Pensacola shooting victim saved countless lives

I came across an incredible story today in USA Today and simply had to share it.

During the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, an unbelievable story of courage has emerged.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, recent
graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

One of the sailors there — shot five times — left the safety of cover to tell the first response team where the shooter was located, which indirectly saved many lives.

But what’s even more shocking is that this sailor, Joshua Kaleb Watson, was only 23, and was a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Watson, who was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting, was shot at least five times, but he still somehow decided to exit cover and flag down first responders, giving an accurate description of the shooter and pointing out the man’s location.

Watson’s father, Benjamin Watson, said that his son “died serving his country.”

His father also said that his son had dreamed of becoming a Navy pilot and had only reported to Pensacola for flight training the week of Veterans Day.

Somehow, for me at least, this makes the story all the more tragic. That Watson had pursued his dream to fly and had that dream cut short because of circumstances beyond his control.

But at the same time, it also makes the story all the more impressive. I’m pretty sure a lot of young officers might have thought, “That’s not my job. And I’ve already been shot five times. I’m going to stay in here and try to just stay alive.”

But Watson didn’t. He left cover, he showed incredible bravery, and he ultimately sacrificed his life in the service of others.

I know the men and women of our military REGULARLY show incredible bravery and courage, and it would be impossible for me to document them all. But let’s never take these kinds of sacrifice for granted in our increasingly selfish, self-centered world.

Please keep the family of Watson in your thoughts, and let’s never forget his sacrifice. Try to tell someone else about the actions that he took. Either today, or even months or years from now, if you’re talking to some young kid or future grandchild. Such courage and sacrifice by service members like Watson should be properly honored.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell


Stan R. Mitchell, a prior infantry Marine, is the author of ten, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and his favorite authors are Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. If you’re looking for an independent artist to support, look no further. You’ll love Mitchell’s books. Click the link below to check out his books.

My next book…

Hey guys!

Hope everyone’s had a great week! I teased last week in my blogpost about the Marine Corps using Artificial Intelligence to find new spec ops troops that I’d reveal this week what I’ve been working on.

Well, I’m sure you’ve all been just dying, waiting to find out this big news. (Odd that it isn’t trending on Twitter or my inbox has lacked any requests from official media asking for an interview about the news… Haahaahahahahh.)

At any rate, the project I’ve moved to after finishing Hill 406 is my follow-up book to Take Down,  My fervent readers will remember that Take Down introduces prior Force Recon Marine Danny Acuff.

Take Down by Stan R. Mitchell at Books2ReadAcuff, a badass Marine, has become a hotshot detective in Memphis. And after establishing a name for himself, he’s forced to move a small, quaint town. Except it isn’t so quaint.

So, he eventually finds himself tangling with tough hombres from up in the hills and two Army Special Forces guys. They’re just part of a cartel that controls the town, and they’re not happy with the newcomer asking all the questions.

Needless to say — in typical Stan fashion — there’s lots of action and suspense (including quite a bit of hand-to-hand fighting), and there’s even a bit of romance. (Some of my readers say Danny Acuff is the greatest character I’ve ever created.)

Regardless, I’m working on the follow-up book to Take Down, and I’m well over half-way done. 🙂 I’m holding down a day job these days, but I’m still pushing on it as hard as I can. So, I think you can expect it faster than you’d guess.

And for all those who I’m sure are going to ask about the next Nick Woods book, let me preempt that question by saying that I’ll probably write my fifth Nick Woods book after that. I’ve got it roughly outlined already.

If you have missed any of the four earlier entries, here’s their links:


At any rate, thanks everyone for all the support you’ve shown me. Please continue to spread the word about my books. Share links, tell friends, write reviews. 😀 All of these things help me greatly, and I’m enormously appreciative of everything each and everyone of you do.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell


New front page graphic 2
Stan R. Mitchell is the author of nine, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! Click the link at left to check out his books.

On Memorial Day, remember this fact

As you celebrate this great day in our land, I hope most of you have the day off. And I hope you also take at least a moment to remember all those who died so that we could live in such peace and prosperity in this incredible country.

But I wanted to make one other point that I think often gets forgotten. Yes, we do a decent job of remembering those who died in battle. But I think we forget those who died in peacetime. In regular ole’ training — almost NONE of which is safe.

I probably came closer to dying during a couple of different training exercises than I actually did in harm’s way. Matter of fact, my battalion went into harm’s way in 1997 and returned without any losses. But we lost a great man in “routine” training in 1999. (Lance Corporal Andre Foster.)

If you read one story on Memorial Day, make it this one: A Marine’s crazy, four-day courtship, and the ring he’ll never get to deliver.

Our freedom isn’t free, even when there are no bullets flying at us from some enemy bent upon our destruction.

And if you want to mention below in the comments a loved one who died defending this country, in either peacetime or war, I’d be honored.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell