded to the next phase of the dance, which is name dropping. I do know quite a few folks in the special operations community. Knowing where he was probably from, I dropped some names from folks stationed in Coronado Island, San Diego, California, and Dam Neck, Virginia. I finally hit on a couple of names he knew. I could see the change in his eyes as our joint friendship of those people made us close in a way we never could have been before, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon if Kevin Bacon were a SEAL.

He asks why I was reading it and I told him about SEAL TEAM 666, At first he gives me a crazy look.
 "Is it a Christian Book?" he asks.

"A lot of Christian's are going to die in the book, but it's not a Christian book per se. It's more of a supernatural thriller book-- a horror book."

Then the light dawns in his eyes. He gets it.

I explained to him about how I was asked to write this and that one of my challenges is to keep the SEAL TEAM, as fictional as they are, as real and authentic as possible.

He appreciates that and tells me so.

Then we talked about what he was doing. He was on his way to Arlington Cemetery for a funeral. Although I didn't ask out of respect, I'm sure it was one of the SEALs who recently died in the tragedy in Afghanistan. Several of my friends were already busy with funeral duties, interfacing with the families of those who perished.

It's a small world and the world of SEALS is even smaller. Smaller still, since the loss of so many in Afghanistan. This meeting served to remind me to take this project seriously. I have a universe of respect for SEALs and want to make sure that when you all finally sit down on your couch to read SEAL TEAM 666 that you grok that fact amidst all the supernatural helter skelter I'm going to slam on the page.

1 comment :

  1. Wow what a post. You had me going from, "Cool," to full-on gaffaw ("A lot of Christian's are going to die in the book, but it's not a Christian book per se. It's more of a supernatural thriller book-- a horror book."), teary silence.

    What a gamut.