Former Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Douglas “Mike” Day, who was shot 27 times during a 2007 deployment to Iraq and was awarded the Silver Star, passed away on March 27, 2023. Day had a distinguished career in the Navy spanning 21 years and received several other commendations, including two Bronze Stars (one with valor) and a Purple Heart.
In addition to his service in the Navy, Mike Day was a renowned author and advocated for wounded veterans. He also served as a tactical training instructor for special operations forces and law enforcement personnel. He founded Warrior Tribe, a non-profit organization providing veterans and trauma survivors with resiliency training resources.
Mike Day’s memoir, “Perfectly Wounded,” recounts his experience as the first person to enter a 12 by 12 room during a hunt for a high-level al Qaeda operative. He engaged in an intense gunfight with four terrorists waiting to ambush him. He cleared the rest of the structure and rescued the six women and children inside despite being shot 27 times and sustaining multiple shrapnel wounds and a traumatic brain injury.
Mike Day spent nearly two years recovering from his injuries, losing over 50 pounds in two weeks while in the hospital. Although he recovered from his physical wounds, he suffered from invisible wounds such as PTSD and a traumatic brain injury that stayed with him for the rest of his life.
Day was known for his resilience and ability to “just figure it out” in the face of trauma. He refused help from his Iraqi Scouts when leaving the structure after the gunfight, stating that he feared it would hurt more. Day’s heroism and unwavering determination to complete the mission inspired his fellow teammates, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of service members.
“We mourn the loss of an outstanding Naval Special Warfare teammate, former Senior Chief Mike Day. His courage and grit formed the standard we uphold in the community today, and we will always remember his service to the special operations community.”Navy Times, Naval Special Warfare spokeswoman
In a message to Navy Times, a Naval Special Warfare spokeswoman expressed the community’s sorrow over Day’s loss. She praised his courage and grit, which set the standard for the community’s values. Day was a warrior’s warrior and will be remembered as a true American hero. Rest in peace, brother.