Former S.E.A.L.: Love what you do

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Former Navy S.E.A.L Team Six member Howard Wasdin Tuesday encouraged educators to work together, continually try to get better, and to love what they do.

Wasdin was the keynote speaker for Andalusia City Schools’ opening in-service, held Tuesday morning at Andalusia High School.

The elite sniper-turned-chiropractor shared his experiences in Somalia, including being shot three times in the incident memorialized in the 2001 movie and now known as “Black Hawk Down.

The No. 1 reason for not winning, he said, is communication.

“For me, a sniper, it was about radio frequency,” he said. “You’ve got to get on same frequency, or there will be a communication problem.

“Is your administration a winning team,” he asked, adding that it is important that personnel in school systems follow chains of command, rather than allowing parents or students to go straight to the top to complain.

It’s also important to continually improve, he said, adding that a sniper has to prove his or her worth daily.

“Ask yourself what we can do to improve,” he counseled. “If you can’t get any better, you probably are too good for your job, and need to get on out.

“Just because something worked last year, it doesn’t mean it will in this one,” he said. “Tactics are ever evolving.”

It is important, he said, to listen to young and new members of the team, who sometimes have fresh and good ideas.

Finally, he counseled educators to do what they do with love.

“I hope everybody in the administration who became a teacher loves what they do, and can pass it on.

“I remember every single teacher I ever had,” he said. “No matter who you teach, every single person you teach will remember your name forever.

“If you’re not doing that for love anymore, take a heartfelt look at yourself. If the reason for your being a principal, a superintendent, an assistant super, or a board member is for any reason other than love, stop doing it.”

Wasdin said that, after he was shot the third time in Somalia, he had lost enough blood that he was going into shock.

“I had heard people talk about people who knew they were dying,” he said. “I was past the point of people scared and was into the acceptance phase.

“Things go in slow motion,” he said. “I was getting worried, because I didn’t see a bright light or stairs (to heaven). But what I did realize, was that I had one regret.

“I wasn’t sorry for dying – that was my commitment for you, to America,” he said. “But in my time on earth, I realized I didn’t tell people on Earth I loved them enough.

“If you’ll love each other, if the actions you take are taken out of love, it is impossible to fail,” he said. “Let me tell you, I love you all.”