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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Quitting Isn’t an Option: My Life as a Navy SEAL (Part 1 of 2)

Quitting Isn’t an Option: My Life as a Navy SEAL (Part 1 of 2)

Former Navy SEAL Chad Williams shares his experience of training to become a Navy SEAL, only to have his mentor killed in the line of duty in Iraq. After SEAL graduation, Chad was depressed and drinking heavily. Hear how he found a new lease on life through a relationship with Jesus Christ. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: May 31, 2021


Chad Williams: This is it. This is for real. That if i quit right now, I knew, if I quit in this moment, I will forever be a quitter. The way I respond right now is going to affect the trajectory of the rest of my life. And so, I just reaffirm in my mind. I’m dying before I quit.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Hmm. After dropping out of college, Chad Williams had one chance to become a member of an elite military team, and you’ll hear his story today on this special Memorial Day edition of Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, Chad Williams personifies, uh, the type of steely resolve that’s required to be a member of one of America’s top fighting forces, the Navy SEALS. And as we remember all of the military men and women who have died for our freedoms, uh, Chad will share his story of a grueling training process to become a SEAL. And he’ll pay tribute to his mentoring coach. And although he had serious responsibilities, Chad takes a lighthearted approach to his story, which I think everyone will enjoy. Uh, Chad is a frequent guest on top news shows, uh, when the topic relates to military operations, especially in the Middle East. And he’s the author of the best-selling book called SEAL of God: The Path is Narrow, But the Reward is Great.

John: And you can get that book from us at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, here’s Chad Williams now, uh, speaking to a group of men at an event hosted by Wingmen Ministries on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Chad: As you guys know, I’m a, a former US Navy SEAL. I imagine most of you guys know what-what SEALs are. You know, typically I have to, you know, the women. One time there was one that actually asked me, she goes, “So, do you work at SeaWorld or something?”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: It’s like, no. (Laughs) Uh, maybe you guys didn’t know this, but SEAL is actually an acronym that stands for our areas of operation: sea, air, and land. And I think most people are pretty surprised to find out after Bin Laden that Navy SEALs are operating, you know, on land. They expect us to stick to water-borne operations. So, I remember a lot of people kind of scratching their heads asking, like, “What? Is there a puddle in Pakistan these guys came crawling out of or something?”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: And we’re on land. To kind of give you guys, uh, an idea of what my team was doing on my last deployment. I was out in Iraq, and, uh, we were tasked with working with the Iraqi special operation forces, and one of our goals while we’re over there is to hunt down men that make suicide vests and those roadside bombs, IEDs. And we wanted to train the ISOF how to do this job themselves. And so, it kind of makes sense. You want to pull out of a place like Iraq. Well, you got to teach up their own countrymen, their own special operation forces, how to do the work.

And we’re coming up on what looked like just enough time on the calendar to do maybe one more operation. So, we decided let’s make this final operation a sort of graduation operation. We’ll let the ISOF plan the whole thing from the ground up, and we’ll be there with them just in case things hit the fan.

Uh, so they start from scratch. They go out in the street. They get a source of information that tells them about a man that’s an Iraqi policeman, uh, by day, but at night back home, he’s one of these bomb makers. And to kind of give you an idea the type of character that makes these, uh, suicide vests for instance. You know, oftentimes they’re not the ones that want to wear it themselves. Uh, in fact, they have such a difficult time finding somebody else to put one on, uh, that in one instance over there, they took two mentally handicapped women, strapped these vests on to them, and then they’d shoved them off into a crowded marketplace and watched from a distance as they set it off with a remote, uh, like cowards, killing these women and-and just so many more.

So, this kind of gives you an idea the type of scumbags we’re going for here. Uh, but we’ve got this guy’s number. The ISOF, they’ve got this whole plan, where he lives, how they want to approach the house, get in, extract, and… They’re presenting all these things to us, and they say, “One other thing, though.” They said, “When we operate with you SEALs, uh, we see that, uh, we get shot at more than you guys do. And we think we’ve figured out why.”

And we’re like, “Oh, yeah? What is it?” And they’re convinced that it was just merely the color of our uniforms. They say, “It’s the uniforms.” Like, “Really?” So, they’re saying, “We’re wondering if you’d be willing to maybe take off your American colored uniforms and for this final operation, we’ve got a pile of ISOF uniforms you guys, uh, could put on.”

So like, “Okay, let’s get this straight. You want us to get shot at more with you.” And they’re like, “Yes.” And so we’re like, “Fine.”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: So, picture this. Needless to say, you know, my dark complexion started growing out, a little facial hair, get on one of these guys’ uniforms. I blend in just fine with these fellas over there. In fact, my wife, she’ll try to motivate me to shave by letting me know it’s time to cut it down because I look like I belong in Bin Laden’s family or something.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: So here we go, blending in with these guys. This is the final operation, and I happen to be standing up in the Humvee, the turret, that night behind the 50-caliber machine gun. That’s the showstopper. I remember I’ve got my night vision goggles on looking through my green little world. I’ve got my weapon, head space, and time ready to go. Kind of going over this in my mind, where this guy lives, how we’re going to get him. This is business as usual, but there’s one other unique I know that popped into my head. I couldn’t help but, you know, realize that I know this is the final operation, which means just a matter of days from now, I know I’m going to be back home in Huntington Beach, California surfing in the ocean, lobster diving.

But what we didn’t know about that night was that we were actually being set up the entire time, uh, to get thrown into a real nasty ambush. Uh, we’re really about to get into the worst circumstances we’d been in on this entire deployment as we’re getting into a battle, uh, for our lives.

Now, before I hit on what happened, uh, that night, I want to kind of back step a little bit and share with you guys a little bit of my road to becoming, uh, a SEAL. You know, fresh out of high school, going to the local community college, I didn’t have any real big plans. I’m failing all my classes really just because I’m not attending. I’m just ditching, partying, and surfing all the time.

And I’m pulling into the parking lot at the end of the year. It’s time to take finals, and it just hits me like a ton of bricks, like, wow. I’m turning out to be a loser. I mean, the kind of guy that no young man wants to be. When you’re young, you get told you can do anything, right? Be a pro ball player or whatever, and I’m thinking, “It’s time to do something here.” So, I’m thinking, “What am I doing with my life?” I-I… All I know is I want to do something big. I want to achieve something, go for something great. I want some identity.

And so I start thinking, “What is that?” And I think I’d come up with the perfect plan, sitting there in my truck, about to go to class. I go, “I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to go become an Alaskan crab fisherman.” Yeah.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: Deadliest catch. By far, one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. I thought, “There’s some bragging rights in that right there.” And then this other idea pops in my head. Now, wait a minute. Why can’t I go join the military and be a part of the most elite? Go through that most difficult, grueling military training. I know what I want to be. I want to be a Navy SEAL.

And so right there, school parking lot, about to take finals, I just decide that’s what I’m going to do with my life. I’m going to be a Navy SEAL. And so my first order of business is this: I don’t got to class anymore because I’m going to be a Frogman. Start my truck up, and I left the school.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: Except I got to let my dad know. Some bad news and good news as I put it. So, I let him know what’s going on. Failing all these classes. “Chad, what’s the good news?” “I’m glad you asked, Dad. It’s okay. I got a plan. I’m going to be a Navy SEAL.”

And he’s looking at me, and, you know, here comes my dad, the voice of reason. He’s kind of watched the track record of my life, and he’s like, “Chad, uh, (laughs) joining the military is not like anything you’ve ever done in the past. When you decide you’re over it, you can just stop. This is not like playing ball or skateboarding or just going to the local community college. If you join the military, and for reason you find out it’s not for you. Suppose you quit SEAL training; you can’t just get out. Because you know what’s going to happen to you? You’re going to find yourself stuck in the military chipping paint off some boat in Japan!”

I can’t argue with his logic. I don’t have the greatest track record, but i knew, I was determined, I’m dying before I quit. And so what do I do? Sort of typical young father-son relationship, I just go storming out of there, “Whatever, Dad!” You know, and meanwhile, I’m preparing. I’m doing the running, the swimming, pull-ups, push-ups, everything. Running past the house like I’m little Rocky, Just…dun, dun-dun-dun.

And My dad’s looking out the window and calls me back up one day. And he says, “So, you really want to do this. You want to be a SEAL.” I’m like, “Yeah, dad. I want to be a SEAL.” He goes, “Great. I set up a workout for you with a Navy SEAL. Check out my computer screen.”

And I’ll never forget looking over at his computer and reading this little one liner in an email that says, “Can Chad come out and play tomorrow?”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: Play? I’m like, “Dad, you don’t know any Navy SEALs. Some guy you met off the internet wants to play with me, and you’re setting this up? And…”

He goes, “He’s a SEAL, Chad.” I’m like very skeptical, “Okay.”

You know, well, there’s more of a conversation my dad had with this Navy SEAL by the name of Scott Helvenston that I didn’t know at the time. I got the backstory later, but it’ll do you guys some good, uh, to know it now.

He spent some time on the phone with Scott, and he says, “Hey, look. My son, he wants to be a Navy SEAL. He’s making the biggest mistake of his life because he has no idea what he’s getting himself involved in. And so I just want to know, would you do me a big favor? Meet up with my son, and I’m asking you to crush him. Just bury him.”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: “Beat this desire of becoming a SEAL out of him.” So Scott, apparently after thinking about it for a while, shoots off this email. Can Chad come out and play tomorrow? So, off I go. It’s Oceanside, California, meeting up with this Navy SEAL. Beach parking lot. He spots me right away. “You Chad?” “Uh, yes, sir.” “All right, Bubba.” I was Bubba from that point forward. “Come on over here.”

This guy’s got me doing some pull-ups and push-ups and what not. Not that difficult. Sends me off on a run, and he says he’s going to catch up after about 15 minutes. He had some gear he wanted to clean up back at the truck. So, off I go. 15 minutes into this run, I’m looking back. All I know is I’m running out into the wetlands away from civilization, people getting fewer and fewer. And I’m thinking, “Where’s this Navy SEAL?” And I start thinking, he’s not going to catch me. And I start cranking up the speed, and I’m just thinking of all the buddies I’m going to be bragging to that this Navy SEAL couldn’t catch me on a run.

And as I’m looking back, it’s just like that movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator 2. There’s this scene in the movie where the bad guy called the T-1000 can morph into these knife hands and chase down a moving vehicle. Well, that’s the Navy SEAL, like the T-1000, these knife hands coming down this trail.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: Nothing I could do to keep the distance. He just closes this gap, gets right up to where I am. I’m going so fast, I mean, I don’t have time to spit because I’m breathing so hard. Well, he just stops and turns around on a dime, and I never saw what was coming next.

I was greeted by his fist, just impaling my stomach. I’m clotheslined, going for a ride as my feet come off the ground. I remember the feeling of the wind being knocked out of me before my back even hit the ground. And this poof of dirt just up all around me. And then put yourself in my shoes for a moment here. Remember at the time, all I knew was this: some guy my dad met off the internet. Now I’m thinking, “Child predator for sure!” He’s jumping on top of me. We’re in the wetlands. There’s nobody around. He’s just rag dolling me in the ground, threads of my shirt just ripping, spit flying out of his mouth. He’s screaming, going ballistic.

But then I hear these words. He says, “You want to be a Navy SEAL? You better stay three paces behind me.” And that’s when it clicked. That’s when it hit me that this is it. This is for real. That if I quit right now, I knew, if I quit in this moment, I will forever be a quitter. The way I respond right now is going to affect the trajectory of the rest of my life.

And so I just reaffirm in my mind, I’m dying before I quit. So, he gets up off me. He says, “Three paces.” I’m going after him. This went on for a handful of miles. He continues to turn around, smash me down, getting back up, going after him.

Finally we get to this point miles down the-the trail where he circles up, and he’s walking back and forth. And he looks like one of these UFC MMA cage fighters just ready to get it on with the guy across from him. And I don’t even want to project to him, you know, that I’m willing to fight him at all. I’m like this 19-year-old skater punk kid, so I’m thinking in my mind, “All right, Chad. No direct eye contact with this psycho.”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: “Just use your peripherals. Don’t set him off.” And he breaks this awkward tension by asking me, he says, “Hey, if we would have gone another mile or two, would you have stayed with me?” And that’s when I just told him, “Scott, I’ll die before I quit.” And he just loosens up, and he goes, “Great. You want to meet up again for another workout tomorrow?”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: First thing, I was like, “Are we going to talk about the flashback you had on the trail there? I mean, you went psycho man.”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: And he didn’t want to discuss it. And so, I’m like, “All right.” And so I’m going back home, and at first feeling humiliated, dragging my feet. I got beat up like I’d never been beat up before. But then it-it hits me, that hey, I made it through a SEAL workout. I could do this again tomorrow. I could do it again the next day. So, I kind of go from this attitude of dragging my feet to I’m excited, clicking my heels.

Well, my dad can’t wait to find out how things went. So, as I’m reaching for that front door, he’s already pulling it open. He goes, “How did it go?” And I had to let him know, “Dad, I’m going to be a Navy SEAL.” He’s like, “What?” He gets on the phone with Scott.

We all have lunch together one day. They fill me in on just this whole, you know, background going on. He goes, “What is going on? I wanted you to meet up with my son to crush him. He comes home. He wants to be a SEAL now more than ever.” And apparently Scott told him, “Look, I gave it a go, and I think your son might have what it takes. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to start meeting up with him.”

John: You’re listening to Chad Williams on today’s episode of Focus on the Family, and you can get his book called SEAL of God: The Path is Narrow, But the Reward is Great for a donation of any amount when you support the work here at Focus on the Family. Donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Let’s go ahead and hear more now from Chad Williams.

Chad: So from that day forward, I met up with this Navy SEAL, Scott Helvenston, virtually every single day. And I went from just being Bubba to eventually I became Junior. He was like a-a second father to me. And, uh, Scott’s no ordinary Navy SEAL, if there ever were such a thing. The guy holds all kinds of records. Uh, here are some of them. He’s the youngest man to have ever made it through SEAL training. And I’ll just set that up by saying he grew up in over 27 different foster homes. So, the military took him at a very early age. He finished qualified SEAL training by the time he was 17 years old. That’s the record. Nobody will ever beat that record.

He’s also a word champion pentathlete. So, you’ve heard of the triathlon, three events. Imagine five events, world champion status. On top of that, he’s the fastest Navy SEAL on the SEAL training obstacle course. So, to kind of put that in perspective, there’s an obstacle course in southern California, Coronado, San Diego. Every single Navy SEAL that ever was, is, or will be must go through this obstacle course. We get timed on it. You go through it hundreds of times. There’s not a SEAL on the face of this planet that could beat this Navy SEAL going through an obstacle course.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, here’s one more kind of funny one. I remember Scott and I; we’re going to go do some mountain climbing one day. “All right, Junior, you want to go do some mountain climbing?” I’m like, “Yeah, Scott. I’ve never been mountain climbing.”

So, I remember trying to really burn the moment, the memory into my brain. You ever done that where you’re kind of looking around, like, “I don’t want to forget this.” You’re capturing it.

And so, I remember in my capture being passenger seat, looking over at this dude that I just idolize. His arms up there on the wheel. I’m thinking, “Man, I want my arms to be like Scott’s one day.” Taking weird mental pictures…chickeh, chickeh. You know, and…

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: Scott looking over at me, and starts telling me about a TV program he was on one time called Man vs. Beast. And what it was, he explains it to me, is these Hollywood producers will take a wild animal, a beast, on this TV program and put him up against a, an athlete in a competition of strength or speed. And on this show, every single time, hands down, beast wins, human looks like a fool.

Well, Scott gets invited to go up on this program. They say, “Hey, we-we hear you’re something special. We want to know. You want to go up against the beast on Man vs. Beast?” And Scott, you know, he’s never the kind of guy to back down. They want him to go against a chimpanzee through an obstacle course. And so he goes, “Yeah, I’ll race the monkey.”

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: And so he shows up. You could probably see where this is going. They’ve got all the obstacles: the high wall, the cargo net, the ropes. The irony of it all is that by the time they got to those monkey bars, Scott’s pulling ahead of this monkey. And that’s the other record, he’s the only man to beat the beast on this TV program, Man vs. Beast.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: And I get to spend almost every day with this guy as he’s preparing me, he’s training me up, getting me ready to go through SEAL training. Uh, but our time was coming to a close. You know, I signed up. I’ve got a date. It’s set. I’m going to be shipping out.

And Scott, he took an opportunity as he put it to go overseas again. And he says, “You know, who knows, Junior? Perhaps I could make a difference.” He’s very patriotic. Cares not only about freedom as we know it here, but actually very concerned on his heart and his mind, uh, the freedom of children just caught in the midst of it all in the Middle East. He’s one of those people that really wants to make a difference.

And-and so he decides to take this opportunity. And so he actually is rolling out before I roll out for bootcamp. And he’s on the phone with me saying, “All right, Junior. About to go do this thing,” referring to going to Iraq. And he says, “I just want you to know something I’ve never told anybody that I’ve ever trained before. He says I know you’re going to make it through SEAL training.” And to hear those words from Scott, I-I can’t tell you just all the confidence that gave me. I mean, uh, that was as good as I, I knew I was going to make it then.

And so, um, he’s reminding me the timeline of things, that he’s only going to be gone a couple months, and I’m about to do this Navy bootcamp, which is about a couple months. And you know, then I go through Navy A school, and I get my opportunity to go through SEAL training. And he says, “I’m going to be back in time. We’re going to see you make it through.”

And so, uh, we say our goodbyes. Scott’s gone now, and I’m about to go. I just got a handful of days left before I go. So, I figure if I can’t work out with my mentor in person, you know, next best thing is he’s recorded some workouts for me to do and, you know, on video or whatever. And I’ll throw this in and then see what we got.

Well, I’m turning on the television, and, uh, one morning, the-the, on the screen as it pops up, Scott’s face is there on the screen. It’s a picture of him smiling, and the first thought that entered my brain was, “Scott didn’t let me know he was going to be on TV for something again.” I’m trying to figure out this picture of him smiling, and then I see in the lower third where it says his birth date followed by a dash, and it says March 31st, 2004.

And before I could really process what that meant, uh, I didn’t really have to because this still image of Scott changes to video footage. This switches to a screen where I’m looking at a guy that was like a second father to me. I mean, those arms, I’ve got a mental picture of just this day in my mind, as silly as it is.

I’m looking at him laying in the street in Fallujah, Iraq, lifeless. His vehicle is burning in the background. Uh, it was a premeditated ambush. These guys had videotaped as they’re just mutilating him and three other Americans. Uh, they’re beating, uh, wail, and just wailing with, uh, like sticks and rods. And they-they find rope, wrapping it around his legs, dragging him through the streets. And, uh, just parading him and-and three other Americans around, hanging them upside down from the Euphrates River bridge and setting them on fire. And chanting in Arabic on the screen, “Fallujah is the graveyard of Americans,” just over and over.

And you know, to this day, I-I don’t have the words to describe to you just what was going on inside of me as I’m seeing all of this. I mean, I went through all of the emotions and just, this isn’t real. It’s fake. He had to fake his death because he’s got something top secret. Like, I… But I-I knew. That’s Scott. And so there’s no denying that.

And so needless to say, it changed me big time as a human being. And one of the things was, you know, I wanted to be a SEAL for I guess you could say sort of, uh, narcissistic reasons in the very beginning. It was, I want identity. I want to do this for me. But I was beginning to learn that there’s a whole lot more to this. And one of the big motivations was I want to do this in honor and memory of Scott.

And so one of the things I did when I got to SEAL training, they, uh, let you write some motivating things on the inside of your-your hat. So, I had family and, you know, my girlfriend’s name at the time, who is my wife now. And-and Scott Helvenston. He was a big motivation for me to make it through.

And so I make it through Navy bootcamp, and I get my shot at SEAL training. And, uh, SEAL training, it is by far I think the most difficult military training there is in the world, hands down. To kind of give you guys an idea of how tough it is, uh, I’ll share this-this one thing with you. Uh, I didn’t write about it in my book. It’s not in any SEAL book. It’s not in any SEAL movie. It’s the most difficult day of SEAL training, uh, but I figured a setting like this, I could share a little something exclusive with you guys.

And so it’s the day before you graduate. See, the very first day of training when you show up, these instructors, among other things, the torture that goes on, they give you an animal to take care of, a dog, and you might think that sounds kind of cool. But the truth is that the last thing you ever want to deal with at the end of a very long day of training is some whiny, poopy, peeing dog keeping you up all night. This little puppy is like a little torture device, and the instructors know the sleep deprivation this animal will put you through.

Uh, but you know that saying, man’s best friend. I mean, it’s true. You know, as you’re proceeding through training, making it to graduation, I mean, this little dog, your little ally, your swim buddy, that’s always there by your side, begins to kind of grow on you. My dog’s name was Taco. Like, “Come on, Taco.” Right? Little guy.

And then, like I said, the most difficult day of training, this day before you graduate. In order to demonstrate as a Navy SEAL, you are prepared, if this is what’s required of you, uh, to take life. You have to take this dog that you’ve loved and-and nurtured with your own bare hands, you have to turn and break its neck.

I’m just playing with you guys.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: You don’t kill a dog in SEAL training. (Laughs) No. You actually do it to a cat, so, yeah.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: (Laughs) Meow! (Laughs) All right. The truth is, they don’t give you an animal in SEAL training, okay?

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: That’s why it’s not in any book or any movie.

Audience: (Laughter)

Chad: All right, let me be genuine. So just to be clear, you don’t need be con-contacting PETA or anything like that. We don’t torture animals in SEAL training. The most difficult part of training, it-it’s called Hell Week. This is for real. Hell Week is five and a half days long, just in a nutshell, five and a half days long. You get four hours of sleep. That’s not per night. That’s a grand total of four hours of sleep for the next five and a half days.

From the moment Hell Week begins, these instructors are getting you as cold as they can. You know how that air was pretty cold this morning? Imagine the first thing you’re waking up to is a hose just spraying you down. And that cold air and that cold water, you begin to shiver. And the shivering turns into what they call jackhammering because you look like you’re hanging onto a jackhammer as you’re performing push-ups and pull-ups and sit-ups into the thousands. You’ve got the beach sand rubbing and grinding in all the unfriendly places.

Then they send you out into the surf zone to perform what I think is really the worst part of SEAL training. Personally, this is what I felt. It’s called surf tortures, and you do this many times. Surf torture is where you lay down in the surf zone, and very similar to how it sounds, it is torture in that surf zone as you link arms with your buddies. The water is so cold, it takes your breath away. I mean, guys are going right into the, you know, hypothermia, and these instructors say, “We’re not letting any of you out of the water.”

You’re not wearing a wet suit. “We’re not letting any of you out of the water until three of you give up and quit.” And these are some pretty tough dudes that showed up to go through SEAL training. There’s already a big vetting process. You make it through, and all these guys have already declared, “I’m dying before I quit.”

And so could you imagine the battle of wills. And it is a battle. And they’ve got five and a half days to play this sadistic game. They always wind up getting their quitters. And I’ll tell you what, you-you just, you dig deeper than you’ve ever dug in your entire life to not be one of those guys.

And then we play this game over and over throughout Hell Week.” Ah, we want two quitters this time. This time we want five.” And it just gets tougher and tougher. If you’re not performing surf torture, you cover over 200 miles during these five and half days running, and that’s with a boat wherever you go on top of your head. It rubs through the hair and through the skin on the top of your head. The pressure is so great on your neck. In a class before us, a guy broke his neck under one of these boats. We had a guy break a leg.

Uh, what I just shared with you guys is a little five- and half-day snapshot of about a two-year long pipeline to make it through SEAL training. I can kind of wrap up difficulty-wise just on the numbers. The numbers speak for themselves. I showed up with the class of 173 guys. We all vowed the same thing: we’ll die before we quit.

By graduating day, there’s only 13 of that original class number still standing there. And that graduation day, I mean that was the highlight. I’ll never forget where I was at as I was walking out, looking up, thinking, “Scott, we did this.” I had his name written on the bill of my hat. I’ve got my family, my friends there, as they’re just like, “Chad, you did it. You made it.” And getting the Trident and the insignia as I become a SEAL, pinning it to my chest.

Not only was this one of the happiest moments of my life, uh, but quickly, and unfortunately, it became one of the lowest days in my life. And I didn’t understand why. And things just went downhill from there.

You know, later on, I heard these words spoken by a Christian philosopher. This is years later. He says, “One of the loneliest moments a man will ever experience is when he has achieved that which he thought would deliver the ultimate. In the end, it lets him down.” One of the loneliest moments a man will ever experience is when he has achieved that which he thought would deliver the ultimate. In the end, it lets him down. What he’s referring to right there, is just the human condition but on steroids.

John: Well, that’s where we’re going to have to end today’s presentation by Chad Williams on Focus on the Family, and we’ll hear the rest of his story next time.

Jim: John, this has been such a great reminder of the extreme physical and mental training that our troops endure, and we really do appreciate the service of our military members and their families. Uh, they serve, too, as they make do without their loved ones for such long periods of time. We owe them our deepest gratitude. And let me recommend that you get a copy of Chad’s great book, SEAL of God, uh, maybe as a gift for a service member in your family or circle of friends. Uh, you can find it at our website. And let me just say, if you’ve lost someone who was serving our country, my heart goes out to you. And I pray that the Lord will be your comfort in the days ahead. Uh, in fact, if this broadcast has brought up a painful issue for you, please visit us online for some follow-up articles, or give us a call tomorrow. Our offices are closed today in honor of the holiday, but our friendly staff members, uh, would count it a privilege to hear your concerns, pray with you, and if your situation warrants it, arrange for a callback from one of our caring Christian counselors. And let me give a big shout out to our donors who make it possible for us to offer our counseling services free of charge, and we couldn’t do it without your faithful support.

John: That is really so true, Jim, and, uh, if you as a listener give today, we’ll send a copy of Chad’s book, SEAL of God. Uh, all you need to do is make a donation of any amount, and, uh, that supports the mission that we have of helping families thrive in Christ. So, donate and request your book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or give us a call tomorrow. 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. And if you enjoyed today’s broadcast, please tell a friend to tune in next time as Chad Williams continues this incredible story.


Chad: Of course, I’m not going to let anybody know how I really feel. I mean, I’ve got my buddies patting me on the back. “You did it! You’ve got to be on top of the world!” And I’d just be like, “Yeah, living the dream! Rock star.” When in reality, I was more miserable at that stage of my life, uh, than I’d ever been.

End of Teaser

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SEAL of God: The Path is Narrow but the Reward is Great

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