SEAL Target Geronimo coverWe all want to know what REALLY happened in Abbottabad the night the Navy SEALs took down Bin Laden. Now we can. Thanks to my friend Chuck whose book, SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story on the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden, is officially released next Tuesday. If anyone can give you the straight scoop, it would definitely be Chuck. He, himself, was a leader of SEAL Team Six back in the day. I can’t tell you about any of his missions (or I would have to kill you and he would have to kill me). But suffice it to say that there was a moment when he had his foot on the neck of the Achille Lauro hijacker, terrorist Abu Abbas. (If you don’t remember the Reagan years, Google Achille Lauro or Abu Abbas to see why Chuck still grimaces when he eats spaghetti.)

So trust me when I say, Chuck had all the contacts when it came to writing the definitive dissection of the Geronimo mission. This was no Monday morning quarterback job! Chuck travelled back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as conducting extensive interviews with SEALs and behind the scenes personal in D.C. and Norfolk, to flesh out the long backstory of how the SEALs prepared, organized and researched this mission. It may have taken minutes to put that hole in Bin Laden’s head, but it was years in the intricate and exhaustive planning.

I’m telling you, it’s a fascinating read. But don’t take my word for it. Doug Stanton, author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers, says:

“Chuck Pfarrer writes with the brilliant eye of a novelist and the real-world authority of a soldier who has fought in the world’s most mysterious corners. He’s not only a poet and soldier, but also a deeply read historian. Pfarrer has written a true page-turner about the inside story of Operation Neptune’s Spear. There is enough action here, enough human drama, enough fascinating history, to keep you reading until dawn–you simply have to know what happens next. SEAL Target Geronimo is first-rate storytelling. It’s an amazing story, written about a world no one knows better than Chuck Pfarrer himself.”

Yeah, what he said. Since I can’t add better than that, let me offer some behind the scenes insights to Chuck that only I, who have known him since we were 14, can add. Yes, my aim is to embarrass him as only your oldest friend can. You need to understand how potentially dangerous this is, because Chuck is a bad-ass mo-fo (that’s a professional military term). Yet he remains refreshingly humble and self-depreciating. When he learned that someone once remarked “Chuck has covered himself in glory”, he ever after referred to it as “covering himself in rug cleaner.”

Chuck Pfarrer in mufti

Trust me, you don't want to meet this guy in a back alley in Islamabad. And this is just what he wears on a book research mission.

After a distinguished military career, Chuck was nearly felled by an aggressive cancer. But after the removal of most of one lung, he started serving as a military adviser and trainer in Afghanistan and Iraq. And yes, any resemblance to John Wayne getting back up on a horse, after losing a lung, to win an Oscar for True Grit is entirely intentional. Chuck is also a published poet and is such a gentle (dare I say suggestible) soul that, while we were backpacking around the Scottish lochs during college, I convinced him, because I was tired, to carry my backpack AND ME the last mile from East Wherethefugowee to the Loch Ness campground. (May I take a small bit of credit for his early SEAL training? After all, these are the guys who have never left a buddy in the field. I was just preparing him to carry on that legacy.)

So pay no attention to all that hoopla about Kathryn Bigelow’s as-yet-unfilmed movie about Navy SEALs. Chuck’s book is already being shopped around Hollywood and it’s going to be ten thousand times better. Especially if Chuck writes the screenplay. Did I mention that Chuck is a screenwriter with The Jackal, Red Planet and, yes, Navy SEALs to his credit? This is someone who worked on an entire movie with Charlie Sheen and lived to tell the tale! In fact, I had to remain laughing throughout the Charlie Sheen meltdown as so many of his pseudo military blurbs were things I’ve heard Chuck say for years — only Charlie said them without Chuck’s self-depreciating humor and irony.

So if you are a history buff, a military strategy afficionado, a fan of well-written thrillers, or just a Navy SEAL groupie (I hear there are many), rush out and get Chuck’s book. It’s available for pre-order from Amazon today and will be in every major book chain, on-line and under real roofs, on Tuesday, November 8.

chuck and me and shark

Yeah, I knew him when. Here we are at 18 after a little fishing trip. Okay, it's the plastic shark at Universal Studios, but we could have caught a real one. We just didn't have time that day.

Jump over to Chuck’s shiny new website (programmed by moi) to learn more about his movies and his other books, including his best-selling Warrior Soul: The Memoir of a Navy SEAL which details the declassified parts of his missions and his heroic fight against cancer. Bookmark it to keep tabs on his appearances on national media, which are being scheduled even as I write. Soon I’ll have those appearances posted along with whatever attendant audio/video files I can glean after the fact.

But just buy SEAL Target Geronimo.

Remember, if one of Chuck’s books gets remaindered, the terrorists win!