military books by servicemembers.



Steven L. Waterman

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Steven L. Waterman, USN is the author of Just a Sailor: A Navy Diver's Story of Photography, Salvage, and Combat and Underwater Demolition Team 13: Westpac 1969.

One reader of Just a Sailor: A Navy Diver's Story of Photography, Salvage, and Combat said, “Thirty years after the events depicted so vividly in "Just a Sailor," I not only met Steve Waterman but learned that our trails had crossed in both California and Virginia. It is through that circumstance that I am able to vouch for the authenticity of this fascinating book. I like authenticity in literature, whether fiction or non-fiction. As a matter of record, many, if not most, of the SEAL genre of books lack authenticity. Here, then, comes Waterman, a non-SEAL who did a lot of SEAL things, writing a book that tells the gospel truth about the way things were in the Teams (and the rest of the Navy, for that matter) during the 1970's.


Waterman's authentic portrayal of Navy life in the '70's, in its own way, rivals Harper Lee's depiction of life in the Depression South in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Having lived in both the Navy and the South during the periods written about, I can vouch for the authenticity of both works and favorably compare the two. Waterman may not be a literary giant, but he both knows how to tell an exciting tale and lay it all out there for the reader to visualize. "Just a Sailor" makes fascinating reading for students of the Viet Nam War, for historians, and for readers who simply want a hard-to-put-down read. Don't miss it.”


According to the book description of Underwater Demolition Team 13: Westpac 1969, it “was commissioned in 1968 to help take up the slack and give UDT-12 and UDT-11 more time stateside during the Vietnam War. Approximately 20 men from UDT-21 (Little Creek, VA) volunteered to serve a tour with UDT-13 to help "flesh out" the team, which was made up of new men from UDT Training; some were from SEAL One, others were reserves asking to be recalled to active duty.  In 1969, friends and teammates Ltjg Pete Upton and Photographer's Mate 1st Class Steve Waterman spent a month in Tokyo, Japan creating the original of this cruise book and getting it printed. Then Pete and Steve hitchhiked back to Subic Bay on U.S. Air Force planes to bring the books to the guys in Team 13.”

Just a Sailor: A Navy Diver's Story of Photography, Salvage, and Combat
Steven L. Waterman  More Info

Underwater Demolition Team 13: Westpac 1969
FindTech Ltd  More Info

According to the book description of Just a Sailor: A Navy Diver's Story of Photography, Salvage, and Combat, “When Steve Waterman left home in 1964, he was looking for the most exciting job the U.S. Navy had to offer. So Waterman became an underwater photographer, joining an elite group that numbered only fifteen men in the entire navy--men always on call for unusual and interesting assignments. Yet it was the time Waterman spent in Vietnam with Underwater Demolition Team-13 that deserves special respect. Existing in a state of adrenaline driven alertness, UDT-13 men carried out their harrowing missions. Stealthily, silently they crept through Vietnam's waterways, never knowing if the next bend in the river concealed VC patiently waiting to spring a fiery, murderous ambush. Employing the wit and unvarnished honesty that got him into trouble more than once during his thirteen years in the navy, Waterman unfolds a compelling tale of an ordinary sailor who chose to serve his country during one of the most controversial, challenging times in its history.”

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