by WES FERGUSON
A former Navy SEAL who lives in Hays County offered congratulations to the SEAL team members who carried out the weekend raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
“I’m proud,” said Larry Burchett, who served on the Underwater Demolition Team/SEAL team during the 1970s. SEAL is an acronym for Sea, Air and Land. “These are the highest trained personnel in the Armed Forces we have today, and that’s why they were chosen to do this operation. Once they found him, they just did their job. And from what everything I heard, they did it correctly. Not a man was hurt or lost.”
Burchett, a realtor from Manchaca, is the Central Texas Chapter president of the UDT-SEAL Association, a national group of current and former SEALs, surviving spouses and support staff.
Much has changed for the SEALs since Burchett left the team in 1975, he said.
“In my day, you lit the fuse and ran,” he explained. “Today, with the education these gentlemen have to have to become team members, there’s so much more than what I went through. Our training was mostly physical. They still have the physical aspect, but they have to have the technical training to go along with it. The weapons are so much more sophisticated.”
Burchett met several current SEAL team members during a reunion last summer.
“They’re the same men. They’re determined, they’re dedicated and they’re fearless, or they wouldn’t be SEALs,” he said. “The training they go through – it’s hard to explain how difficult it is. Very few make it.”
As for the SEALs who killed bin Laden, Burchett added that he’s glad they’re home safe.
“I’m glad this is over,” he said. “I have to feel, like most Americans, there may be some retaliation that we need to be aware of. From what I understand, the country as a whole is already watching that, and our government is. The alert status is increased, as it should.”
WES FERGUSON reports for the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.Email | Print