Writing about special forces and military operations has often created popular literary works, but sometimes real-life events can propel these works to even greater notoriety. Such is the case with BYU–Hawaii alumnus Stephen Templin, who co-authored the newly-released book SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper (published May 2011). The book has achieved significant attention and popularity within a short time because SEAL Team Six was the same unit that recently killed Osama bin Ladin.
The book gives readers a glimpse into the life of a SEAL, particularly one from the famous “Team Six,” as it explores the experience of co-author and former SEAL team member Howard Wasdin, who Templin met during Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training. Years after the training, Templin had a chance encounter with Wasdin’s name in a book in the Los Angeles airport and contacted Wasdin to see if he would be interested in sharing his biography with the world. “Writing the book has been a thrill for me, but it has also been tough finishing my Ph.D. in education [at the same time],” Templin comments.
“The public’s response has been overwhelming,” says Templin, who was interviewed by media in France, the Netherlands, and Chile. “Our publisher immediately flew [Wasdin] to New York to interview on all the major news TV shows, magazines, and newspapers,” Templin continues. “[Wasdin] did somewhere between 50-100 interviews in a few days.” Pulitzer Prize winning critic, Michiko Kakutani, gave the book an excellent review, saying that it “will leave readers with a new appreciation of the training that enabled SEAL Team Six to pull off the Bin Laden raid with such precision.”
Templin graduated from BYU–Hawaii magna cum laud in 1994 with a degree in TESOL and a minor in Japanese. He currently lives in Japan with his wife and two children and works as an associate professor at Meio University in Okinawa. Templin says of his BYU–Hawaii experience, “I think the biggest effect BYU–Hawaii has had on my life is giving me the ideas and theories of humans in the context of eternal truths. It’s easy to get confused in this world without such an education.”
Photo courtesy of Stephen Templin