Joan Lunden Invades the Submarine Force/SEAL Teams!!!
I had a reviewer dog my book because he didn’t understand the need to have a female reporter and her companion come aboard the submarine. I can’t give him too much grief about it. The fact is, I never thought the whole gimmick would be construed as hokey simply because it was rooted in fact. However, if I hadn’t been aboard the Key West when we sent Joan Lunden off with the Navy SEALs to do a simulated special op, I may have landed in the camp that perceived a book that had a female reporter on the submarine as being, well, dumb. I never did give it a second thought though, because the Navy loves press like that. It’s like the movie “Act of Valor” if the Navy has a chance to get some good press, they are all over it. As well they should be. Otherwise, the only thing that would be in the news about the Navy would be scandals about CO’s being dismissed. When a reporter, like Joan Lunden, is willing to come aboard and highlight the stressful conditions an entire crew will put themselves through, that is a good thing. I know for me, even though my screen time is only about .5 seconds, this was a great time for me and I was able to show my mom and dad a little of what life was like for me.
In the book, it works out nicely to have the female reporter. She provides a way to dig into the mind of the Captain without Captain Maddox having to monologue to no one in particular for an entire chapter. That would have been hokey. So, if Joan Lunden ever did read “Hot Run,” I hope it would make her smile to think back to her time aboard the submarine and with the Navy SEALs. It was fun for us all. By her coming aboard the boat, it also saved me and a few of my pals from a whole heap of trouble. You see, we had been operating out of Roosevelt Roads naval base in Puerto Rico and the night before we were headed out to sea, a couple of my buddies and I went to San Juan for the evening. Well, on the way back from San Juan we got lost, got a flat tire, changed it, got another flat tire and ended up missing the boat when it went back out to sea. If the boat hadn’t been coming back in three days to pick up Joan Lunden and her crew, we would have had to meet the boat back in Norfolk. Then, we would have really been in trouble. So it’s a big thanks I have to give Joan Lunden for saving my butt!
Here is the episode of “Behind Closed Doors” where we sent Joan Lunden off with the Navy SEALs. My .5 seconds of fame is at 5:38. I am the NUB sleeping in the torpedo room.