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Houston Matters

William McRaven Shares ‘Sea Stories’ From His Life In Special Ops

The retired Navy admiral discusses his many missions, from killing Osama bin Laden to sitting face-to-face with Saddam Hussein.

Admiral William McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven.


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Sea Stories by William McRavenAs a military leader, retired Admiral William McRaven has a pretty stellar resume.

He was a Navy SEAL and, at one point, commanded all U.S. Special Forces.

During that tenure, he was involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein, the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from pirates who'd taken him hostage at sea, just to name a few.

After nearly four decades in the military, McRaven retired as a four-star admiral. And plenty of Texans will remember that he proceeded to serve as the Chancellor of the University of Texas System.

Barack Obama and William McRaven
Pres. Barack Obama talks with Navy Vice Admiral William H. McRaven, who had operational control of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Now, he's sharing some stories from his military career in a new book called Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.

In the audio above, McRaven tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty his kids were the ones who encouraged him to share these stories. They wanted to know more about the missions he was involved with.

McRaven also discusses his role in the bin Laden raid, his encounters with Hussein after his capture, and how missions like those informed his later experiences in higher education.

He'll be in Houston for an event with Blue Willow Bookshop on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m. at Spring Forest Middle School, located at 14240 Memorial Drive.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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