Banana Don’s Slice Of Americana – “Lone Survivor”
The movie “Lone Survivor” is in theaters this weekend. It’s a movie based on a book written by former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. (Spoiler Alert – even though this is a fairly well-known story) The photo below was taken ten days before a battle during Operation Red Wings (yes, named after the hockey team, even though Marcus calls it Operation Redwing in the book) that ended with the death of all these guys (plus 14 other soldiers) except for Marcus, who just barely escaped. Marcus is the guy wearing the hat.
The soldier on the far right was Marcus’s best friend, LT. Michael P Murphy, who was awarded the Medal Of Honor for his actions during this battle. He died while going to an exposed position to call for help, knowing he would probably not survive, and in fact stayed on the phone with headquarters, long enough to make sure they had all the information they needed, while he was being shot.
Marcus and Michael and two other SEALs were sent to a village in the mountains of Afghanistan to track a terrorist leader and capture or kill him if they could. The problems started when three goat herders walked right into their sniper position. They detained the goat herders for a while, but then took a vote and decided to let them go. Well, what happened? They went right home, told the Taliban, and Marcus and friends ended up in a firefight with at LEAST a hundred Taliban fighters, resulting in three out of the four being killed and an Army helicopter being shot down as fellow SEALs tried to rescue them.
I’ve read the book and I will see the movie. I’m interested in seeing how Hollywood deals with the fact (as stated by Marcus in the book) that the SEALS knew the best decision would be to shoot the goat herders so they wouldn’t be compromised, BUT, they worried that if they did that, word would get back to the mainstream media in the U.S. and the story would be (in their opinion) that Navy SEALS had killed innocent civilians.They let them go, but according to the book – immediately knew it was the wrong decision.
And just one more heads up – this afternoon I watched a documentary that came out just this week called “Murph – The Protector”, which is all about LT Michael P Murphy’s life and why he was awarded the Medal of Honor. That guy was truly special. I highly recommend the movie.
I know we have a lot of former and current servicemen and servicewomen who listen to WITL – some online from far away and from “not so safe” places. If Marcus Lutrell’s story and this movie can do one thing, it’s to remind us that a lot of Americans are, and have, put their butts on the line for us every day. Thanks.