Posted by: SJS | May 2, 2011

Navy pride – the SEALs

Crucial to yesterday’s astounding success of the mission to take out Osama bin Laden was the role played by the Navy’s elite special forces – the SEALs.  Operating with surgical efficiency and exquisite courage, a team of SEALs landed in bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, made short work of him and his aides, and recovered a wealth of sensitive data about Al Qaeda’s world-wide operation.  The SEALs managed to do all of this in about 40 minutes.

This is a day to celebrate the talent, bravery, and dedication of all those who serve our country in the uniform of the armed forces.  Most especially, it is a day to highlight the role of the United States Navy – past and present – in the defense of our nation. 

Red in dress blues - formal shot

Red Stahley, USN, 1944

Among the Navy’s elite in WWII were the sailors who volunteered to be a part of what was then known as the “special services” – assignment to a  submarine or a PT boat.  No sailors were randomly assigned to either of these units.  To serve on a submarine or a PT boat required an explicit request on the part of a sailor.  Red Stahley, Tom Saffles, and their fellow PT boaters made the clear choice to serve on small, vulnerable boats which would take on larger, heavier ships with much greater firepower.   History shows that the PT boats, constructed primarily of plywood, engaged the enemy more than any other class of American ship over the course of the war.  The sailors who manned those boats found themselves in harm’s way on almost every mission.

The spirit of those intrepid PT sailors lives on in today’s Navy.  Congratulations to all the veterans who served proudly in the past and those who serve today in the United States Navy.  They are among the best that this nation has ever produced. 
Our gratitude to them only grows stronger over time.     


  1. Steve,

    You really look like your dad!! It’s amazing everything you have added to the website and very interesting.


  2. Rich,

    Thanks for your supportive words. The older I get, the more easily I can see my father looking back at me when I look in the mirror! It is an experience that is both scary and comforting.


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