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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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May 31, 2021 6:00 am

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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 31, 2021 6:00 am

Hear how Navy SEAL Chad Williams escaped depression and alcoholism, and found a new lease on life through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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This is it is real that if I quit right now. I knew if I quit this moment I will forever be a quitter where respond right now is get affect the trajectory of the rest of my life and so just reaffirming my mind. I'm right dropping out of college, Chad Williams, one chance come a member of an elite military team and you'll hear his story today on this special memorial day addition of Focus on the Family with your host focus president Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John Chad Williams personifies 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. Chad will share his story of a grueling training process to become a seal and he'll pay tribute to his mentor and coach and although he had serious responsibilities. Chad takes a lighthearted approach to his story, which I think everyone will enjoy. Chad is a frequent guest on top. New shows that when the topic relates to military operations, especially in the Middle East and is the author of the best-selling book called seal of God. The path is narrow, but the reward is great and you can get that book from us when you follow the link in the show notes.

Here's Chad Williams. Now speaking to a group of men at an event hosted by wingmen ministries on today's episode of Focus on the Family, a former US Navy seal.

I imagine most guys know what else are you not typically after Lane to the women. One time, there is one that actually asked me to go. So do you work at Sea world or something. No, maybe you guys didn't know this but seal is actually an acronym that stands for our areas of operation. See air and land and I think most people pretty surprised to find out after bin Laden that Navy SEALs are operating on land expected to stick to waterborne operation so a lot of people can't scratch their heads asking like what is our public Pakistanis guys can crawl.

Not ever. Something Ron land to give you guys an idea of what my team was doing on our last appointment I was out in Iraq and we were tasked with working with the Iraqi special operations forces in one of our goals lower over there to hunt down men and make suicide Besson is outside bonds IDs we wanted to train the ice off how to do this job themselves and so kind of makes sense you want to pull all of the place like Iraq we got a teach up their own countrymen. The run special operations forces how to do the work and were 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, assorted graduation operation will let the ice off plan the whole thing from the ground up and will be there with them just in case things hit the fan. So they start from scratch. They go on the street to get a source of information that tells them about a man that's an Iraqi policeman by day, but at night back home is one of these bomb makers give you an idea of the type of character that makes these suicide vest. For instance, and often times are not the ones that want to wear themselves and in fact they have such a difficult time finding somebody else to put one on that in one instance over there. They took two mentally handicapped women strapped these vests on to them and they shut them off into a crowded marketplace and watch from a distance as they set it off with the remote like cowards killing these women into so many more self gives you an idea of the type scumbags were going for here about.

We got these guys number the isotopic got this whole plan where he lives how they want to approach the house get in extracting the presenting all these things to us and they say one other thing, though, they say, when we operate with you seals, we see that we get shot at more than you guys do we think we figured out why I guy out. What is it in their convinced that it was just merely the color of her uniforms since the uniforms the really so they say were wondering if you'd be willing to maybe take off your American car uniforms for this final operation. We've got a pile of ice off uniforms you guys could put on Circle K's get this straight. You want to get shot at more with you in there like yes that's right fine so picture this to say, you know, my dark complexion start drawing out little facial hair getaways guys uniforms. I blended just fine with these fellas over there that my wife and try to motivate me to shave by let me know it's time to cut it down because I look like I belong to bin Laden family or something.

So here we go blended in with these guys is the final operation and I happen to be standing up in the Humvee. The torrid that night behind the 50 caliber machine gun. That's the showstopper I member I got my night vision goggles on.

Looking through my green little world. I got my weapon had space and time rated go kinda going over this in my mind where this guy lives, how were going to get on this is business as usual. But there's one other unique I know that popped in my head.

I couldn't help but realize that I know this is the final operation which means just a matter of days from now, I know. Maybe back home in Huntington Beach California serpent in the ocean, lobster diving, but what we didn't know about that night was that we are actually being set up the entire time. I did get thrown into real nasty ambush I were really about to get into the worst circumstances we been in this entire deployment as were getting into a bow for our lives before I had on what happened that night.

I want to kinda backstop a little bit and share with you guys a little bit of my road to becoming seal fresh at a high school going to the local community college.

I didn't have any real big plans.

I'm feeling 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 the end of the year.

It's time to take finals and 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 to do anything right.

Be a pro ballplayer. What ever I'm thinking it's time to do something here something. What am I doing with my life.

I all I know is I want to do something big. I wanted to see something go for something great. I want some identity. And so I start thinking what is that and I think I come up with the perfect plan sitting there in my truck about to go to class I going to do on the bill become an Alaskan crab fisherman yeah deadliest cats by far were the most dangerous jobs in the world at that. There's some bragging rights, and that right there in this other idea pops in my head.

Why can I go join the military and be a part of the most elite go to that most difficult ruling military training.

I know what I want to be.

I want to be a Navy seal.

So right there school parking lot about the take finals. I just decide that's woman's with my life on the be a Navy seal.

So my first order of business is this I got a go to class anymore, to be a frog man start my truck up and I left the school, except that I let my dad know some bad news and good news is I put it so I let him know it's going on. Failing all these classes.

Good news.

Glad you asked dad's okay I got a plan.

I'm going to be a Navy seal is looking at me and here comes my dad.

The voice of reason is, watch the track record of my life and is a chat during the military is not like anything you've ever done in the past when you decide you're over you could just stop does not like playing ball or skateboarding are just going to the local community college. If you join the military.

For some reason you find out it's not for you. Suppose you quit seal training. You can't just get out because he was can happen to you find yourself stuck in the military chip paying off some boat Japan.

I can argue with his logic. I don't have the greatest track record that I knew I was determined I'm done before I quit. So what are my dues for a typical young father-son relationship by the school storming out of their whatever dad you know it.

Meanwhile, I'm preparing I'm doing the running.

The swimming pulse push-ups everything running past the house like I'm the Rocky to stanch content that does looking out the window and causing back up one day sit so you really want to do this you want to be a seal yet I want to be a seal was great. I set up a workout for you with a Navy seal check on my computer screen and never forget looking over his computer and reading this little one-liner in an email says, can Chad come out and play tomorrow playing my dad you don't know any Navy SEALs. Some guy in off the Internet wants to play with in your setting this up because he's a seal. Chad on my very skeptical okay you know well there is more of a conversation my dad had with this Navy seal by the name of Scott help Winston that I didn't know at the time I got the back story later but it'll do you got some good to know it now. He spent some time on the phone with Scotty since he looked my son you wants to be a Navy seal is 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 this desire becoming a seal out of him. So Scott apparently after thinking about it for a while shoots off this email contract amount 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 yes sir all right Bubba I was Bubba from that point forward on our air guys got me doing some pull up some push-ups and whatnot not that difficult sends me off on a run a says you can catch up after about 15 minutes it's in gear you want 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 I'm thinking versus Navy seal and I start thinking exactly catch me and I start cranking up the speed. I'm thinking of all the buddies on many bragging to others.

Navy seal can catch me on a run as I'm looking back it's just like that movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator two. There's a scene in the movie were the bad guy called the T 1000 can morph into these nightstands and chase down a moving vehicle less than Navy seal T. 1009 hands coming down this trail nothing I could do to keep the distance he discloses. This gap gets arrived to where I am. I'm going so fast.

I mean I don't have time to spit because I'm breathing so hard.

Will he just stops and turns around on a dime and I never saw those coming next. I was greeted by his fist just inhaling my stomach. I'm close line going for ride 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 the spoon fed Dirks 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 guys my dad met up the Internet now think it's their first sure he's jumping on top of me were in the wetlands is nobody around just ragdoll me in the ground threads my shirt written spit line out of his mouth. He screamed 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. I mean, that's when it hit me that this is it. This is for real. If I quit right now. I knew if I quit this moment I will forever be a quitter where respond right now is going to affect the trajectory of the rest of my life and so I just reaffirming my mind. I'm dying before I quit gets up off Lisa's three paces. I'm going after him.

This went on for a handful of miles. He continues to turn around smash me down, get back up going out from filing to get to this point miles down the trail he circles up is walking back and forth that he looks like one of these you will see in a cage fighters just Ray to get it on with the guy across from him and I didn't want to project him that I'm willing to fight him on like this 19-year-old skater punk kid some thinking in my mind. All right Chad no direct eye contact decide to choose your peripherals don't send them off any breaks his awkward tension by asking me says hey if you want to go another mile or two would you stayed with me. That's what's told Scott die before I quit and he just loosens up. He goes great. Want to meet up again for another workout tomorrow first thing is we can talk about the flashback you had on the trail there website will man didn't want to discuss it all right and so going back home and at first feeling humiliated, dragging my feet.

I got beat up like I've never been beat up before, but then it hits me. They I made the rooster workout I could do this again tomorrow. I could do it again the next day.

Second ago from this attitude, dragging my feet on excited clicking my heels will my dad can't wait to find out things went so as I'm reaching for that front door. He's arty pulling it open. He goes how to go as low no damn I'm to be a Navy seal lights gets on the phone with Scott.

We all have lunch together one day.

They fill me in on this is hold your background on articles what is going on. I want you to meet up my son to crush only comes only wants to be a still more now than ever.

And apparently Scott told her look I gave it a go and I think your son might have what it takes.

And if you don't mind I lecture meeting up with them. So from that day forward I met up with this Navy seal, Scott held instant virtually every single day and I went from just being Bubba to eventually became Junior he was like a second father to me and discuss no ordinary Navy SEALs ever were such a thing that holds all kinds of records. I hear some of them use the youngest man to have ever made it through seal training in how to set that up by saying he grew up in over 27 different foster homes, so the military to commit a very early age. He finished qualified seal training. By the time he is 17 years old. That's the record.

Nobel ever beat that record is also a world champion pen at the leasee for the triathlon. Three events mentioned five advanced world champion status on top of that is the fastest Navy seal on the seal training obstacle course. So can you put that in perspective, there is an obstacle course in Southern California, Coronado, San Diego, every single Navy seal that ever was, is or will be, must go through this optical course would get go through it hundreds of times to see on the face of this planet that could beat this Navy seal coin through an obstacle course if that doesn't do it for you. Here's one more kind of 21 member Scott and I were going to go do some mountain climbing. One day I Junior wanted to do some on climate gas got never been mountain climbing, so I remember trying to really burn the moment the memory into my brain ever done that we can look at right. I want to forget this year capturing in so I remember in my capture being passenger seat looking over this dude that I just idolizes arms up there on the wheel and thinking man will my arms get Scott's one day thinking weird mental pictures. Can't you can you not Scott looking Arlene first tell me about a TV program is on one time man, first beast and what it was. He explains it to me as these Hollywood producer take a wild animal beast on this TV program and put them up against an athlete in a competition, a strength or speeding on the show every single time hands-down beast when human looks like a fool.

Will Scott gets invited go up on this program I say hey we we hear something special you want to know you want to go because the beast on members Beeson Scott you know he's never the kind of got it back down the one to go get the chimpanzee to an obstacle course and so I guess now is the monkey and SOA shows up you probably see where this is going. They got all the obstacles the high wall the carbon at the ropes. The irony of it all is that by the time they got to those monkey bars. Scott's point had this monkey and that's the other record is the only man to beat the beast on this TV program & fees and I get to spend almost every day with this guys he's preparing me is training me up getting me ready to go through seal training about our time was coming to a close. You I signed up I got a date. It set to be shipping out in Scott.

He took an opportunity. She put it to go overseas again aces you know who knows Junior perhaps I can make a difference is very patriotic cares not only about freedom, as we know it here but actually very concerned on his heart is mine.

The freedom of children to Scott in the midst of it on the middle leasee is one of those people that really wants to make a difference and so she decides to take this opportunity so he actually is rolling out before I roll out for boot camp and he's on the phone with me saying I Junior back to go do this thing referring to going to Iraq and he says I just want 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 can't say just all the confidence that gave me. I mean, that was as good as I was going to make it then and so is reminding me the timeline of things that he's only to be gone a couple months and about to do this, Navy boot camp which is about a couple months and then I go to Navy a school.

I get my opportunity go through seal training and he says to be back in time to see you make it through SOL. We said goodbye. Scott's gone now and I'm about the guys got a handful of days left before I go, so I figure if I can't work out my mentor person and next best thing is she's record some workouts for me to do and you don't video whatever I'll throw this in and see what we got while I'm turning on the television and one morning that the on the screen as it pops up. Scott spaces there on the screen. It's a picture of him smiling in the first thought that entered my brain was Scott did let me know is going to be on TV for something again. I'm trying to figure out this picture from smiling and then I see in the lower third were says his birthday, followed by this is March 31, 2004 before I can really process what that meant they really have to because is still limited. 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 got a mental picture of this day in my mind. Still, it is is I'm looking at him, laying in the street in Falluja, Iraq, lifeless is vehicles burning in the background. It was a premeditated ambush these because the videotaped is there just mutilating him and three other Americans there beating the whale and wailing with them to extinction rods and think they find rope wrapping around his legs dragged him to the streets and aspirating him in and through other Americans around hang them upside down from the Euphrates River bridge and setting them on fire and chanting in Arabic on the screen.

Falluja is the graveyard of American just over and over and to this day I don't have the words to describe to you just what was going on inside of me as I'm seeing all this to mean I went through all of the emotions and justice isn't real. It's fake had to fake his death because he got something top-secret like I but I I knew that Scott so there's no denying that. And so needless to say it change me big time as a human being in one of the things was you and I want to be a seal for I guess you could say sort of narcissistic reasons in the very beginning it was.

I one identity I want to do this for me, but I was beginning to learn that there's a whole lot more to this in one of the big motivations was, I want to do this in honor member Scott and so one of the things I did when I got to seal training they let you write some motivated things on the inside of your your hats. I have family and you know my girlfriend's name at the time with my wife now and Scott how instant he was a big motivation for me to make it through. So I make it to Navy boot camp. I get my shot at seal training and a seal training. It is by far think the most difficult military training. There is in the world. Hands down kinda give you guys an idea of how tough it is officer this this one thing with you and write about it in my book. It's not any silk focus on a seal movie is the most difficult day of seal training, but I figure setting like this like a shareable something exclusive with you guys and so is the day before you graduate to the very first day training when you show what these instructors among other things, the torture that goes on they give you an animal to take care of a dog you might think that sounds kinda 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 puppies like a little torture device and instructors know the sleep deprivation. This animal put you through a but you know that same man's best friend me is true and is your proceeding through training, making it to graduation. I mean this little dog a little outlier swim, but it's always there by her side begins to kinda grow on you. My dog's name was taco, but come on top go right little guys 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 to take life you have to take this dog that you love didn't nurture with their own bare hands. You have to turn and break its neck. I'm just playing with you guys.

You actually do it to a cat so I insert is they don't get it animal and seal training okay.

That's why it's not any book. In moving our limited be ingenuous is to be clear, you don't need begun contacting Peter anything like that. We don't torture animals training the most difficult part of training it's it's called hell week. This is for real.

Hell week is 5 1/2 days launched in a nutshell, 5 1/2 days long for her to sleep. That's not per night.

That's a grand total four hours of sleep in the next five and half days from the moment hell week begins.

These instructors are getting US because they can't know that air was pretty cold this morning. Imagine the first thing you're waking up to is a hose to spring you down in that cold air in that cold water you begin to shiver and the shivering turns into what they call Jack Hamrick. As you look after hanging onto a jackhammer as your performing push-ups and pull-ups and situps into the thousands.

You got the beach sand rubbing and grinding and all the unfriendly places. Then they send you out to serve some to perform what I think is really the worst part of filtering personally so I felt Scott surf torturous and you do this many times surf torturous for you laid out in the surf sound very similar. How sounds it is torture in that service out to link arms with your buddies the water so cold it takes your breath away. I'm you guys are going right into the hypothermia and instructor say were not letting any of you out of the water in our wetsuit and you are the water through you give up and quit. And these are some pretty tough dues 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.

So could you imagine the battle of wills. It is a battle and they got five days to play the sadistic game they always wind up getting their quitters tell you what you just you dig deeper than you've ever dug in your entire life to not be one of those guys and we play this game over and over throughout hell week. We want to quitters.

This time the sun we want five. It just gets tougher and tougher if you're not performing surf torture you cover for 200 miles.

During these five and half days running. And that's with the boat wherever you go on top of your head and rub through the hair into the skin of the top your head. The pressure so great on your neck in a class before the guy broke his neck underneath one of these boats with a guy break a leg. What I just share with you guys lose 5 1/2 day snapshot of about a two year long pipeline to make it through seal training I'm gonna wrap up difficulty wise just on the numbers. The numbers speak for themselves. I showed up with the class CLXXIII guys. We all Val the same thing will die before we quit by graduation day. There's only 13 of that original class number still standing there and that graduation day. I mean, that was the highlight on their forget where I was.

As I was walking out looking up thinking Scott. We did this is name written on the bill of my hat I got my family, my friends, there is theirs. I checked you did it. You may didn't get in the Trident insignia says I become a seal pin in my chest. Not only was this one of the happiest moments of my life about 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. Later on I heard these words spoken by Christian philosophers. This is years later. He says one the loneliest moments a man will ever experience is when he has achieved that what she thought would deliver the ultimate in the end it lets him down or the loneliest moments metal ever experience with achieved that which he thought would deliver the ultimate in the end it lets him down what is referring to write their human condition, but on steroids. In today's presentation by Chad Williams on Focus on the Family and will hear the rest of his story. Next time, John. This has been such a great reminder of the extreme physical and mental training that her troops endure and we really do appreciate the service of our military members and their families they serve to those 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 books seal of God. Maybe as a gift for service member in your family or circle of friends you can find it at her website and let me just say if you've lost someone who was serving our country.

My heart goes out to you.

I pray that the Lord will be your comfort in the days ahead.

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 would count it a privilege to hear your concerns. Pray with you and if your situation warrants it.

Arrange for call back 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.

We couldn't do without your faithful support that is really so true Jim and if you as a listener gift today will send a copy of Chad's books seal of God. All you need to do is make a donation of any amount, and that supports the mission that we have of helping families thrive in Christ. So, follow the link in the episode notes or give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family and if you enjoyed today's broadcast. Please tell a friend to tune in next time is Chad Williams continues this incredible story, of course I'll not tell anybody know how I really feel I mean I got my buddies fat in the fat gotta be on top of the world and back that I live in a dream rockstar when reality is more miserable at that stage of my life that I never been on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for this Focus on the Family podcast take a moment to give us a rating please that's really helped. And for now, I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once more help you and your family thrive. You've read accounts in the Bible how Christ so many people, but we really know very little about the lives of those early followers of Jesus chose and I've called you by name imagines what life was like those who followed Christ based on the widely acclaimed TV series. The chosen this Focus on the Family book by best-selling author Jerry Jenkins rings color and depth to the people surrounding Christ. You can find out

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