This Ain’t Hollywood

By Jonathan Massey-


When I sit down to write these blogs, I often think about the things I would like to have known when I was 15/16/17 years old. Things I know now that definitely would have impacted my life back then. This week, I am writing this with a particular person in mind.


A few weeks ago, I attended one of his games… It did not go well. He struggled mightily. During the game, I spoke with his mother who told me that he still struggles with his mindset due to an accident that occurred a few years earlier in life. Without going into detail about the event, this young man’s vision is impaired in his right eye.


When his mom asked what we could do to help him move past it, I was immediately reminded of the story of Adam Brown.


When Adam was in high school, he started to hang out with the wrong crowd, which ultimately led to an addiction to meth and cocaine. Like other addictions, there is no such thing as a “recovered” meth addict. Addiction is something that you live with for the rest of your life. 


Eventually, Adam was able to overcome his addiction and became a Navy SEAL.

If this was Hollywood, he would ride off into the sunset.

But this is not Hollywood.


After becoming a SEAL, Adam was hit in his right eye during training. The damage to his eye was so severe that the SEALs wanted to medically discharge him. Adam refused to let that happen. He spent the next year learning how to shoot with his left eye… His nondominant eye. Not only did Adam learn to shoot with his nondominant eye – a feat in and of itself – but he learned to shoot at a proficiency that allowed him to return to combat as a SEAL sniper.


Again, if this was Hollywood, that would be the end of the story and he would ride off into the sunset. 

This is not Hollywood.


About a year after returning to combat, Adam was in a Humvee accident. The accident crushed three fingers on Adam’s right hand, causing him to lose his ability to shoot his pistol right-handed. Again, the SEALs wanted to medically discharge him, and again, Adam refused. Not only did Adam learn to shoot his pistol left-handed, but he did so at a level that allowed him to join SEAL Team Six, the premier counterterrorism group.


On March 17, 2010, Adam paid the ultimate price and died in combat.


Obviously, Adam’s story is one of incredible perseverance. Life is going to be full of hurdles, challenges, and obstacles, but those difficulties do not define who we are or what we are capable of doing. Adam refused to let what life threw at him define his legacy. Adam wrote his own legacy… And so can you!


**While I originally wrote this blog in the spring of 2018, I recently reread the book and thought this story needed to be shared again. If you would like to also read Adam’s story, grab a copy of “Fearless” by Eric Blehm.



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