I ran out of reading material yesterday so I am again reading your HooYah book. I never read a book twice but your book is like visiting an old friend. The 60's were a time in our lives that seem like yesterday. What some people may consider PTSD we regard as great memories and a high point in our lives. Hope to see you at the reunion this year. Take care.
I'm a retired SEAL from the VietNam era, and though I'm a little abashed to say that the deployment of my platoon from UDT 22, which was supposed to augment UDT 13 in country in 1969, was canceled, I am pleased to support you and your son's memorial fund. He sounds like a terrific guy. I know if I were you I would be asking myself the same question: "How can I best honor my son?" You are doing him GREAT honor by continuing his selfless service. I look forward to reading your book and knowing that in my buying it, I will be supporting you in your most heartfelt expression of the love you have for your son. Hooyah!
For those true "Teams" enthusiasts this second edition rendered by Mr. Nickelson is a must read! His talent for reliving "Our" past, some 40 plus years ago is truly heart warming. Nothing but more truth, emotion, and devotion. His related events are not pumped with hype nor sensationalism--but simply the "GRIT" which each "Team Mate" possessed. "Simply basic, thorough, and natural easy reading!" Thank You, Richard G. "Nick" Nickelson and family - "A Hearty Well Done!" Love You Brother.
I enjoyed reading your book, and discovered that we share friendships with some of the same people. Bob Wagner was a good friend and, I in fact, relieved him at DaNang in 1964. As there were only 60 of us in the first Seal team, we got to know each other rather well in a short period of time. Tom McDonald, Frank Waton, and I went through training together in class 23. Ted Mathison, R.E., Roger Sick, Roger Moscone, Tiz Morrison (by the way, like Beartracks, Tiz was the ultimate pickup man), Richard Allen, Beartracks, and another Allen who was a welter weight boxing champion, whose first name escapes me, Roscoe Thrift, Layton Bassett, and the list goes on and on of people I knew in a way that only another team member would understand. I think of my teammates often. I was on the All-Navy Boxing team, certainly not at the same level of expertise as Richard Allen or Bob, for that matter, but between being a boxer as well as being combative measures instructor for ST1, suspect that was why Bob and I had a close affinity with one another. I enlisted in the Navy in 1956 at 17, spent 2 years on a destroyer before I could get into the teams. I was a RM1-P1 in 1963, and was leading Petty Officer for 37A ops out of DaNang in 1964. I was in UDT-12 from 1959-1962 (4th Platoon with Paul McNally and Lloyd Cobb, who seemed to snatch up all of the jocks right out of training. Did you ever work with Delmar Fredrickson? David Wilson? David was the 2nd Seal killed in combat), and Seal Team ONE from 1962-1965. Ah, for the good old days!!! I did not know Bill Robinson while on active duty, but became good friends with him after he retired. He was one of my biggest fans, and would constantly brag about my academic exploits. Cathal (Irish) Flynn was and remains a good friend of mine. We went to Vietnam together. I decided to take advantage of a scholarship and got out of the Navy in December 1965 and ultimately became a clinical psychologist, after a stint as a high school football coach and math teacher. I just retired in 2005, finishing up my career as Chief, Department of Behavioral Medicine for Winn Army Community Hospital. Impresses the hell out of me. Ha-Ha!! General Webster would introduce me as the SEAL Shrink, as he said that would give me instant credibility with his troops, and it did! I also worked with the 160th out of Hunter, if you are familiar of their work with dev group. We might have met, who knows, but I don't recall you by name. Sometimes I would instruct UDT personnel in karate and judo, or we could have met on the rugby or football field. It was sad, but at the beginning of the formation of Seal Team ONE, "they" moved us away from the strand to a nondescript supply Quonset hut on base, so we had little contact with our former teammates. At any rate, it is entirely possible that we ran into each other. Your book brought back a flood of memories; can't you tell? Take care.
A highly readable collection of short stories about one man's experience as a member of the Navy's elite Underwater Demolition Teams, specifically UDT-12, during the tumultuous 1960's. The author does not attempt to paint a broad historical overview of the Teams but rather presents an intimate insider's perspective of one boat crew, seven men, who train together and forge a bond of friendship and trust that lasts a lifetime. Nick Nickelson writes with a keen memory for detail, an understanding of his fellow man, and an obvious love and respect for his teammates. I enjoyed his recall of the 1963 operation with astronaut Gordon Cooper and the Mercury Capsule, a part of UDT history that is seldom told. I hope he has more stories to tell.
I thoroughly enjoyed your book from cover to cover. Picked it up and never laid it down, in spite of the tears rolling down my cheeks. Ha Ha Your recall is remarkable, only your face was absent it was as if we were sitting across from each other. You have a wonderful playful way of weaving your stories, coupled with the candid humor. Nick, I can't say enough about your renderings even if I knew none of the characters, I do now. Above all, no macho crap but valid nuances which will entertain all those who indulge as it pyramids to one of the most personal, insightful readings in the S.O.G. realm.
I'm enjoying your book: amazed that while I was going through my novitiate at Los Gatos (1960-62) you were doing Hell Week and all that other punishment; don't know how you did it. But it's good reading, good stories, well told. Didn't know you were a writer. Nice going! You have much to be proud of.
I finished the book over the weekend and enjoyed it immensely! Like a breath of fresh air to finally read something about the teams that wasn't a lot of hype. I like the way that you put photos throughout the book and didn't clump them all together. I also appreciate your style. It is refreshing to read.
Anyway, thank you again for your book. I really did enjoy it and plan on buying some for Christmas presents. I have never bought a book about the teams for myself or anyone else. This will be a first. Thank you again for all that you did in putting these stories in book form.
I gave up going to the Cher Concert here last night as I was curled up with your wonderful book. The language of the teams floated throughout my being and I savored your journey just cannot remember any pain, just camaraderie. We did stand in sleet in the surf with our shirts off and our rock portage was over an ice-covered jetty but all that for later. Loved your book and got to like you Godspeed & Hooyah.
Started reading your book last night and finished this a.m. It brought back a lot of memories of UDT-12. Your book is great; it's easy reading and sheds a lot of light on the teams and their customs! Take care.
What a great walk down memory lane! Your book brought back many memories good and bad of Class-28 training. I am so glad you have a good memory and could put the training in the right prospective. Your right about the bond we all have through the years, the teamwork and brotherhood. Thanks for the memories.
Your well-crafted Book emphasizes facing challenges without yielding, as an individual, and more particularly, as a team. Mutual respect, mutual protection, mutual support, THE TEAM, that's what it's all about!! Total interdependence! the ULTIMATE BUDDY SYSTEM. We translate these guidelines to the base unit, THE FAMILY, and to the foundation of our magnificent Country. GOD BLESS THE FAMILY. GOD BLESS AMERICA.