Book of the Month: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson – Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2007

This is the true story of U.S. Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, member of Seal Team 10 whose team suffered horrific losses in Afghanistan in 2005. After a fierce battle against al Qaeda terrorists, Luttrell was the only member of his team still alive. Against all odds, with terrible injuries, and with the knowledge that his brothers-in-arms are all dead, Luttrell survives.

This book truly shows how detrimental ROEs (rules of engagement) are to our troops. Luttrell very clearly explains how they prevent American service men and women from acting quickly against enemies and costing American lives because the ROEs basically put the rights of enemies before the safety of American soldiers and instill fear of prosecution and imprisonment in soldiers who are merely trying not to get killed. He also shows how American media damages and condemns soldiers, and how the enemy uses our own media to their advantage. The power of the media actually cripples American forces by their constant biased broadcasts about American soldiers in war zones. It is horrible that our troops are subjected to this.

Luttrell’s true story is like a train that has jumped the track. You know something terrible and deadly and tragic is coming, but all you can do is keep reading and wait for the inevitable body count. I am so sorry for his loss. I don’t think I have ever read a book that was as upsetting and haunting as this one. When I read the last page and closed the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about the men who died because they followed ROEs instead of their instincts. I couldn’t stop thinking of the pain and loss that Luttrell endured.

I selected this as my Book of the Month because it is being turned into a movie starring Mark Wahlberg that will be released in January 2014, and I find myself wishing they wouldn’t make this movie. The story of Seal Team 10 doesn’t need to be “Hollywood-ized.” It is incredible, tragic, heartbreaking, and eye-opening as told in the words of its only survivor. It doesn’t need big-name celebrities or over-the-top action sequences. The book is powerful enough on its own.

Do yourself a favor and read the book before the movie comes out. Get the true story of what happened to Marcus Luttrell and the heroes of Seal Team 10.

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