Howard Wasdin

  • Aired:  06/09/11
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Howard Wasdin talks about readjusting to civilian life after getting shot three times as a Navy SEAL. (6:47)

>> WELCOME BACK.

MY GUESTS TONIGHT A FORMER

MEMBER OF NAVY SEAL TEAM 6,

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED SEAL

TEAM 6 MEMOIRS OF AN ELITE

NAVY SEAL SNIPER.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

HOWARD WASDIN, SIR.

>> THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> A GREAT HONOR.

>> TREMENDOUS.

>> JUST LIKE TO SAY HELLO,

TAKE THAT APPLAUSE AND

DIRECT IT TO THE MEN AND

WOMEN WHO ARE SERVING NOW.

>> SERVING RIGHT NOW.

>> I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE

DON'T REALIZE SEAL TEAM SIX

IS AN ONGOING ELITE SUBSET

OF THE SEAL TEAMS; IS THAT

CORRECT?

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU

MEAN BY SUBSET.

THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT

MISSION, JOHN.

THEY ARE THE TIER 1

COUNTERTERRORIST UNITS.

WHICH MEANS THEY HAVE THE

ASSETS, THE TRAINING,

CAPABILITIES TO DEPLOY

ANYWHERE AT A MOMENT'S

NOTICE.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND DO THIS TYPE OF OP

THAT YOU SAW ON ME FIRST.

>> I GUESS WHAT I AM SAYING

IS THERE ARE OTHER NAVY SEAL

TEAMS THAT ARE NOT PART OF

SIX.

>> THERE ARE OTHER NUMBER

TEAMS, THAT'S RIGHT.

>> AND HOW, DOES THEIR

TRAINING DIFFER FROM THE

OTHER NAVY SEALS.

I KNOW IT DIFFERENTS FROM

LET'S SAY THE REGULAR NAVY

BUT HOW WOULD IT DIFFERENT

FROM EVEN THE OTHER NAVY

SEALS?

>> LET ME BE VERY CLEAR ON

ONE POINT HERE.

JUST BECAUSE ARE YOU A

MEMBER OF SEAL TEAM 6, OR A

MORE ELITE SEAL, ALL SEALS

ARE ELITE.

IT JUST MEANS YOU'VE DECIDED

TO HAVE A DIFFERENT

LIFETILE.

AND WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS

YOU ARE EVEN MORE COMMITTED

TO DOING THIS TYPE OF JOB IT

BECOMES A LIFESTYLE DAY IN

AND DAY OUT OF PRACTICING,

TRAINING, NEVER ENDING.

AND THAT'S WHY YOU HAVE

ABOUT PROBABLY A SIX TO

EIGHT YEAR TRAINING LIFE

SPAN.

>> WHILE YOU'RE ACTUALLY

THERE, BECAUSE YOU

PHYSICALLY JUST CAN'T KEEP

DOING THAT.

YOU MENTALLY CAN'T KEEP

DOING THAT AND YOUR FAMILY

IS GOING TO SUFFER TOO

BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE GOT KIDS

LIKE I HAVE, YOU COULDN'T

SERVE TWO MASTERS, IT COST

ME MY WIFE AND KIDS BECAUSE

I WAS MORE MARRIED TO THE

TEAM.

SO IF YOU GO TO THIS TEAM,

IT'S ALL OR NOTHING, YOU

HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY

DEDICATED AND YOU KNOW, MOST

WIVES DON'T LIKE IT WHEN A

HUSBAND WAKES UP AND SAYS

HEY, MY PAGER IS GOING OFF,

I WILL SEE YOU MAYBE IN A

FEW MONTHS.

>> AND YOU REALLY DO LIVE

LIKE A SHADOW.

YOU KIND OF MOVE AND DO THAT

YOU WERE IN MOGADISHU.

>> THAT WAS MY CAREER ENDER,

THE WHOLE BLACKHAWK DOWN OP

I GOT SHOT THREE TIMES IN

THAT OP.

THERE ARE PARALLELS HERE WE

DON'T NEED TO MISS BETWEEN

THE MOGADISHU BLACKHAWK DOWN

OP AND A BATA BAD OP.

LESSONS LEARN, 234 SOMALIA

WE DIDN'T HAVE OPERATIONAL

SECURITY, WORKING WITH THE

UNITED NATIONS, WITH THESE

OTHER COUNTRIES SO PEOPLE

KNEW WHEN WE WERE COMING,

LEAVING, WHAT WE WERE DOING.

AND I'M A REPUBLICAN BUT THE

PRESIDENT GOT IT RIGHT HERE.

I'M ACTUALLY THINKING MORE

AND MORE ABOUT THIS GUY

BEING A REALLY GOOD

PRESIDENT.

>> WHAT DID HE GET RIGHT?

>> WHAT HE GOT RIGHT IS TWO

THINGS ACTUALLY THREE THINGS

IT.

ONE THING DEFINITELY WAS

OPERATIONAL SECURITY, HE DID

NOT TELL PAKISTAN WE WERE

COMING.

I KNOW THAT MAKES US BAD

PEOPLE BECAUSE WE DID

SOMETHING ON THEIR FOREIGN

SOIL.

WE DIDN'T KILL 3,000 OF

THEIR PEOPLE, BUT YOU KNOW,

SO WE WENT OVER THERE AND

DID THAT AND DIDN'T LET THEM

KNOW WE WERE COMING SO THAT

KEPT OUR PEOPLE SAFE.

MADE THE MISSION.

>> DO YOU THINK THEY DID

THAT BECAUSE THEY FELT THAT

THAT WOULD COMPROMISE, THEY

FELT THEY COULD NOT TRUST

THAT CHAIN OF COMMAND ON THE

OTHER SIDE.

>> AND SINCE I'M NOT RUNNING

FOR OFFICE AND I DON'T WANT

YOUR VOTE, ABSOLUTELY SECOND

THING IS HE GOT IT RIGHT

WITH THIS BURIAL AT SEA.

THAT WAS INGENUOUS.

>> THAT WAS MAYBE ONE OF THE

MOST CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS

OF IT.

>> YEAH, BUT THINK ABOUT IT,

IF WE HAD GIVEN THEM

SOMEWHERE TO GO AND PAY

HOMAGE TO THIS, YOU KNOW,

EVIL PERSON OR WHATEVER THAT

WOULD HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE.

THE OTHER THING HE GOT RIGHT

WAS NOT RELEASING THE

PICTURES.

I THINK HE GOT IT RIGHT ON

ALL THREE THINGS AND I'M

SITTING HERE GOING YOU KNOW

WHAT I DIDN'T VOTE FOR THE

GUY BUT HEY, AS AMERICA WE

GOT TO ADMIT WHEN A

PRESIDENT GETS IT RIGHT.

>> I ALWAYS THOUGHT, I

ALWAYS FEEL LIKE WE DON'T

KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT WAR BUT I

THINK MAYBE IN THIS

PARTICULAR SITUATION IN

TERMS OF SECURITY, I HAD NOT

REALIZED JUST HOW SECRETIVE

THE SEAL TEAMS HAVE TO BE.

I MEAN EVEN IN YOUR BOOK

THERE ARE FACES BLACKED OUT

STILL.

THERE IS AN ANONYMITY THAT

NEEDS TO OCCUR.

>> SURE.

>> AND MOGADISHU WHAT

HAPPENED TO YOU.

WHEN YOU WERE INJURED.

>> I WAS PART OF THE FAILED

OP TO TAKE DOWN THE, YOU

KNOW, THE HOTEL THAT DAY.

I WAS SHOT THE FIRST TIME AT

THE TARGET HOTEL.

SHOT THE SECOND TIME,

PICKING UP RANGERS OFF THE

STREET AND SHOT THE THIRD

TIME TRYING TO GET THE HELL

OUT OF THERE.

IN A HUMVEE.

>> HOW LONG DID THE PROCESS

LAST WHERE YOU CONTINUED TO

OPERATE WHILE HAVING BEEN

SHOT.

>> ABOUT FOUR AND A HALF

HOURS.

BUT WHILE WE ARE TALKING

ABOUT THAT --

>> NO, LET'S NOT GLORIFY

THAT.

LET'S JUST STOP FOR A

SECOND.

BECAUSE YOU AND I IT VERY

SIMILAR, AND I DON'T,

OBVIOUSLY WANT TO BRAG, BUT

I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU

SOMETHING NOW.

YOU-- YOU HAVEN'T

NECESSARILY BEEN AROUND IN A

WHILE BUT I KNOW YOU WANT TO

SEE THAT, RIGHT THERE.

LET ME TELL YOU MY WAR

STORY.

>> IS THAT ON THE PENIS

WHEEL?

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> THAT THING IS MUCH

SHARPER THAN IT LOOKS.

>> IT BRINGS UP A POINT, YOU

KNOW, YOU'RE LIVING A LIFE

THAT IS SO BEYOND IN

COMPARISON TO WHAT WE CAN

IMAGINE AND THEN THIS STORY

COMES UP IN ABBOTTABAD.

HOW DO YOU READJUST TO

CIVILIAN LIFE.

ARE YOU A CHIROPRACTOR NOW.

YOU PICKED YOUR LIFE UP AND

HAVE DONE THAT.

BUT HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE

TO READJUST TO SORT OF THIS

IDEA THAT YOU ARE LIVING

LIKE A NORMAL CITIZEN?

>> YOU KNOW WHAT, AND THAT'S

A GREAT QUESTION AND A LOT

OF WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT.

ANYBODY WHO BUYS THIS BOOK,

IT'S NOT A WAR STORY BOOK,

NOT A WARMONGERING BOOK.

IT'S ABOUT OVERCOMING

ADVERSITY, OVERCOMING

ADVERSITY IN MY EARLY LIFE

AND THEN THE QUESTION YOU

JUST WENT INTO.

THE LOWEST POINT OF MY LIFE,

JOHN, WAS AFTER GETTING SHOT

THREE TIMES, GOING THROUGH A

DIVORCE, THINKING I WAS WEAK

BECAUSE LOOKING BACK WITH MY

DOCTOR HAD ON NOW, NOT

REALIZING I HAD POST

TRAUMATIC STRESS AND THIS

OTHER THING CALLED

SURVIVOR'S GUILT THAT I

DIDN'T FIND OUT ABOUT UNTIL

YEARS LATER.

WHY I WAS ALLOWED TO LIVE

AND SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE WERE

ALLOWED TO DIE.

SO TRANSITIONING FROM ROCK

STAR TO ROCK BOTTOM, AND

TRYING TO ASSIMILATE BACK

INTO SOCIETY WAS ALMOST THE

END OF ME.

AND LUCKILY, GOD PUT THE

RIGHT WOMAN IN MY PATH.

SHE PICKED ME UP, DUSTED ME

OFF, TAUGHT ME INTO GOING

BACK INTO SCHOOL TO BE A

CHIROPRACTOR, TALKED ME INTO

FINISHING MY BOOK AND I OWE

EVERYTHING TO HER.

>> IT'S AN AMAZING STORY.

WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR

SERVICE AND YOUR STORY.

YOU CAN STATE RYE THERE.

SALE TEAM SIX, ON THE BOOK

SHELVES NOW.

IT'S A WONDERFUL BOOK.

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