Tacoma mom gushes about son's role in finding Osama bin Laden

Tacoma mom gushes about son's role in finding Osama bin Laden »Play Video
Dawn Lucien

TACOMA -- The mother of the Tacoma man who led the effort to seek out and kill Osama bin Laden calls her son an international hero.

Dawn Lucien is obviously so proud of her son, Navy Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, that she just get chills every time she talks or just thinks about her son's role.

Thursday night, she got her first call from him since the world learned the most feared and hated terrorist was dead.

"I said, 'well, you are an international hero' and he laughed, 'well, what I called you to talk about was my retirement,' " Lucien said.

That's it, no fanfare needed and no details forthcoming. Olson is a quiet warrior.


President Barack Obama returns a salute to Navy Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, as he steps off Air Force One at Campbell Army Airfield in Fort Campbell, Ky., Friday, May 6, 2011.

"With Eric, it occurred, it was successful, and now we're on to today's," Lucien said.

While her son was helping mastermind the bin Laden raid, she was vacationing in Mexico with no way to communicate. A friend shocked her with news and her son's role.

As her friend grabbed her arms, "He said, 'your son is responsible for the death of Bin Laden,' I got chills," Lucien said. "I still get chills."

Eric Olson may have been destined to be a Navy SEAL. As a kid, he would catch fish while swimming with a knife, and at 9-years-old, he made his own wet suit out of rubber scraps he bought from a wet suit maker, who was stunned with Eric's handiwork.

"He looked at this wet suit my son had made and he said, 'Son, that's a suit in a half,' " she said.

This proud mother says she doesn't need to know the details of her son's mission, she's satisfied with the recognition.

"I think it's kind of fair that people should know there is an Eric T. Olson, Navy SEAL admiral who has devoted his entire life and energy to making this a better place for us all," she said.

This quiet warrior is no stranger to dangerous and elite missions. He helped to rescue our troops out of Somalia, the story was told in the book and movie, "Blackhawk Down."

Olson's mom says he plans to retire in August and eventually move back home to the Pacific Northwest.