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Veteran reacts to former SEAL’s book about becoming a woman

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 06:20:03-04

Chris Beck has a stellar reputation as a former Virginia Beach based Navy SEAL with 20 years of service, 13 deployments and the Purple Heart and Bronze Star under his belt.  However, his fellow SEALs did not know Chris longed to be Kristin.

The details of Beck's journey are in the newly released book "Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL's Journey to Coming Out Transgender."

"Being trapped in something that you're not and having to portray being something you're not must have been tough," said Don Shipley, a former Virginia Beach based SEAL who runs a civilian training camp that mimics the SEAL experience.

"We only care what you do for the team and how you are as a SEAL," said Shipley.  "Nobody cares if you're black, white, short, tall, your religious beliefs, any of that"

While Shipley said he takes no issue with Beck's decision to become a woman after retiring in 2011, he is concerned that Beck is using her past as a SEAL to promote sales.

"The biggest problem I have is the title of that book. Warrior Princess? Really?" Shipley said. "[Beck] couldn't have thought of something better than that?"

While Beck hopes her journey will help others struggling with gender identity, Shipley worries the book and it's title may impact the rough and tough reputation of the Navy SEALs

"We all earned this trident.  We all sat in that cold water," Shipley said.  "We've all been through deployments, been through hell week, all that.  And everybody's just worried about tarnishing that reputation."