Md. Man Helped Train Navy SEALs Who Captured Bin Laden

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Stew Smith Navy SEAL
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SEVERNA PARK, Md. (WJZ)—It was an elite group of Navy SEALs who took down Osama bin Laden.

Adam May spoke with a man who knew and helped train some of those Navy SEALs.

Stew Smith from Severna Park is a retired Navy SEAL who has been training future Navy SEALs for 10 years. The news of bin Laden’s death kept him up all night.

Smith: “It’s really neat to know that I know several guys who were on that helicopter.”

May: “You know some of those guys who were there?”

Smith:  “Absolutely.”

May: “Do you think you’ll get a chance to talk to them about the mission?”

Smith: “I don’t know. I don’t even want to ask them.”

Their knowledge: classified. Their identities: top secret. After killing bin Laden, SEAL Team 6 flew into Andrews Air Force base for a debriefing, possibly a private awards ceremony.

“For me it’s like being proud of my little brother; he did something phenomenal,” Smith said. “I’m super proud, but I am a little jealous.”

Smith says the operation appears textbook.  Twenty-four SEALs dropped into bin Laden’s compound Sunday, shooting the world’s most wanted terrorist.

May: “The SEAL who came eye-to-eye with bin Laden, what was like for him?”

Smith: “That had to be an amazing moment and a culminating moment because ever since 9-11, the SEALs’ No. 1 goal has been anti-terrorism and find Osama bin Laden.”

Preparing for that mission was beyond tough—80 percent of SEALs in training drop out. Those who make it may face danger one day then real life the next.

“Many of them are married,” Smith said. “They have families, and they come home, have a honey do list like everyone else. It’s really funny to talk to a guy who’s been overseas one day, and 48 hours later he’s mowing grass.”

Click here to view a photo gallery of reactions to bin Laden’s death.

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