by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
I really enjoyed Marcus Luttrel’s new movie about his time in Afghanistan, based on his book about his experiences, “Lone Survivor”. Well, maybe enjoy isn’t the right word. Awe-struck is more like it!
The movie that opened this weekend is Luttrel’s work of passion to bring his epic true to life story about what happened to him and his Navy Seal companions in Afghanistan to the big screen. It was everything it was booked to be and I’m sorry I didn’t read the story before hand. I will now. It was painful to watch as our Heroes slowly die on a mountainside, surrounded by enemies, fighting to the last man. Painful, but it also had a life lesson; a lesson about the corps creed of the Navy Seal, never quit. We all could learn something from this motif. Nothing is too hard for the Seal. They never give up and they never quit.
This is something that CNN’s Jake Tapper apparently missed when he saw the movie. He interviewed Mr. Luttrell on his show recently. For Tapper, the whole situation was hopeless, tragic. Well, maybe for someone like him, or you or me, we would have found the whole situation hopeless. Perhaps we would have given up a long time ago. But then, we are not Navy Seals. We are not inculcated in that creed, but maybe we should be! You have to decide to win, and so we must! That is the message I got from the film. Harder to do than it is to say.
You see, these young Sailors are trained to fight for freedom, and are the very best of us. You have to be strong and smart to be a Seal. I don’t think I can be as strong. Maybe you neither, but we can all attempt to emulate these heroes. That means getting out of our comfort zone and doing the right thing, even when nobody else is looking and no credit will be given to do so.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is a military history buff, or just a patriot. It reminded me of another film where all the Heroes die, “We Were Soldiers” staring Mel Gibson, based on the book “We were Soldiers Once and Young!” by Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway. When I was a young Infantry lieutenant, SGT Ernie Savage of the lost platoon gave a speech at my Infantry Officers Basic Course class at Fort Benning, GA. That day in the Ia Drang Valley when his platoon was cut off and surrounded by 500 battle-hardened North Vietnamese Regulars, surrender was not in Savage’s vocabulary. With his platoon leader and platoon sergeant dead, it was up to him to save his remaining platoon mates. For over 24-hours he called artillery fire on the NVA and kept them at bay until his company was able to relieve him the following day. Listening to Savage, a young Infantry hero in the making, all hard and macho, I cried like a child listening to him recount the events of that day. I cried again in the theater last night as I watched actors playing the parts of heroes falling off a mountain.
Maybe civilians don’t get it. Maybe loved ones of military members won’t get it fully, but I think I have a piece of it. And so I recommend the movie to all my friends, and I’m running out this morning to get the book, because it’s that important a story. The tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and heroes and the blood shed by those heroes is priceless in purchasing our freedom. It can never be for nothing.
On 9/11 some murderous thugs dressed in the trappings of an ancient religion murdered our citizens. In order to stop future attacks and to crush the murderers who did this to us, Heroes like Marcus Luttrel and his friends were called upon to deal with some very awful people. In the meantime, peace loving people of Afghanistan, abandoned by the US, were dealing with the evil of the Taliban for many years and waiting for someone to help them. So when Luttrel’s team was deployed, the players found each other, the Seals, the Taliban, the pashtunwali villagers, and that set the stage for the events that followed. Marcus Luttrel was the lone survivor who alone could tell the tale.
I feel a hole in my heart after watching this movie. I’m grateful that there are people like Luttrel who were willing to do violence for my stead. Thank you sir, for your service and for this book and movie. We all needed to hear this story again.
The battle against terrorism isn’t over, though many of us wish it were. Al-Qaeda has retaken Fallujah in Iraq, and there are giving our Marines in Afghanistan a run for their money. Lone wolf terrorists attack us all the time, as they did in Boston. We are all tired and “war weary” as we sit at our kitchen tables or in front of the boob tube, hoping eventually someone will get all our troops the Hell out of there, where ever there is! And while the bad guys are plotting their next vicious attack on hapless Americans like you and me, who haven’t got the first clue, a young Hero is squatting in a swamp somewhere, on a training exercise. He might be a Sailor, a Soldier, Airman or Marine, but he waits in silence for his turn to “punch the time card” putting in a bullet into the enemy’s brain pan for the sake of us all.
For their sakes, we should always give our freedom fighters the tools and support they need, because when we help them, we help ourselves.
See the interview of Marcus Luttrel and actor Mark Wahlberg with Jake Tapper of CNN below.