If you are familiar with San Diego then you know Coronado Island. For those that don't know, it's actually a peninsula attached to San Diego by a narrow strip of land called The Strand, by locals. It's in top 10 of the most expensive places you can live in the United States.
Coronado Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the country, perhaps only second on the West Coast to Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It is truly a thing of beauty and scary as all hell to drive across.
On Coronado, the Hotel Del Coronado attracts the most attention, but further south, near The Strand, is the area that inspires me most. That area is home to the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and where the Navy SEALs train. We've all heard the training stories of what it takes to become a SEAL. We know they are the team called upon when our country needs a top-secret, covert mission accomplished.
To me the SEALs are the most prestigious, almost myth like organization our country has. They protect us. Let's just say any country would be stupid to attack us from San Diego, for they would have to deal with about 1,000 SEALs up their ass.
A few months ago I was walking in downtown San Diego, not far from the Gaslamp District. I heard a wooshing sound and looked up in time to see a parachuter land on a nearby roof top. I continued to look up at the sky for about another minute and watched 5 more Navy SEALs parachute onto the same roof. In what I can only assume was a training exercise, I witnessed something very few ever have. I walked taller, felt proud and inspired. If we each strived to be just a little better than our peers, we could all feel as though we are SEALs.
How did I know they were Navy SEALs? The giant yellow letters S-E-A-L on the inside of the parachute was a giveaway. Don't ask me why I didn't video tape it. Would have been cool for WestSide Culture, right?
For a detailed account of the grueling training they go through and what it takes to be a SEAL, I recommend the San Francisco Chronice's, sfgate.com article.