Celebrating American Heroes: Navy SEALS “Lone Survivor” Weekend

If you saw the movie “Lone Survivor,” you know that words really can’t explain the pride one feels after seeing the heroism on screen. Based on Marcus Luttrell’s New York Times bestselling memoir, director Peter Berg explores the unbreakable bond of brotherhood in a film that captures the real life struggles of these proud Navy SEALS. “Lone Survivor” tells the incredible tale of Operation Red Wings, a mission about four Navy SEALs ambushed by the enemy deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. As the soldiers are confronted by unthinkable odds, they must find reserves of strength and resilience in order to fight to the finish. Before the “Lone Survivor” launch on digital HD and Blu–ray June 3rd, Universal Studios brought in a highly-skilled press team (Bullz-Eye, of course, was a key player) to experience first-hand the type of training SEALS go through. Also included in this experience was the opportunity to meet and spend time with Berg and Luttrell, the real-life Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in Operation Red Wings.

Regardless of what happened on this trip, we knew that just by staying at the Hay-Adams Hotel, it was going to be a memorable weekend, as the Hay-Adams is literally right across the street from the White House and is basically a 5-star hotel. Yes folks, there are times when even Bullz-Eye has to clean up and hang with the elite members of our society. But don’t worry, there were no problems, because we know when to behave! After a quiet evening on Thursday, we were up and ready to hit the road at 5:45 am to take part in true Navy SEAL experiences, including weapons training with Uzis, machine guns and AK 47s, and for those who think rappelling is challenging, that event was available as well.

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It was an early start, but that was necessary, as the Extreme SEAL Experience was taking place in Norfolk, VA, which took us around 4 hours in the Media Elite Bus. We eventually arrived at the Extreme SEAL Experience, which is owned and operated by real-life badass Don Shipley. Per Wikipedia, Don Shipley is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, expert trainer and media personality who provides his expertise to many media organizations. He retired after 24 years as a SEAL Senior Chief in 2003. He served in SEAL Team ONE, SEAL Team TWO, the Naval Special Warfare Center, BUD/S and Naval Special Warfare Group TWO in Little Creek, Virginia as a SEAL Advanced Training Instructor. Shipley conducted operations in Bosnia, Liberia and Africa while at SEAL Team TWO, and became the first non-corpsman SEAL to graduate paramedic school. He served in eight SEAL Platoons, was Platoon Chief in five, and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism during a Search and Rescue Mission.

Setting records for immense water and land demolition shots and running high-risk training courses, he also served as an Explosives Expert instructing police departments across the country in Booby Traps and Improvised Explosive Devices. When not in a SEAL Platoon or deployed overseas, his time was spent running blocks of training for SEALs in air operations, land warfare and demolitions. After retirement, he became a Blackwater Security Contractor, spending a year in Pakistan and Afghanistan fighting the war on terror. Don also runs a training course with fellow former U.S. Navy SEALs teaching and training men who aspire to become U.S. Navy SEALs. Don is also known to be at the forefront of bringing Stolen Valor to the limelight in the media, going after and exposing military impostors and frauds.

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