Monday, October 18, 2010

The Lone Survivor

The Lone Survivor, recounts the true story of Navy
Seal Team 10's mission and the greatest loss in Navy Seal history. The story is written by Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell who was a member of this team. The book starts with the early life of Marcus and his twin brother growing up in Texas. Then the book shifts to Luttrell at BUD/s, the notorious Seal training camp. After he is given his trident he is shipped of to Afghanistan were he worked for 6 years. he was then assigned to Operation Redwing, a mission to kill codename: Ben Sharmak. After weeks of not being able to find Sharmak they finally find him and he and 3 other Seals: Micheal Murphy, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz are sent to kill him. Luttrell is an accomplished sniper and he or Axelson will be the ones to take the shot. They are dropped in the mountains and must travel several miles to reach their hiding spot. While they are there three goat herders stumble upon them. The goat herders are unarmed, so the team must decide whether to let them go and jeopardize the mission, or kill them and face jail when they return to the US. In the end they decide to let them go. Not too long after though the team is attacked by Taliban fighters. The Seal team takes heavy fire and is forced to retreat down hill. In the process All of the Seals are horribly injured but each takes down numerous enemies. Micheal Murphy in one last act of heroism steps out of cover to call for support. He is killed shortly after. A grenade knocks Luttrell unconscious. When he awakes his team is dead and the Taliban soldiers are looking for him. Over the course of the next day Luttrell tries to escape the Taliban, he falls down the mountain multiple times, and is shot on top of his already large amount of injuries. The rescue helicopter flies to his rescue but is shot down and all 16 Seals on board were killed. He finally is found by and Afghani mountain tribe who risk there own lives to take him in and help him. He is then rescued by Army Rangers and taken home.

This story shows the true strength of the human spirit, that even though Marcus was bodily broken he still pressed on with the sole thought that "God will give me justice". It also shows a major flaw in the rules of engagement, that even though these goat herders were unharmed they still led to the deaths of 19 Navy Seals. Another point the book makes is that the Afghani, whom most Americans would view as the enemy helped Luttrell even though it put them in grave danger.

1) What would you do if you were faced same problem with the goat herders?

2) Would you take a person from who your country was at war into your home with even if it meant you would be in danger?


KatherineS13-14 said...

1) I would not kill the goat herders. They were innocent people that were unarmed. Yes, they did end up telling the Taliban, but it was unknown at the time that they would do so. Therefore, I never would have been able to kill them.
2) I would take in an injured or dying person from an opposing country. I would care for them until he could care for himself, then send him on his way.

russell F 11-12 said...

So you are alright risking your entire team, people you know, your brothers, for total strangers?

Matt P. 13-14 said...

If I was faced with the problem of the goat herders, I would have had my team take them into custody and I would have had them keep an eye on the herders until my mission was complete. If the decision was to kill them or to let them go, I would most likely let them go because their intentions were unknown at the time, so I would not have been comfortable in killing them without confirmed justification. In response to your second question, I don't think I would let them into my house, but I would help them if they needed food or water.

russell F 11-12 said...

Yeah you cant take them with you. It would jeopardize the mission. You have to climb mountains and they will only slow you down. But letting them live puts an unknown variable into an already precarious mission. Not to mention you have to attend th funerals afterwards of you're friends knowing you're the one who made the call.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

I'm a little late to the party here but I'm going to have a crack at it anyway.

Question 1: Now that is a really tough call and since I have no experience as a soldier it is tough to answer but I imagine you would have to try and weigh how important the mission is and your possible failure and then very probable death vs. returning to the US a war criminal but having accomplished the mission. I believe that the SEAL team made the right call and they probably knew when they made it that they were all probably not coming back alive. I think they made the call the way they did because they didn't want to be remembered as civilian killers.

Question 2 is also a tough call. For me it would depend on how immediate the danger was. Taliban outside the door, you're gonna have to wait it out in the woods. Taliban 10 miles away, come on in.

Also I find it interesting that they didn't send a scout , apache, or like an A-10 to have a looksie into a known (it was known that there was enemy in the immediate vicinity right? if not feel free to correct me) hot landing area ahead of the rescue helicopter.
Just a thought.

May they rest in peace.

russell F 11-12 said...

The point of a immediate response rescue team is too go into hot areas and get people out they knew what was at risk.