The Fearless Giveaway


The theme of 2019 is I Will Be Fearless (see 2019: Time To Be FEARLESS post).

The seeds for this declaration were planted in the fall of 2018 when I read Eric Blehm’s biography about Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown, titled Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown ( see The Eternal Significance post from Veterans Day 2018).

The reason Eric Blehm titled Adam Brown’s biography fearless has little to do with the success that Adam achieved as a Navy SEAL. Rather, those successes are because Adam Brown had already cultivated being fearless. It started when he was a young boy. And even when he went off the deep end, when drugs reeked havoc on his life as well as his family and friends’ lives, that fearlessness is what brought him through to the other side.

Since Eric Blehm’s Fearless and Adam Brown’s story has impacted me to strongly. I’m giving away an audio or digital copy (winner’s preference) at the end of January. (Detailed instructions at the end of this post.)

Starting with a somewhat nomadic childhood, Adam spent much of his youth traveling with his family as they followed his father, Larry, wherever he could find work. It was not easy making new friends only to move six months later and start all over again. Yet, during that itinerant time, Adam learned an important lesson; the family mantra:

You gotta do what you gotta do, and when you’re done, you’ll be stronger.

The family was finally able to settle down in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where Adam and his old brother, Shawn, could plug into a school and pursue their dream of playing football. Shawn was a gifted athlete and a dream to watch on the field. Adam was not.

But, from the moment Adam watching his big brother play for the Varsity football team, he wanted to as well. So, when he got the opportunity, he showed up on the field revving to go. The coaches took on look at his diminutive size and thought, he’s not gonna make it. But, he came back to practice, endured the most vigorous and violent of sessions day after day after day until, and even begged to be allowed to participate in Blood Alley- facing off against the biggest varsity players one on one. He begged every single day until the coaches caved at the end of summer practice.

Adam stood at the end of the alley, a veritable David facing off against a Goliath varsity player. The whistle blew. Adam fired off the line. Goliath hit him hard, pushed him back, pummeled him until he rolled over. But, Adam got back up, slapped the side of his battle scarred helmet, and challenged Goliath. Let’s go again!

The whistle blew. Adam fired off the line. Only to be pounded and pummeled into the ground again. But, he got up again. Ready and raring to go.

The third time, with the same results, the coaches ended the drill. But, they learned something about Adam that day.

Says Coach Anderson, ‘That one little sophomore taught our whole team more about character in a few minutes than any of us coaches could have in an entire season. He wasn’t going to be the big star lineman like his brother was, but what impressed me was this kid was not scared. He was determined that he was not going to let his size keep him from doing whatever he wanted to do.’

As his lifelong friend Richard said:

He was proof that you didn’t have to be the biggest or the fastest to be a leader. It was his heart- his spirit- that drew people to him.

That heart- that spirit- endured, even after Adam fell into the wrong crowd and slipped into deep and heavy drug usage. For a time, everyone thought Adam was lost. He behaved in a manner thoroughly unlike himself. He was angry and manipulative and toxic. But, when he came to the end of himself, incarcerated and alone, Adam found himself on his knees, dedicating his life to Jesus, welcoming in a potent Love that would reinvigorate that fearless spirit within him.

The struggle was very real. The rehabilitation was a lifelong commitment. But, the first day of rehab, he made a declaration:

But I will climb out of this hole and be somebody.

It took years. There were a few falls off the wagon and a couple close calls, but Adam committed to those words. He wasn’t alone. He had his family. He had his faith. And he had a woman who possessed the same spirit as he who stood behind him, hanging onto him whenever he started to slip.

Because his fearless spirit preceded him, even when it was personally flagging in him, Adam received favor and was given a one chance opportunity to join the Navy SEALs. He knew how miraculous this chance was, and he knew the first time he blew it, he was out. So, he knuckled down, faced his demons head on, and refused to fail.

That commitment was one of the reasons he stood out at the rigorous Navy SEAL training BUD/S course- particularly Hell Week. 

Adam was known among the instructors for two reasons: his wife was expecting a baby, and he was one of only a few throughout the course who never once failed to give his all- and then some. His scores were not the highest, but his determination was unmatched, and that carried him into the third phase of BUD/S.

Even with the many impossible accomplishments he made in his military career- graduation from BUD/S, loss of an eye and dexterity in his dominant hand which forced him to retrain himself to fire with the same accuracy and precision with his non-dominant side, and completion of the ultra-elite DEVGRU SEALs program which ranked him in the top 1% of the SEALs- Adam never gloried in his accolades, commendations, or awards. He remained selfless and humble. He knew what he had done in his life, the wrong choices and the bad paths he’d traveled down.

He did what he had to do to get back on the right path, and it made him stronger. He refused to quit. He taxed himself to the limit- physical, mentally, and emotionally. He endured the hardest of hardships. And he could do all that because of what and Who resided in his heart.

Perfect Love had made His home there, and that made Adam Brown fearless.

Reading about Adam Brown re-awakened a truth I have long known. To be fearless starts in the heart. This year, I’m determining to make my heart the place where fearlessness of this caliber can take root and grow. I wish the same for you as well, dear readers. May we all be fearless in 2019.

The FEARLESS Giveaway Instructions:

To enter for a chance to win either an audible or digital copy (winner’s preference) of Eric Blehm’s FEARLESS: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown:

  1. You must be a subscriber to Whiskers on Kittens. If you are a current subscriber, move on to Step 2. If not, sign up with the form at the bottom of this post.

  2. Leave a comment in the comments section at the bottom of THIS post telling me why you’re interested in reading about Adam Brown.

The giveaway is open to all legal residents in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia from today, January 4th, 2019 to January 26, 2019 at 11:59 PM (CT). Winner will be announced on January 28, 2019 via email and on the blog.

I will also be donating several books to the Adam Brown Legacy Foundation as per Kelley Brown’s (Adam’s wife) request:

So many of you have asked us, “What can I do to help you, your kids, your family, financially or otherwise?” Well, what we really want to do is continue to share Adam’s story across the nation and around the world. We want to be sure we get a copy of FEARLESS into the hands of everybody who might need some help getting out of their own dark place, just like Adam did once upon a time. We know his story will inspire them to never give up, to keep getting up when they’re knocked down, and to live fearlessly. Nothing can convey that message better than the book itself.

If you’re familiar with Adam Brown’s story, or simply wish to reach out and help the family of a man who died in service to this nation, I encourage you to donate a copy of the book, too. Kelley’s letter gives lots of details how you can do just that.