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SEAL Team Six: The 'Best Of The Best'

There are some stories to pass along this morning about the elite U.S. commandos who carried out the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and killed the al-Qaida leader.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Tom Bowman profiled SEAL Team Six, the unit that conducted the dangerous mission.

Tom sent us this additional material:

Eric Greitens is a Navy SEAL, a commando who has helped track down al-Qaida operatives in Afghanistan. Challenging enough. But Greitens told me that the SEALs who raided Osama bin Laden's compound on Monday are a cut above. They are not just SEALs. They are members of SEAL Team Six, a secretive, anti-terror unit that is rarely even acknowledged by the military.

"They are really the very best of the best," says Greitens. "They are experienced operators who have years under their belts conducting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Greitens himself also has a story to tell. He's not just an elite warrior, but a humanitarian. He has worked as a volunteer, documentary photographer and researcher in Croatia, Rwanda, Zaire, the Gaza Strip, Albania, Cambodia, Mexico, Bolivia and India.

Greitens has just come out with a second book, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL. It follows his first book , The Heart and the Fist, that documents his humanitarian work and military experience.

Meanwhile, The Washington Postwrites that in Virginia Beach, Va., folks are very proud that a SEAL unit based just outside the city performed this mission. And they would like to honor the team members. But how do you do that when their identities are top secret?

"I'd like to come up with a way to have a city celebration of some kind. If we can," Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms tells the Post. He first thought about including the SEALs in the city's Patriotic Festival in June. "But it's challenging."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.