Tag: Purple Heart

FORTITUDE: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage

Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules for Life meets Jocko Willink and Leif Babin’s Extreme Ownership in this tough-love leadership book from a Navy SEAL and rising star in Republican politics.

In 2012, on his third tour of duty, an improvised explosive device left Dan Crenshaw’s right eye destroyed and his left blinded. Only through the careful hand of his surgeons, and what doctors called a miracle, did Crenshaw’s left eye recover partial vision. And yet, he persevered, completing two more deployments. Why? There are certain stories we tell ourselves about the hardships we face — we can become paralyzed by adversity or we can adapt and overcome. We can be fragile or we can find our fortitude. Crenshaw delivers a set of lessons to help you do just that.

Most people’s everyday challenges aren’t as extreme as surviving combat, and yet our society is more fragile than ever: exploding with outrage, drowning in microaggressions, and devolving into divisive mob politics. The American spirit — long characterized by grit and fortitude — is unraveling. We must fix it.

That’s exactly what Crenshaw accomplishes with FORTITUDE. This book isn’t about the problem, it’s about the solution. And that solution begins with each and every one of us. We must all lighten up, toughen up, and begin treating our fellow Americans with respect and grace.

FORTITUDE is a no-nonsense advice book for finding the strength to deal with everything from menial daily frustrations to truly difficult challenges. More than that, it is a roadmap for a more resilient American culture. With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing “safety culture” of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons from history and psychology is Crenshaw’s own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs went from war zones to the halls of Congress — and managed to navigate his path with a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.

About the author …

Dan Crenshaw served as a Navy SEAL for a decade, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After being wounded in Helmand Province in 2012, he lost his right eye and required surgery to save the vision in his left. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, one with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. Retiring from the military in 2016, Crenshaw earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 2017. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2018, where he represents the Second Congressional District of Texas. He lives with his wife, Tara, and two dogs, Joey and Luna, in Houston.

My thoughts …

Dan Crenshaw is clearly a man with a mission. His book, Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage, is a call to action for all Americans who love this country to make a stand against the destructive culture of outrage and the ‘cancel culture’ that has permeated our society. Crenshaw approaches this problem with the same professionalism and attention to detail that makes the US Navy SEALs the highly effective elite military force they are.

Crenshaw clearly illustrates what it means to be a thinking American. His perspectives, while they will certainly be shocking and abhorrent to those bent on ‘fundamentally transforming’ this country into the next Venezuela, are rooted in common sense and the preservation of the United States of America as a sovereign nation.

Like Crenshaw, I believe that in this great country, you certainly have the right to live your life as you choose within the social contract provided by the rule of law. However, your rights end where they infringe on the rights of others. And, you do not have the right to never be offended. Being offended is a personal choice, controlled by the individual. You also do not have the right to erase history, destroy public or private property, or destroy the very country that protects the freedoms you choose to exercise.

There is nothing new in his ideas. Crenshaw’s book is a concise and practical restatement of things most Americans already know and believe. Unfortunately, a few too many have forgotten, being raised in a setting of unearned affluence and elitist attitudes. This has created a generation with skewed views of ungratefulness, arrogance, ignorance, shamelessness, and egocentrism.

As a former US Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander, decorated war veteran, and congressman for the state of Texas, Crenshaw brings the full prowess of his training as a SEAL to bear in his research and viewpoints. His mental toughness, worldly experience, and practical insight offer real insight into combating the subjective softness and perpetual state of outrage so many people in America suffer from today .

I rate this book 5 stars and recommend highly to anyone who might be just a bit concerned at the direction some are trying to take this country in.

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here! And check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com!

James “Willie” Williams: The Most Decorated Enlisted Sailor in Naval History

I discovered this story about James Elliott “Willy” Williams in the Navy Times November 8, 2018 Edition. It was written by Doug Sterner. It is really quite a story and the man is most certainly an American hero! You can read the story here, or click here to read this on the Navy Times website

Willy Williams, the most decorated enlisted sailor in Navy history

By: Doug Sterner   November 8, 2018

In the history of the U.S. Navy only seven men have earned all of the “Big Three” valor awards: Medal of Honor, Navy Cross and Silver Star Medal. Six were World War II officers, including one aviator and four submarine commanders. The seventh was enlisted sailor James Elliott “Willy” Williams in Vietnam.

In 1947, Williams, a 16-year-old from Fort Mill, South Carolina, enlisted in the Navy with a fraudulent birth certificate. His first 19 years in the Navy included service aboard the destroyer USS Douglas H. Fox during the Korean War and tours on a variety of naval vessels from 1953 to 1965.

In May 1966 Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Williams was assigned to River Squadron 5 in South Vietnam to command Patrol Boat, River 105. The approximately 30-foot fiberglass boat usually carried a four-man crew who patrolled inland waterways to prevent the Viet Cong from using them to transport troops and supplies.

On July 1 Williams led a patrol that came under fire from a Viet Cong sampan. His deft maneuvers and accurate fire killed five VC and resulted in capture of the enemy boat, earning Williams a Bronze Star Medal with a “V” for valor. Twenty-two days later the capture of another sampan brought Williams a second Bronze Star for valor. Less than a month later, he received a Silver Star and his first Purple Heart.

On Halloween, Oct. 31, 1966, Williams was commanding a two-boat patrol on the Mekong River when he was fired on by two sampans. He and his crew killed the occupants of one and then went after the other. That pursuit put the Navy boats into a VC staging area containing two junks and eight sampans, supported by machine guns on the river banks. Williams called for helicopter gunship support while holding the enemy at bay. During this movement he discovered an even larger force. Not waiting for the armed helicopters, Williams attacked. Maneuvering through devastating fire from enemy boats and the shore, his two-boat patrol fought a three-hour battle that destroyed or damaged 65 VC boats and eliminated some 1,200 Communist troops. For his actions, Williams was nominated for the Medal of Honor.

On Jan. 9, 1967, the Navy dredge Jamaica Bay was blown up by mines in the Mekong Delta, and PBR-105 arrived to pick up seven of the survivors. Another man was trapped in the rapidly sinking dredge. Williams dove into the water and, with a rope attached to a nearby tug, pulled clear an obstruction, then swam through a hatch to recover the sailor.

Six days later Williams was wounded while leading a three-boat patrol that interdicted a crossing attempt by three VC heavy-weapons companies of 400 fighters. He and his boats accounted for 16 VC killed, 20 wounded and the destruction of nine sampans and junks. Williams was awarded the Navy Cross.

When Williams returned home in spring 1967, he had a list of awards unmatched by any enlisted man in Navy history. He retired after 20 years of service and began a career in the U.S. Marshals Service.

willy williams

On May 14, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Williams with the Medal of Honor. For his lifesaving actions at the sinking Jamaica Bay, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, often called “the noncombat medal of honor.”

During his last seven months in the Navy, Williams received every sea-service award for heroism including the Legion of Merit with “V,” two Navy Commendation Medals for valor and three Purple Hearts.

Williams died on Oct. 13, 1999, and in 2003 his widow, Elaine, watched the launching of the Arleigh Burke class destroyer, USS James E. Williams.

Doug Sterner, an Army veteran who served two tours in Vietnam, is curator of the world’s largest database of U.S. military valor awards.

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of Vietnam Magazine, a Military Times sister publication. For more information on Vietnam Magazine and all of the HistoryNet publications, visit historynet.com.

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Be on the watch for my new thriller, Montagnard, coming out this summer, and check out the original JD Cordell military action thriller available on Amazon.com.