Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.
This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.
A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
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By Marcus Luttrell Patrick Robinson
Little, Brown and CompanyCopyright © 2007 Marcus Luttrell
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTo Afghanistan ... in a Flying Warehouse
This was payback time for the World Trade Center. We were coming after the guys who did it. If not the actual guys, then their blood brothers, the lunatics who still wished us dead and might try it again.
Good-byes tend to be curt among Navy SEALs. A quick backslap, a friendly bear hug, no one uttering what we're all thinking: Here we go again, guys, going to war, to another trouble spot, another half-assed enemy willing to try their luck against us ... they must be out of their minds.
It's a SEAL thing, our unspoken invincibility, the silent code of the elite warriors of the U.S. Armed Forces. Big, fast, highly trained guys, armed to the teeth, expert in unarmed combat, so stealthy no one ever hears us coming. SEALs are masters of strategy, professional marksmen with rifles, artists with machine guns, and, if necessary, pretty handy with knives. In general terms, we believe there are very few of the world's problems we could not solve with high explosive or a well-aimed bullet.
We operate on sea, air, and land. That's where we got our name. U.S. Navy SEALs, underwater, on the water, or out of the water. Man, we can do it all. And where we were going, it was likely to be strictly out of the water. Way out of the water. Ten thousand feet up some treeless moonscape of a mountain range in one of the loneliest and sometimes most lawless places in the world. Afghanistan.
"'Bye, Marcus." "Good luck, Mikey." "Take it easy, Matt." "See you later, guys." I remember it like it was yesterday, someone pulling open the door to our barracks room, the light spilling out into the warm, dark night of Bahrain, this strange desert kingdom, which is joined to Saudi Arabia by the two-mile-long King Fahd Causeway.
The six of us, dressed in our light combat gear - flat desert khakis with Oakley assault boots - stepped outside into a light, warm breeze. It was March 2005, not yet hotter than hell, like it is in summer. But still unusually warm for a group of Americans in springtime, even for a Texan like me. Bahrain stands on the 26° north line of latitude. That's more than four hundred miles to the south of Baghdad, and that's hot.
Our particular unit was situated on the south side of the capital city of Manama, way up in the northeast corner of the island. This meant we had to be transported right through the middle of town to the U.S. air base on Muharraq Island for all flights to and from Bahrain. We didn't mind this, but we didn't love it either.
That little journey, maybe five miles, took us through a city that felt much as we did. The locals didn't love us either. There was a kind of sullen look to them, as if they were sick to death of having the American military around them. In fact, there were districts in Manama known as black flag areas, where tradesmen, shopkeepers, and private citizens hung black flags outside their properties to signify Americans are not welcome.
I guess it wasn't quite as vicious as Juden Verboten was in Hitler's Germany. But there are undercurrents of hatred all over the Arab world, and we knew there were many sympathizers with the Muslim extremist fanatics of the Taliban and al Qaeda. The black flags worked. We stayed well clear of those places.
Nonetheless we had to drive through the city in an unprotected vehicle over another causeway, the Sheik Hamad, named for the emir. They're big on causeways, and I guess they will build more, since there are thirty-two other much smaller islands forming the low-lying Bahrainian archipelago, right off the Saudi western shore, in the Gulf of Iran.
Anyway, we drove on through Manama out to Muharraq, where the U.S. air base lies to the south of the main Bahrain International Airport. Awaiting us was the huge C-130 Hercules, a giant turbo-prop freighter. It's one of the noisiest aircraft in the stratosphere, a big, echoing, steel cave specifically designed to carry heavy-duty freight - not sensitive, delicate, poetic conversationalists such as ourselves.
We loaded and stowed our essential equipment: heavy weaps (machine guns), M4 rifles, SIG-Sauer 9mm pistols, pigstickers (combat knives), ammunition belts, grenades, medical and communication gear. A couple of the guys slung up hammocks made of thick netting. The rest of us settled back into seats that were also made of netting. Business class this wasn't. But frogs don't travel light, and they don't expect comfort. That's frogmen, by the way, which we all were.
Stuck here in this flying warehouse, this utterly primitive form of passenger transportation, there was a certain amount of cheerful griping and moaning. But if the six of us were inserted into some hellhole of a battleground, soaking wet, freezing cold, wounded, trapped, outnumbered, fighting for our lives, you would not hear one solitary word of complaint. That's the way of our brotherhood. It's a strictly American brotherhood, mostly forged in blood. Hard-won, unbreakable. Built on a shared patriotism, shared courage, and shared trust in one another. There is no fighting force in the world quite like us.
The flight crew checked we were all strapped in, and then those thunderous Boeing engines roared. Jesus, the noise was unbelievable. I might just as well have been sitting in the gearbox. The whole aircraft shook and rumbled as we charged down the runway, taking off to the southwest, directly into the desert wind which gusted out of the mainland Arabian peninsula. There were no other passengers on board, just the flight crew and, in the rear, us, headed out to do God's work on behalf of the U.S. government and our commander in chief, President George W. Bush. In a sense, we were all alone. As usual.
We banked out over the Gulf of Bahrain and made a long, left-hand swing onto our easterly course. It would have been a whole hell of a lot quicker to head directly northeast across the gulf. But that would have taken us over the dubious southern uplands of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we do not do that.
Instead we stayed south, flying high over the friendly coastal deserts of the United Arab Emirates, north of the burning sands of the Rub al Khali, the Empty Quarter. Astern of us lay the fevered cauldrons of loathing in Iraq and nearby Kuwait, places where I had previously served. Below us were the more friendly, enlightened desert kingdoms of the world's coming natural-gas capital, Qatar; the oil-sodden emirate of Abu Dhabi; the gleaming modern high-rises of Dubai; and then, farther east, the craggy coastline of Oman.
None of us were especially sad to leave Bahrain, which was the first place in the Middle East where oil was discovered. It had its history, and we often had fun in the local markets bargaining with local merchants for everything. But we never felt at home there, and somehow as we climbed into the dark skies, we felt we were leaving behind all that was god-awful in the northern reaches of the gulf and embarking on a brand-new mission, one that we understood.
In Baghdad we were up against an enemy we often could not see and were obliged to get out there and find. And when we found him, we scarcely knew who he was - al Qaeda or Taliban, Shiite or Sunni, Iraqi or foreign, a freedom fighter for Saddam or an insurgent fighting for some kind of a different god from our own, a god who somehow sanctioned murder of innocent civilians, a god who'd effectively booted the Ten Commandments over the touchline and out of play.
They were ever present, ever dangerous, giving us a clear pattern of total confusion, if you know what I mean. Somehow, shifting positions in the big Hercules freighter, we were leaving behind a place which was systematically tearing itself apart and heading for a place full of wild mountain men who were hell-bent on tearing us apart.
Afghanistan. This was very different. Those mountains up in the northeast, the western end of the mighty range of the Hindu Kush, were the very same mountains where the Taliban had sheltered the lunatics of al Qaeda, shielded the crazed followers of Osama bin Laden while they plotted the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 9/11.
This was where bin Laden's fighters found a home training base. Let's face it, al Qaeda means "the base," and in return for the Saudi fanatic bin Laden's money, the Taliban made it all possible. Right now these very same guys, the remnants of the Taliban and the last few tribal warriors of al Qaeda, were preparing to start over, trying to fight their way through the mountain passes, intent on setting up new training camps and military headquarters and, eventually, their own government in place of the democratically elected one.
They may not have been the precise same guys who planned 9/11. But they were most certainly their descendants, their heirs, their followers. They were part of the same crowd who knocked down the North and South towers in the Big Apple on the infamous Tuesday morning in 2001. And our coming task was to stop them, right there in those mountains, by whatever means necessary.
Thus far, those mountain men had been kicking some serious ass in their skirmishes with our military. Which was more or less why the brass had sent for us. When things get very rough, they usually send for us. That's why the navy spends years training SEAL teams in Coronado, California, and Virginia Beach. Especially for times like these, when Uncle Sam's velvet glove makes way for the iron fist of SPECWARCOM (that's Special Forces Command).
And that was why all of us were here. Our mission may have been strategic, it may have been secret. However, one point was crystalline clear, at least to the six SEALs in that rumbling Hercules high above the Arabian desert. This was payback time for the World Trade Center. We were coming after the guys who did it. If not the actual guys, then their blood brothers, the lunatics who still wished us dead and might try it again. Same thing, right?
We knew what we were coming for. And we knew where we were going: right up there to the high peaks of the Hindu Kush, those same mountains where bin Laden might still be and where his new bands of disciples were still hiding. Somewhere.
The pure clarity of purpose was inspirational to us. Gone were the treacherous, dusty backstreets of Baghdad, where even children of three and four were taught to hate us. Dead ahead, in Afghanistan, awaited an ancient battleground where we could match our enemy, strength for strength, stealth for stealth, steel for steel.
This might be, perhaps, a little daunting for regular soldiers. But not for SEALs. And I can state with absolute certainty that all six of us were excited by the prospect, looking forward to doing our job out there in the open, confident of our ultimate success, sure of our training, experience, and judgment. You see, we're invincible. That's what they taught us. That's what we believe.
It's written right there in black and white in the official philosophy of the U.S. Navy SEAL, the last two paragraphs of which read:
We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required, yet guided by the very principles I serve to defend.
Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.
Each one of us had grown a beard in order to look more like Afghan fighters. It was important for us to appear nonmilitary, to not stand out in a crowd. Despite this, I can guarantee you that if three SEALs were put into a crowded airport, I would spot them all, just by their bearing, their confidence, their obvious discipline, the way they walk. I'm not saying anyone else could recognize them. But I most certainly could.
The guys who traveled from Bahrain with me were remarkably diverse, even by SEAL standards. There was SGT2 Matthew Gene Axelson, not yet thirty, a petty officer from California, married to Cindy, devoted to her and to his parents, Cordell and Donna, and to his brother, Jeff.
I always called him Axe, and I knew him well. My twin brother, Morgan, was his best friend. He'd been to our home in Texas, and he and I had been together for a long time in SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1, Alfa Platoon. He and Morgan were swim buddies together in SEAL training, went through Sniper School together.
Axe was a quiet man, six foot four, with piercing blue eyes and curly hair. He was smart and the best Trivial Pursuit player I ever saw. I loved talking to him because of how much he knew. He would come out with answers that would have defied the learning of a Harvard professor. Places, countries, their populations, principal industries.
In the teams, he was always professional. I never once saw him upset, and he always knew precisely what he was doing. He was just one of those guys. What was difficult and confusing for others was usually a piece of cake for him. In combat he was a supreme athlete, swift, violent, brutal if necessary. His family never knew that side of him. They saw only the calm, cheerful navy man who could undoubtedly have been a professional golfer, a guy who loved a laugh and a cold beer.
You could hardly meet a better person. He was an incredible man.
Then there was my best friend, Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, also not yet thirty, an honors graduate from Penn State, a hockey player, accepted by several law schools before he turned the rudder hard over and changed course for the United States Navy. Mikey was an inveterate reader. His favorite book was Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire, the story of the immortal stand of the Spartans at Thermopylae.
He was vastly experienced in the Middle East, having served in Jordan, Qatar, and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. We started our careers as SEALs at the same time, and we were probably flung together by a shared devotion to the smart-ass remark. Also, neither of us could sleep if we were under the slightest pressure. Our insomnia was shared like our humor. We used to hang out together half the night, and I can truthfully say no one ever made me laugh like that.
I was always razzing him about being dirty. We'd sometimes go out on patrol every day for weeks, and there seems to be no time to shower and no point in showering when you're likely to be up to your armpits in swamp water a few hours later. Here's a typical exchange between us, petty officer team leader to commissioned SEAL officer:
"Mikey, you smell like shit, for Christ's sake. Why the hell don't you take a shower?"
"Right away, Marcus. Remind me to do that tomorrow, willya?"
"Roger that, sir!"
For his nearest and dearest, he used a particularly large gift shop, otherwise known as the U.S. highway system. I remember him giving his very beautiful girlfriend Heather a gift-wrapped traffic cone for her birthday. For Christmas, he gave her one of those flashing red lights which fit on top of those cones at night. Gift-wrapped, of course. He once gave me a stop sign for my birthday.
And you should have seen his traveling bag. It was enormous, a big, cavernous hockey duffel bag, the kind carried by his favorite team, the New York Rangers. The single heaviest piece of luggage in the entire navy. But it didn't sport the Rangers logo. On its top were two simple words: Piss off.
There was no situation for which he could not summon a really smart-ass remark. Mikey was once involved in a terrible and almost fatal accident, and one of the guys asked him to explain what happened.
"C'mon," said the New York lieutenant, as if it were a subject of which he was profoundly weary. "You're always bringing up that old shit. Fuggeddaboutit."
The actual accident had happened just two days earlier.
He was also the finest officer I ever met, a natural leader, a really terrific SEAL who never, ever bossed anyone around. It was always Please. Always Would you mind? Never Do that, do this. And he simply would not tolerate any other high-ranking officer, commissioned or noncommissioned, reaming out one of his guys.
He insisted the buck stopped with him. He always took the hit himself. If a reprimand was due, he accepted the blame. But don't even try to go around him and bawl out one of his guys, because he could be a formidable adversary when riled. And that riled him.
He was excellent underwater, and a powerful swimmer. Trouble was, he was a bit slow, and that was truly his only flaw. One time, he and I were on a two-mile training swim, and when I finally hit the beach I couldn't find him. Finally I saw him splashing through the water about four hundred yards offshore. Christ, he's in trouble - that was my first thought.
So I charged back into the freezing sea and set out to rescue him. I'm not a real fast runner, but I'm quick through the water, and I reached him with no trouble. I should have known better.
Excerpted from Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell Patrick Robinson Copyright © 2007 by Marcus Luttrell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
To Afghanistan...in a Flying Warehouse 9
Baby Seals...and Big Ole Gators 41
A School for Warriors 75
Welcome to Hell, Gentlemen 108
Like the Remnants of a Ravaged Army 139
'Bye, Dudes, Give 'Em Hell 160
An Avalanche of Gunfire 195
The Final Battle for Murphy's Ridge 227
Blown-up, Shot, and Presumed Dead 257
An American Fugitive Cornered by the Taliban 288
Reports of My Death Greatly Exaggerated 318
"Two-two-eight! It's Two-two-eight!" 347
Epilogue: Lone Star 381
Afterword Patrick Robinson 385
Never Forget 387
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I purchased this book when it first came out and was afraid to read it. I picked it up recently and absolutely could not put it down. This book has touched me in so many ways. Admittingly, I have taken our liberties for granted. After reading this book, I am truly grateful for men such as Marcus who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect mine. The courage these men have cannot be denied. This book should be read by all. I read some of the recent reviews and took great offense on comments regarding the political slant. This book is not about that. Regardless of how you feel about war and the US involvment, one cannot be less than thankful for the protection we have by our military. This book is so very highly recommended. It will be hard to replace this book as my favorite!!!
I am never one to write a review-- somehow can't figure out how to just rank by stars which i always look at when buying books online... Anyway, I was searching this book to buy for a friend and I saw a negative review and thought I really should give my praises because this book is a must read. It does an unbelievable job of weaving in lessons about hard work and determination, friendship, family, and the unwavering spirit of america. If it were up to me, this would be assigned reading for every high school senior- my generation could really take away so much from the experiences shared in this book. Oh-- and to the person who claimed this book was written by an author who just continuously 'patted himself on the back', you become a navy seal and do multiple tours in iraq and afghanistan and tell me he doesn't deserve the credit he gives himself. He truly is an American hero. Five stars does not give this book nearly enough justice.
READ THIS BOOK!!! I absolutely LOVE this book! My husband is a Marine, so I read a lot of military books. This one is, by far, my favorite! In it, Marcus Luttrell tells the story of growing up in Texas with his twin brother, the process of becoming a SEAL, and then his AMAZING story of survival against all odds! EVERYONE should read this book! Whether you're for the war, against the war, military, civilian, young or old. It will open your eyes to a whole other world. A world far, far away, yet so close to so many of our lives. And one I find many Americans know very little about!
Sometimes war is black and white. This book is well written and it gives a first-hand account of the war on terror. The Navy SEALS are the world's best fighting force, but as Petty Officer Lutrell writes, the people who protect us are told to fight fair against an enemy that wants to kill you and your children. The book illustrates just what the Taliban is all about and why we must get serious and allow our armed forces to do the job that they were trained to do. As Navy SEAL Lutrell tells us in this work, these are the very same animals that masterminded the attacks on 09/11/01. Lutrell and his brethren's mission in Afghanistan is for our forces to go after these Taliban and Al Queda forces and elminate them before another attack occurs on our home soil. Lone Survivor is the story of a group of brave SEALS who go into the Afghan mountains after these barbarians. The story of Operation Red Wing is action-packed and fast moving and if you have any appreciation for our military this book will leave you feeling more proud than ever to have these men and women protecting you. Lutrell gets it and his frustration with people in Washington and in the media who know nothing about military operations is evident. The author takes the reader through talking to loved ones who lost a family member in the war, to becoming a SEAL, and finally to the events that occured during Operation Redwing in Afghanistan. An outstanding read that becomes harder to put down as the book progresses.
As a disabled veteran, Army widow and mother of a deployed soldier in this terrible war on terror, I found this book to be gripping. I don't care about the skill of the writer -- his account of this terrible ordeal has been life changing. I am also someone who has spoken to Mr. Luttrell online. When our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines go off to war to defend this country against ALL enemies foreign and domestic, they expect the people appointed over them -- military and civilian alike and including our commander in chief -- they have a right to expect those people not in the fight to do everything they can to support the men behind the weapons and bring them home safe -- NOT politicize their battles!! After reading this book and the FEW terrible reviews by those expecting something else, I can fully understand why Mr. Luttrell feels the way he does. He went into the military intending to make it a career and because of the lack of support by his superiors, ended up totally disabled and embittered beyond belief. This is completely understandable. We who serve give up the majority of our civil rights in the fight to defend freedom, our way of life, and yes, even those stupid people out there who would never even think of putting on a uniform and making the same sacrifice, but are MORE than willing to sit back in their chairs and utter one hateful diatribe after another against those who do and come back changed for life. I suggest that anyone brave enough to make it all the way through this book and hating it to get off their collective duffs, wear the uniform, defend our country, and come back alive -- THEN READ THIS BOOK AGAIN WITH A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
There are many things that have been said about this book before I picked it up. So, I came into this with a preconceived idea of what I would read. To my pleasant surprise it was not quite what I had anticipated, and I am grateful for that. I expected a war story that would be long on details and short on character, but what I got was the look into the soul of a man. Marcus told his story in a way that makes sense to him and exposed who he is to the world. His actions as a SEAL took courage, but letting the world see who he is as a man is even more courageous. He will be judged, his actions will be judged, and the book will be judged, but he stays true to his values to tell the story of his team and how the most challenging experiences in life make him a unique man. I could not put the book down once I started and only recommend this book to people with values, morals, and conviction because those without virtue could never understand the man or the book. I only wish my son would be half the man that Marcus is.
Marcus Lutrell is a Texas-boy through and through. Texans are a unique breed. Often arrogant and self-confident, yet warm and generous, Lutrell fits the bill. "Don't mess with Texas!" On June 28, 2005, Lutrell and SEAL Team 10 are sent on a mission into Afghanistan as part of Operation Redwing. SEAL Team 10 consisted of Lutrell, Matthew Axelson, Michael Murphy and Danny Dietz. The SEALs moved through the Hindu Kush mountains, eventually positioning themselves to watch the village where their target was supposed to be located. While on surveillance, they are surrounded by the Taliban and engaged in a firefight. Over the next few hours the team is outnumbered probably 35 to 1, caught in a vicious firefight, wounded and pushed further and further down the mountain. There are great moments of heroism and bravery as one-by-one they are picked off. In the end, only Lutrell is still alive and on the run with the Taliban chasing him through the mountains. Eventually he is found and taken in by a Pashtun tribe, and carried to their village where his wounds are treated and he is cared for. The tribe extend their hospitality to him, and they are bound to protect and care for him to the death. This pits them against the Taliban in securing the safety of Lutrell, and in their determination to return him to the Americans. Eventually they do just that. The writing style was a little too relaxed for me. It was like I was sitting in a bar and listening to him talk over a beer. It was a little scattered and lacked very much structure. Additionally there is so much arrogance in the beginning that it could be a bit of a turnoff. But eventually I got used to the writing style and began to see the arrogance more as "confidence", and by the middle of the book I'd hit my groove. However the one thing that kept bothering me was the continual derogatory attitude towards "liberals". I know Texans are staunchly conservative, but it would have been nice to see a little less bias and derogatory tone. It is quite evident that the author views liberals an enemy nearly paramount to the Taliban. The details of the firefight are brutal. These guys were shot repeatedly, with serious head, neck, back and stomach wounds, sometimes mortally shot, and they kept going. They kept fighting- for themselves, for their buddies, for their mission and their country. The one thing that I missed in this book was the chance to really get to know these guys that died out on that mountain. However that didn't stop me from crying as I read of their bravery in the face of terror and pain. There is a fair amount of vulgarity throughout this book. After all, there is a reason we refer to people as "talking like a sailor"! Overall I would recommend this story-- for the middle. The beginning is a little too arrogant and brash, like a boy boasting of his conquests. The end a little too quiet as he recuperates and tours the US to visit with the family members of those who died in Operation Redwing. The middle, the heart of the story, is heart-wrenching and brutal and will have you in tears as you read what these boys went through and what they did for one another. Their love for one another is evident. Beautiful. If you are intrigued by the Navy SEALs, if you don't shy away from brutality, if you can take the vulgarity and brashness, pick this one up. It will move you.
Fascinating. Takes you deep inside the machismo world of the US Navy Seal teams where you get an up close view of the brotherhood and trials these truly amazing men go through. Also one of the most tragic and thrilling accounts of battle I have ever read. Very insightful into the war in Afghanistan. A definite must read. Would recommend over any other book I have ever read. Truly keeps you on the edge of your seat. It will be impossible to put down. I read it in less than a week. A book of unparalleled sacrifice, heroism, and bravery.
Some reviewers have given this book a low rating because the political views expressed don't align with their own. I think it's unfortunate they can't appreciate the story for what it is; an amazing tale of a guy getting shot at and loosing his friends so the rest of us don't get blown up on planes/malls/buses/bridges etc. Perhaps they are upset to find an American hero thinks their political views don't work in his reality, and has the audacity to say so in his book...
My thanks to Marcus Luttrell for not only reliving these events to bring them to paper, but for continuing to take a stand for his brethren and country, long after leaving Afghanistan. My thanks to his family who also have sacrificed much for our country. As for the book reviews that follow, I wholeheartedly agree with Krazeehors' review of May 5, 2011. Pray for and continue to support our troops. This book is engaging, very hard to put down, revealing, educational, heartrending, suspenseful, detailed, and shows history through the eyes of one who lived it. Buy it, read it and get copies for your friends-it's life changing. Then thank a member of our armed forces, veteran or otherwise, for their sacrifice. Thank you Marcus.
I cannot believe how many people gave such negative reviews and their words I found despicable to the highest degree. Mr. Luttrell is a HERO even though some people claim he is not. I found Mr. Luttrell to be honorable, honest and very forth coming in his beliefs in which I whole heartedly agree with. Our congress and current president have hindered our soldiers, which has resulted in so many deaths of our soldiers fighting for everything our fore fathers and a lot of us still believe in. I cannot believe it was passed that our soldiers are unable to fire unless they are fired on first. It does not matter that these terrorists want the death of all infidels and will use any means necessary. They use what congress has passed against our soldiers, and laugh the whole time doing it. It infuriates me, and I can only pray our next president will do everything they can to change this. Yes, I agree with our author that these laws have been passed by people who know nothing of combat and what our soldiers do everyday to protect our freedom and democracy. If they would ever walk in their boots they would quickly see the error in their ways. Mr. Luttrell is honest, and I believe he was correct in shedding the light of what our liberal government has done. Americans need to know this. Americans need to make a stand against this injustice done to our soldiers. Oh, and by the way I am an Independent, I have always voted who I have felt would do the best for our citizens of this great nation. I, in no way found this author to be arrogant, I thought he was actually quite humble and played down his strengths. He actually described his brother in arms to be the heros. He described their strengths and showed what great men he fought beside and how he admired them and achieved to be even half of who they were. I also agree he needed to explain how the media is currently working against our soldiers in arms. It was necessary to do so. I did think the chapters could have been changed to a more chronological order in what he followed, but this was his first book and he did a fabulous job in getting his story across. I would like to believe he survived so he could write this book so people can now understand what is going on. I especially appreciate what every soldier must endure while they go through training. I have an even higher respect for all SEALS, and it was quite high to begin with. I believe this book needed to be written, not only to honor his fallen comrades, but to let the American people know what is going on in the political world and how strongly and negatively it affects the men and women fighting for our country thousands of miles away from home. I highly recommend this book for people who have an open mind and willing to listen to a soldier who has been where many of us would never wish to go. I wish the people who wrote such negative comments would have taken the time to appreciate what he had to say and taken it at face value. We all have different opinions and we should respect that. It is what our country allows...FREEDOM. This is the first comment in which I have not critiqued the style of the author, but I felt so strongly to defend this great man. I say to him Chii Miigwich (thank you very much) for protecting and fighting for our country and what it stands for. Mr. Luttrell has a lot of depth and I enjoyed his quotes from great men. One can tell he is well read. Best regards, Maiingankwe
Best book I've read.
I know that I'm a racist, warmongering hater, but I can accept that about myself. If you share some of those characteristics or honor those who do, you'll love this book.
I could not put this book down! Lone Survivor gave me a great perspective on the training of a SEAL and re-established what heroes are really made of. This book is fascinating. (If you are sensitive to curse words reconsider buying this book; there are a lot of curse words.)
Cannot rave enough about this book! From his upbringing to that harrowing day in Afghanistan, Marcus conveys his story very well. Read it!!
My eyes will remain teary for days. I am astounded by the bravery and honor of these men. Luttrell paints a picture that most of us Americans do not see while we sleep safely in our beds. Thank you Luttrell for reminding me that my freedom and that of my families was hard fought, won, and never a second thought to you and the proud Americans that fight for us and for those who would rather see you dead. I am gratefull, and proud!
Being in the NAVY, and having the same rate as Marcus Luttrell, this book was very hard to put down. He is a hero to me, as well as many others in the NAVY, and this book just shows how SEALS put Pride for ones country over their own lives. Marcus Luttrell didnt deserve a Navy Star, he deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor. I've met him in Norfolk, VA, and If I ever met him while I was in uniform I would salute him, becuase he what many people in the military wish they could be, a squared away HERO to many!!! Read this book!!! Its worth every cent!!!
Very real and a great story.
This is a great book, its un beliveable what these guys do and i am humbeled by there actions. This is the best of these type book that i have read, worth every minute.
The world is full of many who are willing to find the faults of this story. It is true that there are many things that could have happened differently to change the outcome of such a tragic and yet amazing event. However, it is now history, decisions were made that day on Murphy's Ridge that only those four men will know the truth of. The point is that the decision was made, a decision that most will never face and should therefore never judge. Things do go wrong. Men like Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz, Micheal Murphy, and Marcus Luttrell are great - along with so many others - because they have sworn to make those decisions on our behalf. The book was amazing, I laughed, I cried, I was angry, I was grateful. I too have sworn to make those decisions and hope one day to have the backs of someone as brave as these men on today's uncertain battlefield.
I wrote earlier that I was not sure I would finish this book, upset about Mr. Lutrell's views on "liberals". I did finish and this book is incredible! His views actually add to the story and are thought provoking. He is telling his story and the story of his guys. All extremely brave, noble men. He lacks insight into the parallels and ironies of their decision not to kill the goatherders and the same decision by the Pashtun to take him in. Both decisions were costly but the right decision. There is so much to say about this... I'll just say respect the difference and say Thanks to the SEALS, Rangers, Berets and all our fighting men and women.
There are reviews making an issue of Luttrell's political statements in his book. Although his opinions may be harsh they exist for a reason. It's easy to understand why Luttrell doesn't sympathize with liberals. Simply put, the decision made during Operation Red Wing that cost SEALs their lives was done out of a legitimate fear of a very liberal and hostile media. No one wants to die in prison for doing their job. Luttrell has every right to go off a bit when writing his own book about a famous mission he alone survived. I'd cut him a little slack. I believe he earned it.
What a great book! I bought this book recently as my first military book. I loved it! It can get very touching at some points but still a great book. I'm only 12 years old and this book has a lot of curse words. If you are thinking about bying this book and you are sensitive to curse words, you may want to reconsider it. But it is amazing to see how brave these Navy SEAL's are.
Lone Survivor is a compelling story of four brave NAVY SEALs whose mission it is to take out a well known terroist in the mountains of Afghanistan. The story starts out by telling how Marcus Luttrell, the main character, became a SEAL and what it took to get their. Once he is a SEAL, he becomes very successful at what he does. From his grueling training, to his time away from his friends family, Marcus becomes a true SEAL. It was a summer night in July of 2005 when Marcus and three other SEAL's got their mission of Operation Redwing. It was to take out the al-Qaeda terroist. The mission went terribly wrong when goat hearders in the Afghani mountains spotted them. They had a very hard decision to make, whether to kill them or let them go, and they chose to let them go. These goat herders would then go and tell the Taliban they they were there. Now, these four brave SEAL's were now surrounded by the Taliban everywhere they looked, but the Taliban did not see them. Over the next hour, a brutal and horrible firefight broke out killing all but Marcus. Marcus would then survive the next few days living in a Afghani village protected by the villagers. Marcus would later surivive more horrific damage to his body, and finally be rescued by his country. Marcus lived on to tell his story of Operation Redwing, and deserves all the credit in the world. Marcus Luttrell is the true American hero.