It was the summer of 2014, and my wife and I were passing through Butte, Montana, on a long-distance road-trip from Arizona to Banff. At the same time, we said why would anyone want to live here. Well, as it turns out, a whole lot of good people live there, including one young man who had an incredible journey from Butte to Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The Operator is the recently published book by Navy Seal Robert J. O’Neill, who is best known for firing the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden. This is a fascinating and well written story of men doing difficult things from their initial training to missions abroad and the challenges they face with their families, their friends and with their fellow operators.
While O’Neill participated in 400 missions during his career, it was surprising the number of historically significant missions he was involved with. Previously, this reader did not know that he was involved with the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, when Somali pirates had taken over the Maersk Alabama. He was also in Paktika Province (Afghanistan), when Bowe Bergdahl deserted. O’Neill and his team hunted for Bergdahl as did my paratrooper son. When my son mentioned that Seals would go on missions with his team, I wondered if it could have been O’Neill and his guys.
While the world knows about the killing of Bin Laden, O’Neill fills in the details on what actually went on inside that compound, and the tenseness of the operation. This story also makes one realize that war is a young man’s game, and this reader remains thankful that there still are Americans who serve a purpose that is greater than themselves. Read this book and be inspired!