Far and away, the most powerful book I have read is “Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell. I bought it in ’08 in Denver for a read on the flight home. I read it in the taxi, read standing in lines at the airport, read on the plane, read waiting for my luggage, read at stoplights driving home, then sat up all night and finished it just in time for coffee in the morning. This big dumb Swede does not come to tears easily, but I literally wept. If you’ve not yet read it, please - you must. Genuine Heroes are truly scarce in our synthetic, veracity challenged culture but you need look no further than Marcus Luttrell. He is the real deal.
“A graduate of BUD/S Class 228, he was the only survivor of the fateful events of June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan. Luttrell and three teammates from SEAL Team TEN were assigned to a reconnaissance mission, operation RED WING, in the Hindu-Kush mountain region of Afghanistan. Their objective was to gather intelligence on Taliban movement in the area, and if possible take out the Taliban leader. Luttrell’s team was eventually discovered and outnumbered by over 200 Taliban fighters. Petty Officer Luttrell was the only one to survive enemy contact. In the rescue mission that ensued, 16 Special Forces personnel, including 8 more SEALs, died when their helicopter was shot down by Taliban fighters. It was the largest single-day loss of life in the SEALs’ history.”
Before going down, just four SEALs - Luttrell, Dietz, Axleson and Murphy dispatched 100 Taliban to meet Allah that day. Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism – but he won’t wear it. “People say we’re heroes. We’re not heroes, we’re patriots. We love America. That’s why we do what we do.”
Several things brought Marcus to mind today. First, the sheer irresponsibility, irrelevance, ignorance and bias of our “news” media, vis-à-vis most recently the Koran Kook fiasco – and a line from Luttrell in the NRA clip below. In his best Texas country boy prose: “The thing that aggravates me the most about what happens to y’all as the American public is the information you get from the media...It’s so frustrating! You know, it’s like my doctor says, ‘Son, you have PTSD.’ I’m like, the only PTSD I have is when I wake up and turn the TV on, and watch those newscasters put out something that IS NOT RIGHT!”
Second, I am just soul weary of weenie LIBERALS who couldn’t lead a poodle on a leash holding “leadership” positions in the greatest…no, damn it, the most EXCEPTIONAL nation that has ever – or will ever exist.
And finally, I am even more weary of the “doom and gloom/we’re soooo screwed/it’s aall over” CONSERVATIVES whining instead of mobilizing. I suggest we all need to put a sock in it and listen to someone who "doesn't have much time for words."
Luttrell’s speech to the NRA - May,2008:
Final note. The Navy SEALs are arguably the most specialized, most advanced, best equipped, best educated and best trained Special Operations force in history – but are constrained by “Rules of Engagement” thought up by empty suits who have never in their lives heard a shot fired in anger. Luttrell is convinced this is what cost the lives of SEAL Team 10 and 16 other Special Forces on that damned mountain.
Luttrell: "We know about bad guys, what they do, and who they are. The politicians have chosen to send us into battle, and that's our trade. We do what's necessary. And in my view, once those politicians have elected to send us out to do what 99.9 percent of the country would be terrified to undertake, they should get the hell out of the way and stay there.”
How can you argue with that? Try to imagine what it must be like to be in harms way with a Commander in Chief and Congress who have no clue why we are fighting or who the enemy is. I pray for them each morning. Pray for them now:
Almighty God, Ancient of Days, Mighty One, please guide, protect and prosper our warriors who must fight in far off lands for our freedom and security. Their cause is just and their hearts are right. And Lord, please hear their prayer:
Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave
Who bid’st the mighty ocean deep
It’s own appointed limits keep
Eternal Father, faithful friend
Be quick to answer those we send
In brotherhood and urgent trust
On hidden missions dangerous
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For SEALs in air, on land and sea
God Bless Texas, God Bless America & Never Quit! - ML