The Navy Seal lifestyle goes like this:

1st. Duty & Country

2nd. Family & Friends

It may seem harsh but it's not like I don't love my family and girlfriend, I do. That's why I'm here, why a lot of us are here. To protect them and many others like them from the war zone that is slowly consuming our world.

I leave the tents, go to the mess hall and find table where my team members George Mallory, Kevin Lupus and Frank Gendek are sitting. Yesterday our instructors split us up into teams, from IBS surf passage drills to log lifting, I'll be going to hell and back with these men.

Teamwork is a huge part of being a Navy Seal so learning how to work as one is vital. They are good men, around my age. The oldest and biggest of us is Frank at twenty-five, who looks like a giant leprechaun. He is going through BUDs for the second time after dropping out two years ago. He's also ranked higher than us as a Corporal making him team leader. The rest of us are newbies, Privates, fresh out of the army just to go back in.

"Hey, Andrew." George says to me in a weary voice, his thin body still consumed with shivers from earlier. I sit down next to him on the bench across from Kevin and Frank. They are too busy shoveling food down their throats to do anything but greet me with a nod.

"That was brutal." I say, digging into my food. "Are we getting checked by the medics after this? I don't think my body wants to do anything but sleep."

Frank pauses, considering. "Yeah I think so. They need to make sure nobody loses any fingers or toes after doing surf torture."

I look around as the rest our class files in. We are missing two people. Before I even get a chance to wonder where they are a faint bell rings in the distance.

"There goes another one" Kevin says.

"Another two." I correct him as the second bell chimes.

If you want to drop out of BUDs you have to do a "walk of shame" type of fiasco. You walk back to base camp where the dormitories are, not too far from here and ring the bell outside the main office. After that you take your helmet and place it in the line next to the other helmets of failed Seals. It's rough.

We got checked by the medics right after dinner then it was straight off to bed. Sleep would be stretching what was actually going on, it was more like a nap. Hell week wasn't about rest but the ability to prevail with minimal to no sleep in harsh, stressful conditions.

Far too soon I am jerked out of my peaceful nap by a car horn blaring in what seems like my ear. The men around me groan and I hear Kevin mumble something that sounds like "Five more minutes."

We have ten minutes to get out of bed and down to the beach. Which we all managed to do, even Kevin.

Instructor Jefferson is there on the beach waiting for us, illuminated by large flood lights. The baseball cap he has on hides his shiny bald head, that otherwise would've shined brighter than the moon. It's the ungodly hour of 0300 and the prospect of doing drills was not the most welcoming thought but the food and sleep did help renew some of my lost energy.

"Time for mud flats." Instructor Jefferson informs us. My arms quivers slightly at the idea of rolling around in cold, wet mud.

We jog over to the mud flats and line up shoulder to shoulder. George to my left and Frank to my right.

After everyone got into position, Jefferson tells us to begin.

The whistle blows indicating we should the deck. I throw myself down and mud splatters all over me. It coats my face, goes up my nose and tries to sneak its way into my eyes. I mumble a curse that would've made my mother hit me over the head.

Hell WeekWhere stories live. Discover now