The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage


“It’s no small feat to make a difference in somebody’s life, and Greitens has written a book that is a fitting honor to all the people who made a difference in his. By sharing these stories with young readers, he now has a chance to make a difference in a few more.”- The New York Times
imagesRegarding The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage, by
Eric Greitens, Amazon reviewer By Ken C.  said:

The episodic nature of this book will make it a popular title on the nonfiction shelf. Greitens first talks about his experiences with boxing lessons and humanitarian trips to Bosnia, Rwanda, and Bolivia. Each serves as concrete evidence of the author’s self-discipline and commitment to others. And each is depicted in Greitens’ spare, straightforward writing style.From these early missions, the book moves into Greitens’ long road to becoming a Navy SEAL. The reader is treated to snapshots of many of his comrades and the training regime they suffered to become one of these rare warriors. Though never heavy-handed, Eric Greitens also uses the people he meets as character examples — men that inspired him. Young people should be moved by these examples, as well as by Greitens’ call to action at the end of the book, where he asks that they answer the call to serve by volunteering and making their world (country, town, school, neighborhood, family) a better place.

In this adaptation of his best-selling book, The Heart and the Fist: The education of a humanitarian, the making of a Navy SEAL, Eric speaks directly to teen readers, interweaving memoir and intimate second-person narratives that ask the reader to put themselves in the shoes of himself and others. Readers will share in Eric’s evolution from average kid to globe-traveling humanitarian to warrior, training and serving with the most elite military outfit in the world: the Navy SEALs. Along the way, they’ll be asked to consider the power of choices, of making the decision each and every day to act with courage and compassion so that they grow to be tomorrow’s heroes. Sure to inspire and motivate.Here are some quotes from the book, along with a few of my thoughts:

Pg. 5″Like many American kids, I grew up learning about a world populated by heroes…. I worried that all the corners of the Earth had been explored, all the great battles fought…..My fear was that I’d miss my chance at a meaningful life.”

What little kid doesn’t dream of making a difference? What little boy or girl doesn’t dream of being the hero or heroine.  Whether they dream of being a policeman or firefighter, the momma or the one who breaks the spell, every child dreams of having the power to make a difference.

Pg. 6His parents had told him,  “perhaps since kindergarten–that I should work hard so I could go to a place called college.  College, they promised, was the ticket…. I imagined the ticket as something golden and shiny, like a ticket for a train that would hurtle me to a place filled with adventures.”

I identify with this because my parents wanted their children to go to college and I dreamed of it.  As a parent, I encourage my children to prepare themselves for college and love to hear their dreams of the things they can do and become.

Pg. 137Eric hits it right on the head when he said of applying for a Rhodes Scholarship,  “…I had high hopes.  Doing humanitarian work overseas, I realized it isn’t enough to fight for a better world: we also have to live lives worth fighting for.”

How true.

Pg 176-177In Eric’s observation, “Many of the guys grew up in a culture where they’d inherited ideals about manhood from beer commercials and sitcoms.  And whether the men they saw on TV were portrayed as overgrown and selfish boys, or as wimps and goofballs, the men who came to BUD/S knew—even if they didn’t articulate it–that there had to be more to being a man than that.” Eric illustrates the need that many young people feel in our society face.  Too many young men and women need role models like the one Eric describes in his book: “Senior Chief Salazar…..was the eptiome of an excellent trainer.  Every man in our class admired him…..That day on the beach …..he said, “You know what, guys?  I want to tell you something about that it means to be a real frogman.”  “If you’re a real frogman,” he said, “then every time a woman leaves your side, she’ll feel better about herself.”

Amen!I plan to read this book to my children because it shows a wonderful example of a life well-lived. The work demonstrates the kind of effort that we should each give to living and serving our country and each other.  It also has many excellent observations and insights on the nature of service and about acting with courage and compassion.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I am so pleased you’ve found so much that resonates in this book. I’m proud to have edited this special and important book.

  2. That is great, Emma. And you know how much we admire your work.

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