OCEANSIDE — San Diego Navy SEAL Rorke Denver shares his personal experiences serving as Navy SEAL for 13 years in his just published book “Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior.”
The book talks about his inspiration to join, intensive training and on the job operations.
Denver set his sights on being a SEAL while he was attending Syracuse University and read a book on Winston Churchill.
“It was as close to a calling as I can ever remember,” Denver said. “It was the right thing to do. It was a good fit for me to serve.”
Denver said the elite brotherhood of the SEALs special operations command provided him valuable life lessons. SEALs are required to take on aggressive target operations with discipline and focus. Eighty percent of men who try out for the SEALs do not make it through.
“It’s an elite aggressive unit,” Denver said. “It’s challenging just to survive. We’re trained combat warriors.”
“The lessons come hard and fast,” he added. “You can’t have any quit.”
Rapid responses, daylight patrols, sniper visions and Iraqi military training were all part of the job.
“We partnered with Iraq military training to prepare them to deal with the military requirements of opposition against the enemy,” Denver said. “The Sunni Triangle are hard line fighters.”
Denver shares his point of view throughout the book and tackles topics like fear on the battlefield. He said fear is handled in a lot of different ways.
“Some people use fear as fuel and some people are paralyzed by it,” Denver said.
“I wasn’t afraid on the battlefield,” he added. “I was with a team of professionals I knew would take care of me.”
Out of his core unit of 25 SEALs, two were killed.
“We disrupted the enemy and helped turn the tide in the war,” Denver said.
Denver also includes personal accounts in his book of moments with his wife and his wishes for his two children.
Denver said his highest reward is working with fellow SEALs.
“I never felt more honored to participate in something,” Denver said. “Everyone was in the fight together serving our country.”
“It’s an intense type of family bond,” he added. “We’re brothers and teammates.”
Denver said he hopes the lessons he learned as a SEAL will inspire others.
“We focused on the mission at hand — never wavering,” Denver said. “The concepts translate to personal life beyond the battlefield.”
Denver currently serves as a SEAL reservist.
Denver will be at Barnes and Noble, 2615 Vista Way, at 7 p.m. March 12 to discuss and sign his book.