Seal of God Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)
Just days before Chad Williams was scheduled to report for basic training at the Great Lakes naval base, he turned on the television and was greeted with the horrifying image of his mentor and training partner, US Navy SEAL Scott Helvenston, being brutally murdered in a premeditated ambush on the streets of Fallujah, Iraq. Steeled in his resolve, Chad committed himself to completing the US military’s most difficult training to become a Navy SEAL - and avenge his friend’s death.
One of only 13 out of a class of 173 to make it straight through to graduation, Chad went on to serve on SEAL Teams 1 and 7, completing tours of duty in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and finally Iraq. There, Chad’s journey came full circle when his team was ambushed by enemy machine gunners - close to the same road where his hero had been killed five years earlier.
SEAL of God follows Chad’s extraordinary journey through 25 grueling weeks of BUD/S training and onto the hostile streets of Al Anbar Province, Iraq, where he witnessed the horrors of war up close. Along the way, Chad shares his own radical conversion story and discovers the true meaning of ultimate sacrifice.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 46 minutes|
|Author||Chad Williams, David Thomas|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||May 22, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #11,418 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#18 in Biographies of Religious Figures
#19 in Special Forces Military History
#35 in Intelligence & Espionage History
Top reviews from the United States
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Beyond doubt it weeds out the physically and mentally weak, but does it select the best?
Williams was brutally hazed and quietly ushered out of the navy before it became a scandal
I've read enough other books about the SEALS to put together a picture that shows a lot of tough, but not especially well-balanced men make the cut.
I know the navy itself has questioned this. Perhaps the time has come to balance the physical test with intelligence and emotional qualifications
(DON'T READ THE FOLLOWING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT)
First, it was very interesting to see into the reckless life of a very young man, and how he flipped and flopped around thru school and skate boarding and so on.
Second, it was fascinating to see how such an apparent loser in the school system had such incredible determination and dedication -- way beyond what I have -- when it came to becoming a SEAL. What can we learn about mentoring from Chad's experience with Scott before he died?
Third, the insights into the SEAL training were a real eye-opened to me. The physical and psychological endurance of these guys is simply astounding, and this is shown by the 173 that entered versus the 13 that completed.
Fourth, the emptiness inside Chad Williams, after reaching the top of the mountain, speaks of the human condition, and how all desire to fill our hearts with some sort of God or gods. I found the same let-down after completing my PhD. In Chad's case, he went after wine, woman and song so to speak, but found emptiness and oblivion. Eventually this emptiness and meaninglessness was filled by Jesus of Nazareth, not thru apologetic arguments, but rather by Greg Lawrie preaching the Scriptures. However, a very pleasing aspect to the book was Chad's subsequent embrace of Christian apologetics, however I would like to have seen him go beyond Ray Comfort and Lee Strobel and speak also of the myriad of top-notch Christian apologists (Dr. William Lane Craig, Prof. John Lennox from Oxford, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, and so on.......).
Fifth, the dedication that Chad showed to Christ after his conversion, especially in the face of very nasty persecution within the SEALs, is an inspiration to us Christians who are in a constant battle -- just not the same type of battle that Chad was trained to encounter. Chad encouraged me to "harden up" in the faith, and be further inspired by his dedication and that of the Apostle Paul and Jesus and others.
Sixth, the romance part was nice nice and I hope they live happily ever after. I'm sure that Chad and his new wife could offer some wisdom to new converts whose zeal is so intense but out of control like an unguided missile.
Finally, I think I would like to see Chad advance in his public speaking and testimony for Christ. He has a great story, and that is important for 21st century guerrilla warfare apologetics and evangelism. However it needs to be coupled further into theology, and expressed in a way that is relevant to young people facing the struggles and temptation of life.
The book has a website here:[...]
and a YouTube video here: [...]
That being properly vented, I dare saying it was even a bit better than I expected. The story itself is very enjoyable and the author talks about several aspects of the military training to which I was completely oblivious: the ordeals, the risks, the psychological effects it has on people. So far, I had only seen war through news and video games, but reading reports of war written by someone who has actually been there and seen all sort of things is a different thing. It was also interesting to know more about how the Navy SEALs acted when they were not working (and I was actually disappointed to see that some of them are no better than reckless teenagers, even when they have families worried about them back home), how was their lives as civvies (or at least part of it), how was their relationship with their colleagues (even though I thought this part was a bit lacking, but given the personality Williams said he had, it wasn't anything I was not expecting).
Even after the book started to have a stronger religious appeal (which I usually dislike - and SEAL of God was no exception), the story did not go downhill as I imagined it was about to happen (well, at least not until the final pages, when he finally drops off his job as a Navy). In fact, the story got even more interesting because, aside the excessive Bible quotations, Chad's most difficult problems actually seemed to start at that point, and this is what I really wanted to know regarding a soldier in war: not how his faith was tested, but how he dealt with personal issues in the middle of the battlefield.
Overall, I'm glad to say that this is a book that was definitely worth reading. It was really tough to put it down. But I think that for my next war-related reading, I'll look for something with a lesser religious appeal, for the sake of my own sanity.
Top reviews from other countries
a. you are at all interested in what life is like for a SEAL
b. what it is like to train to be a SEAL
c. what it is like to make tough decisions with regards to career vs. call of God on your life.
It is written in a very basic style i.e. just plain narrative. Some of the descriptions don't have enough depth so you don't really get the full understanding of the difficulty of SEAL training (not that I know what the 'full difficulty' is given I have never done it!).
But if you've got friends who are army-oriented and are Christians, or you are witnessing to then they'll find this interesting as well.
Full of admiration for what SEAL's have to go through and even more admiration when one becomes a Christian!!!
I look forward to more adventures from this brave new Christian gent...
I read the Kindle version first as amazon having trouble delivering my hardcopy.I shall be getting more hardcopies to give away to family and friends.
It has given me something which I had lost that is "LOVE AND BELIEF IN GOD"
Brian Hamilton. Zoersel. Belgium.