Navy SEAL Will Chesney Says He Listened To Travis Tritt’s “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive” On Helicopter Following Raid On Osama Bin Laden’s Compound

Robert O'Neill Navy SEAL
Operator Podcast

Country music played a big part in one of the most important covert operations of all time.

Navy SEAL Will Chesney sat down for an interview with The Operator Podcast, which is hosted by another famous SEAL Rob O’Neill. You might recognize that name, since O’Neill is the one who allegedly killed Osama Bin Laden during SEAL Team 6’s Operation Neptune Spear.

Chesney was also a part of that secret mission, along with a K-9 SEAL by the name of Cairo. While Chesney was on The Operator Podcast, he talked about his title of Combat Dog Handler, and how he spent a lot of time with K-9 units like Cairo, and another named Falco, while the dog was serving as a part of the Navy SEAL unit.

The former Navy SEAL apparently had a favorite song to listen to with his dog best friend, and it was none other than Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day To Be Alive.” Chesney talked about how much the song meant to him, and how often he listened to it, saying:

“I used to listen to that with Falco. What we were doing, we had some great operations. We did some good work. And you get done with one of those operations and you’re flying back home, everybody is still alive, got the dog sitting right here. Holy f***, I’m doing the best job with the best people.”

Clearly the Travis Tritt classic was the perfect song for getting in the right mindset, or celebrating a job well done after the fact. Chesney loved listening to the song with Falco by his side, and confirmed that he listened to it after the highly classified Operation Neptune Spear (the killing of Osama Bin Laden), even though Falco was no longer with him at that point. Falco was killed in action, but not before saving the lives of his fellow SEALS.

However, once Falco passed, Chesney admits he couldn’t listen to it anymore:

“That song would come on, I’ve got my dog… it wasn’t my dog at the time, it was our dog. Got Falco right here, it’s a great day to be alive, it was a great f**** day to be alive. When Falco died, I literally couldn’t listen to that song. It would crush me.”

Until the ride home from Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama Bid Laden lived:

“But as we were on that helicopter ride back, it comes on, and it was the first time I had listened to it. It was a f****** perfect fit because it was a great day to be alive.”

That’s obviously a pretty big honor for Travis Tritt, and also speaks to the power of music. Everyone listens to a song and interprets it in their own way, and usually attaches memories to it. Chesney’s memories of the country classic just so happen to be associated with one of the biggest missions in the history of the United States.

Tritt got wind of the news and quickly commented on the post above, saying:

“It makes me proud that my music was on such an amazing mission. Thanks for sharing!”

An amazing mission, and an amazing song to match. You can rock out to Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” in the video below:

The full conversation is well worth a listen:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock