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Question: What do you get when you cross patriotism with selflessness, layer in some Shakespeare, and pile on the talent and snark?

Answer: David Meadows

David Meadows is quick to point out that he’s not sure he would have joined the military after 9/11, but one gets the sense he would still have been first in line. As it was, David had been in the Navy for about a year before that tragic day. He’d fallen short of passing SEAL training once but returned after 9/11.

This time he left with a trident.

More interested in intelligence gathering and “stalking,” as he jokes, than in door-kicking and room-clearing, David ultimately wound up doing reconnaissance work with the infamous SEAL Team 6. He then became well-acquainted with Afghanistan.

In his line of work, David didn’t often have the opportunity to interact with the locals. Given the fact that the ones he did interact with were typically trying to kill him, he simply wrote the entire society off, assuming they all hated Americans.

It was very easy to disassociate yourself,” he says. But that mindset changed on one mission.

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