ST. LOUIS — He was there the day Saddam Hussein was captured.
Retired Command Sgt. Major Tom Satterly remembers walking into the room holding the President of Iraq and saying “he looks like dirty Uncle Fester.”
A comparison Satterly says did not go over well.
“Which caused [Saddam] to spit on me so I turned and left the room,” Satterly said.
The Sunset Hills man has a lifetime of war stories.
He spent 20 years in the most secretive and elite unit in the U.S. military, the U.S. Army’s Delta Force.
He completed thousands of “capture or kill” missions in his career, sometimes capturing or killing several people in a single night.
Now, Satterly is sharing his years in the military in a new book called “All Secure.”
The memoir also details the 18-hour firefight in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. U.S. forces were trapped, 18 men died and some of their bodies were dragged through the streets by rebel forces.
The battle was made into the blockbuster movie “Black Hawk Down.”
But, the book also describes Satterly’s childhood in a small Indiana town, his basic training, his battle with PTSD and his newest mission to help special ops veterans and their spouses.
Satterly and his wife Jen started the All Secure Foundation which counsels couples after one of the spouses leaves military life. Satterly said the veteran and therefore the couple often faces shame, rage, PTSD and addiction.
“They want a better relationship and they keep screwing it up and they know it, so, they remove themselves. Eighty-nine percent of suicides happen because they're on alcohol or drugs and [there is] a family issue,” Satterly said.
The foundation holds retreats and helps marriages stay intact.
Satterly admits the foundation and a solid nudging from his wife was the reason he decided to write a book in the first place.
“She's like, 'You need to write a book. That is marketing, people will be drawn to it and then we’ll drive people to the foundation in the book.' It’s really what the book is all about” he said.
Satterly faced addiction to prescription drugs, alcohol and almost took his own life after retiring from the U.S. Army.
He said his new mission is to grow the foundation and help fight the war veterans are facing at home against PTSD.