Marcus Luttrell Talks ‘Lone Survivor’

SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy Is Killed During A Reconnaissance Mission In Operation Red Wing

There’s no way a whirlwind of movie screenings, press conferences and interviews in Manhattan five-star hotels ever entered Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s mind during the five days he struggled to survive during Operation Red Wings in 2005. He wrote a memoir in tribute to his fallen comrades (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10that became a bestseller and that book is now a movie (Lone Survivor) that stars Mark Wahlberg as Luttrell.

Luttrell seems like he’s treating this entire process as a continuation of Operation Redwing, that getting the story out about the men who died is a necessary step to completing the mission. He spent a lot of time on set during filming of the movie and now he’s traveling around the world to promote the film. We had a chance to speak with him one-on-one and he talked about his decision to write a book, the experience of working with director Peter Berg and how realistic they tried to be in portraying the mission.

How are you feeling about all of this?

Worn out. It’s a lot more tedious than I would have expected. I mean we were talking about it being kind of like doing a workup in the platoon, but I’m doing it by myself. And the end game is not a deployment. It’s a movie, so there’s a lot of moving from place to place, different plane, different city, different state, it’s okay.

Lone Survivor

Why did you decide to write the book?

Sure. But the head shed came down to me when I was in physical therapy while I was recovering from Operation Red Wing. They said that they were talking about putting this into a book and releasing it to the public, mainly because they wanted to squash the rumors that were going around about what had happened up on the mountain.

The head shed would get phone calls from the family members saying, “Why don’t you tell me about what happened to my son?” They would say, “We don’t know where you heard that, but that’s not the way that went down.”

I think that happened so many times that it just got to a point to where they decided that they needed to put this out to the public because the number of casualties that we had sustained was so severe that all of America knew about it. It wasn’t a situation where we could have just moved along with like we normally do.

They came to me while I was doing physical therapy and I was also in a platoon doing a workup. The military really helped me out with the lawyers and finding Patrick Robertson, the ghostwriter. He did a great job of putting it all together and everything. I just can’t say enough about that guy.

During the week I would be doing a workup, just platoon stuff, and then on the weekends, I would have to get on an airplane and fly out to Cape Cod and get there Saturday morning, work until Sunday night, and fly back and work for a week. We kept that schedule until we got it done. And the book actually came out when I was back in Iraq. I got injured again there and my injuries from Operation Red Wing had not gone away and gotten worse because I didn’t take time off. So then I was medically retired.

You know it was funny, while I was over in Iraq, I would get emails from my publisher and everything. They were like, hey, please be safe over there. Don’t die. You know? I’m like, “Do you really not want me to die or do you just need me around for the book?” When the book was released, I think I had been out of the military for two weeks, back from combat for two weeks.

Lone Survivor

That was basically how that started and it was kind of getting like pushed into the deep end of the pool into the literary world. I had no idea how all that worked. I had to go around doing all the press and the media. I was used to being just under the radar, doing what I did for a living. So the learning curve is pretty steep, but I stuck with it and, amazingly enough, the American public really took notice to the book. It kind of gained legs after a little while and took on a life of its own.

There’s so many different aspects of the book that resonate with people. They would say, “You know, the gunfight really touched me or the village that helped you really touched me, what was going on at your family ranch really touched me.” There’s so much stuff that happened in those five days and I was just fortunate enough to make it off the mountain and keep their memory alive by putting it on paper and releasing it so average Americans who aren’t really familiar with what goes down over there can get an idea of what we go through.

When did you meet Peter Berg?

I met him probably five years ago in Los Angeles. The Navy told me that word had come down that Hollywood was poking around to do a movie about the operation and they were going to do it with or without us. We obviously came to the conclusion it would probably be better if we were involved as opposed to not being there to make it authentic as possible.

So I was in Los Angeles doing some interviews with directors and producers. That was another world that I got dropped into after the literary world. I was just getting a handle on that world when I got pushed into another one. It was on a whim really that I met Pete. I was actually headed home and I missed my flight because I was in a meeting and the guy told me that Peter Berg was down here filming a movie with Will Smith and Charlize Theron and that he’d really like to meet me and suggested that I go down and meet all the actors. I was like, well, I don’t want to meet anybody. I don’t really care about all that. You know, I’m not that way. Everybody is human. We have a job to do and they’re great at what they do.

I went down to the set. When they said his name, at first I couldn’t put the face to the name. As soon as I saw him, I immediately was like, yeah, I know who you are. I’ve seen your movies. He got up and we walked off the set to have a conversation. He was more of a walk-the-walk instead of talk-the-talk kind of a guy, and I really appreciated that about him. He gave me a little insight into his background. His dad was a Marine and he appreciates the military and the service. He told me that he would be honored to do this and that he had just finished a movie called The Kingdom and he wanted me to see it.

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I went in and watched it. After I walked out of there, I couldn’t have told you the plot of the movie. I was just looking at how he did things and his attention to detail in every little aspect from the how IEDs were being built to the enemy and how they moved. I just got that feeling in my stomach that it was probably the right decision to go with this guy. I called him up and we went out and had dinner and a few beers and I said, “It’s in your hands now, man. I was like you’re the pro here, not me. I’m entrusting you with 19 lives. Don’t mess it up.” That’s not what I said, but he understood that. And he said, “I won’t. I’ll do right.”

He took his time with it and he made sure that he did all the research he could possibly do. He worked his butt off and he actually got into our community and went over to Iraq and got embedded with one of the SEAL teams over there, talked to all the families, read all the literature and just did his homework.

You’ve got to understand in reality I was out there for five days. The gun battle itself was over three hours and the entire movie is just two hours long. Pete was able to condense all of that into a two hour movie and decide what to put in there, what not to put in there. I stepped back and then just let him do his job. He was the professional and I respected his decision on everything that he did. Obviously he was very receptive to comments from me and the other SEALs that were helping out on the set. It wasn’t just him: the whole cast, the crew, everybody that was out there as a part of this would walk up to me every day and say, “Thank you, it’s just an honor to be out here.”

Lone Survivor

Can you talk about the realism in the movie?

It’s straight to the point and didn’t pull any punches. That was one of the things we talked about when we were on the set. How were you going to recreate the battle? The stuntmen are going to do this and they’re going to get hurt and they did. Broken ribs, punctured lungs, concussions, everything. For the movie to squeeze the three hours into 40 minutes, watching the fighting, the moving, the communications, the tactics and everything, they did a good job. I mean I’m pleased. I’m happy with it. I couldn’t ask for anything more and wouldn’t expect anything less.

Do you think the matter of fact realism of how the battle goes down is different than what people back here in the States understand about what goes during a mission?

Sure, I would imagine that’s the way it is with anything if you’re not familiar with it and you don’t live in that world. It would probably be the same thing with sports for someone who has never seen a football game. The movie is as real as it can be. War is the lowest common denominator. It’s him against me and may the best man win. When I’ve been watching the movie with audiences, you can hear the gasps and they’re taken aback by what they see, but it’s real. It happened and that’s what I did for a living. It’s business as usual.

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140 Comments

  1. Jim H says:

    I think the heroism message will get out but using Walberg(anti-gun spokesperson)was a mistake. I refuse to support a movie with an anti 2nd amendment actor playing lead

    • eriq says:

      That’s you prerogative. It’s a movie. Why are you putting politics in it? Maybe we should have gotten Sean Hannity to play the part.

      • FlyerVic says:

        You are wrong. It\‘s not about politics. It\‘s about choices. Wahlberg chooses to fight against second amendment rights. Along with Jim H, I choose not to give my money to an anti-Constitional wing nut.

      • Pathfinder says:

        Wall berg puts politics into everything he does when he opens his mouth. I will watch this someday when it\‘s free. Until then, I will read the book.

    • IronV says:

      People have a right to their opinions even if you disagree with them. Can’t you just disagree respectfully and move on? Let the politics take care of themselves…

    • Mike says:

      I have no clue Wahlberg’s feelings about personal gun ownership. Personally I’m for gun ownership provided the owner knows how to properly handle it, but I have quite a few friends and family against it, doesn’t mean I’m going to cut them out of my life. I will say though that despite him being against personal gun ownership, he has shown A LOT of support towards service members including visits to the Middle East to visit with troops. He’s always spoken positively towards us and has said how much it means to him when he plays someone in the military and how he wants to make it right in the movie out of respect towards what we do.

    • Charlie (USArmy Vet) says:

      You know what Jim, you’re an asshole. I may not like Wahlberg’s views on gun rights but don’t give a flying fuck about his political views as long as he portrays the character and situation right in a movie about a real life incident like this and didn’t interject politics into the movie. He didn’t turn the movie into a politically correct portrait of how Luttrell’s Team shouldn’t have been where they were or done what they did so the hell with his position on guns for now.

    • Josh says:

      Really would like to see where he is an anti gun spokesperson. Where is that at? Ive seen where he says that he wished they didn’t have to exist. Not sure, but if thats all, id hardly say thats anti gun.

    • Matt says:

      LOL, Jim H hasn’t seen a movie since 1980 then I guess, except for the ones that only have Chuck Norris in them. If you’re worried about the politics of people on t.v. and movies, etc, how is it you ever watch anything except Fox News? Also, Walberg has made his money from this movie, so those who don’t want to support Walberg by not seeing the movie are missing the boat. My impression was Luttrell did fine with the actors on the set… so what the hell is your problem with them?

  2. carpenter says:

    The Army has many heroes.

  3. Jim Mackin says:

    The book should have been titled “Survivor’s Guilt”…Luttrell’s inaccuracies and exaggerations were so glaring in his book that it was pathetic…The book was not actually written by Luttrell, but by a ghost writer — a Brit military fiction writer, and it was quite obvious that the book was written as a prelude to a possible movie deal…“Operation Red Wings” was a Marine Corps op that these four guys got to horn in on as a result of a decision by SOCOM because the Marines had requested for MH-47 helo support for Operation Red Wings.…These four guys screwed the pooch with their poor judgement when they let the goat herders go free, and that decision ultimately cost the lives of the rescue operation — 16 men from SEAL Team 10 and 160th Spec Aviation as a result…Anyone interested in learning the real truth about this disaster, should read “Victory Point” by Ed Darack, who was embedded with 2nd Bn 3rd Marine Regt for their entire deployment in NE Afghanistan. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

    • dwok says:

      You obviously don’t know what the purpose of a ghost writer is. Marcus Luttrell is no more a writer than I am a Navy Seal. Imagine the undertaking of writing a book, putting your thoughts on paper that spans 300+ pages and then the editing and rewriting. Marcus was in no position for that type of undertaking because he isn’t a writer. He met with Robertson, told Robertson his story and then Robertson, being the professional writer that he is, formulated the story.

      Luttrell even said in his book that they “screwed the pooch” (as you so eloquently put it). About an hour after releasing those goat herders he knew they made a mistake. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.……they had 3 choices…kill them, hold them captive or let them go. Here’s the problem, they were too close to the village to allow a herder-less flock of goats to wander towards the village, others would have been looking for them. Hold them captive.…..and you have the same problem. Letting them go was the more foolish of the 3 decisions because the other 2 bought them maybe a little needed time. Yes it was put to a vote but unless you a part of that situation.….could you kill an unarmed person? Not many people could, not even our Marines.

    • Lowly Spec says:

      Didn\‘t realize you were the other lone survivor. Tell us of your travels…

      • nvisableassasin says:

        He’s a special forces recon delta ranger combat operator, he doesn’t want to talk about it!

    • Former Marine says:

      Retired Master Guns? Really? Did you serve in the Gulf War as a Desk Jockey. Because your comment certainly makes you sound like one…especially considering you’re taking the word of an embed over a SEAL as to what “really” happened.

    • Sarge says:

      What in the hell is wrong with you. Obviously you think that the SEALS take too much glory away from the Marines. Only in your mind Bud!!!!! Grow UP.

    • Pink mist 101 says:

      Hahahahaha reeaaalllyyyyyy your a Master Gunny? Take it up with Luttrel why dont ya.

    • Dark Engine says:

      Killing the three “goat herders” is not the way these teams should operate. What if one of them was the uncle, brother or son of Mohammad Gulab?. What they should have done was zip tie the three together. Zip the right hand of the oldest guy to the left of the middle guy and his right to the youngest.
      Then zip tie the youngest to a goat. Then quad time it out of there. They were soft compromised but under the conditions they should have considered it a hard compromise.

      • Andy Martin says:

        Luttrell talks about that option in the book. They didn’t tie them up because they knew the villagers would miss them and come looking for them. All this second guessing is unproductive. Just deal with the story on its own terms.

    • Andy Martin says:

      Did you read the book? Letting the shepherds go was not poor judgment–it was the only judgment available. The rules of engagement are quite clear–innocents are not to be harmed. The shepherds were unarmed and posed no immediate threat. The 4 SEALs followed orders. Period. That’s what a good soldier does–and what separates American soldiers from middle-eastern terrorists.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Go back to your Nintendo ‘war games’, Andy…The three “visitors” were goatherds, not shepherds…Different critters…If Murphy (designated patrol leader) had followed SOP like Ricky R has already mentioned several days ago, and I have advocated for years now; then they would have immediately aborted the R&S mission after being compromised, and called for immediate extraction…Had this been done, then they might still be here today, along with the other 16 brave heroes who were killed trying to rescue the R&S team under attack…But mistakes were made, and 19 men died as a result, however Luttrell is still attempting to polish the turd with his books and movies.

    • stingercj7 says:

      It is very obvious you are sick. You are bitter that this isn\‘t a story about 4 Marines. I don\‘t believe for a second you were anything in the Marines or in the military period. I think you should confront Marcus with the truth that you hold as a \“retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines\”.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        As I stated a while back, “stinger’, you’re welcome to check my military profile thru the Buddy Finder section of the Military​.com website, and it will take you to my military profile, or you can find me on the TWS website…If that’s not enough for you, please feel free to file a SF-180 thru the proper channels…In the meantime, may I suggest that you read “Victory Point” by Ed Darack if you would like to see what a trumped up crock of embellished b/s that “The Lone Survivor” really is..Darack ‘s book is based on authenticated facts and captured intel and video of the ACM attack on the ridge.…As I’ve said before, you can’t polish a turd, but that’s exactly what Luttrell has tried to accomplish with his books and movies…Maybe Luttrell should try donating a good portion of his book and movie royalties to the NSW Family Fund that is set up to help further the education of the children of all fallen Navy SEAL’s. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

  4. Sarge Z says:

    Carpenter sir, your right Army has many heroes,and it has most of any armed forces recipients with MOH,but to all just another blowen of the charts movie,but all Armed Forces are the Real heroes just ‚like all movies but believe in US Troops!

  5. Jim Mackin says:

    @ Lowly spec — I served in the Marines from 1964 until 1987, with 3 combat tours in RVN I Corps between 1965 and 1970…I spent my 4th tour in the Southeast Asian War Games as a combat support tour at RTAFB Nam Phong in northern Thailand ’72–73…My nephew, Lt. Mike McGreevy USN(SEAL) was one of the 8 SEAL’s who were killed in the MH-47 that was shot down in the rescue attempt in the mountains of Kunar province that fateful day.__Here is a quote from an article in the Marine Corps Gazette (Jan 2011) by Ed Darack that supports my above statement about Luttrell’s version of the story vs what really happened, and talks about Operation Red Wings:__“Shortly after REDWINGS, a number_of Marines of 2/3 carefully reviewed Luttrell’s_after-action report (AAR) and the_R&S team’s gear manifest to learn of any_recent changes in enemy tactics, techniques,_and procedures and, more importantly,_to ascertain what additional_threats they might face during operations_and patrols due to Shah acquiring_the SEAL team’s gear. In the AAR Luttrell_stated that the team was attacked by_20 to 35 ACM. (Analysis of 2 videos_made by Shah, as well as other intelligence,_indicated 8 to 10 total, a common_ACM team size for this area.) Twenty_was the number initially released by_CJTF–76 public affairs. In Lone Survivor,_however (which was released the_same week Luttrell retired from the_Navy), Robinson writes that the team_faced hundreds and that Ahmad Shah_was one of the top lieutenants to Osama_bin Laden. During the battle, according_to Lone Survivor, the SEALs killed_dozens of “Taliban.” Robinson does not_discuss Marine involvement in RED_WINGS in Lone Survivor, or the prior_operations after which REDWINGS was_based, or the purpose of the operation,_or the development of the operation, or_any of the command relationships during_REDWINGS. The (very gripping, yet_extraordinarily unrealistic) narrative of a_small special operations team inserted on_a lonely mountain to not just surveil, but_to take down the operations of one of_Osama bin Laden’s top men—who had_hundreds of fighters with him—continued_to propagate throughout the media.” __As I have stated earlier, if you want to read the truth about this fateful event, get hold of “Victory Point” and RTFB !! ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines__

    • Guest says:

      Thank you for your service,and I’m sorry about your nephew,he made the ultimate sacrifice..I SALUTE you both!!!!!

    • rceast says:

      You sure know a lot about Kunar. You must have been there a lot, right? You read what was available to be force fed to you. Marcus gives the account first hand. Anyone who has been around for a minute knows what goes in reports and what actually happens is very seldom the same. The same goes for award citations for that matter. Thanks for your service sir.

      • Brett says:

        I spent a year in Kunar. Plenty of AQ, Taliban, TTP, and tribal fighters left, especially all along the Pesh River.

    • James Burke says:

      I have respect for you and your lost sir.

    • RamadiTaxiDriver60M says:

      First off I would not say anything critical of these men or their mission personally but I have heard that story before.
      The most intensive criticism of this operation came from former SEAL Team guys I knew who said this Op was conducted by an SDV Team not a regular Team. I know the difference before anyone says something retarded so jst hold what you got.
      I think criticism of SEALs should come from SEALs and it usually does. Especially during wartime. The story as I know it has been painted over many times and the final result is a movie.
      However, they were all Americans doing a job for America and I appreciate their sacrifice.
      Proud Former Force Recon Marine
      Current Hawk Driver HH-60M

      • Jim Mackin says:

        It’s too bad that the sacrifice these 19 men made that day is being prostituted through books and movies filled with embellishment and enhanced b/s…You can’t polish a turd !! ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

  6. Jim Mackin says:

    @ “dwok” — Well, “dwok”, You need to get the ghost writers name correct first before you proceed to try and lace into me…His name is Patrick Robinson… not Robertson…And Robinson is a Brit military fiction writer, so he fit right in with Luttrell and his book versions of the events that happened on that mountain vs the real events or the After Action Report that he filed…Please read the article excerpt that I provided earlier today if you’d like to see some of the exaggerations I spoke of.

    I never advocated killing the goat herders…A lot of Sunday afternoon football games are won on Monday morning, but these guys should have been briefed and prepared for discovery long before ever being inserted on the Recon and Surveillance mission…The goat herders should have been detained (zip ties and duct tape) until the decision was made to either complete the R&S mission or abort and request extraction…Now here’s a little tidbit that you probably are not aware of…both platoons from S/T 1 & 10 were in Afghanistan on a training missio, and were not supposed to have been engaged in Operation Red Wings, but that was a decision made by SOCOM to put an inexperienced team of four SEAL’s on that mountain to run the R&S mission that would normally have been done by combat seasoned Marine Recon troops…Please get yourself better informed before you make anymore hasty/nasty replies and assumptions.

    • Justus Brown says:

      I understand that you have your opinion about what went wrong with the operation, and sure they made mistakes, but many men still died that day and it is important that we honor their sacrifices. I was not on that mountain and neither were you, so we cannot criticize their actions, and sure you have combat experience and I thank you for your service, but you were not a Navy SEAL. You also must understand that the book Lone Survivor is not a detailed description of Operation Red Wing and Marcus Luttrell doesn’t claim it is, it is simply a description of what happened to Marcus Luttrell. A major clue of this being an autobiography and not a documentary is that the first half of the book is about Marcus’s time in BUD/S, not only that but Marcus never claims to have all of the details behind the mission, he just wants to get the word out about his friends’ sacrifices. And before I get crap about military service, I have never served but do plan to in the future, I am just someone who loves this great country and all of the men who women who sacrifice everything so we can have all of the freedoms we have now.

  7. IronV says:

    The arguments here notwithstanding, this was a highly kinetic event. And with ALL kinetic events there are after-action ambiguities and contradictions. Nobody has a monopoly on the truth. There is a larger truth though. And that is that these SEALS did the best they could under horrifically difficult circumstances…

  8. Jim Mackin says:

    @ IronV — Up to that point, this was the worst disaster and loss of life that Navy SEAL’s had experienced since their inception in 1962…There has been one more loss since, and that was the loss of 25 SEAL’s from DevGru (formerly known as S/T-6) and 6 Army SpecOp Aviation troops in late July of 2011 in Helmand Province…I think that the jury is still out on that one.

    • kaymaeb says:

      I understand you have your opinion, and I respect you, and am VERY grateful for all you have done. But, these brave soilders,and so many others, including your nephew, have lost their lifes. Fighting for us. Fighting for us to be able to sit here behind our computers and argue over things we truly have no clue of, because we WERE NOT THERE. Whatever happened or didnt happen that day…they still died, doing Americans a favor. We should honor them by keeping our opinions out, and our hearts thankful.

  9. Monty says:

    Not trying to be the negative guy here but with 24 yrs of service and going thru the years when all these special operations unit that NO ONE knew about and only heard and sworn to keep secrecy of ALL events and operations, that was the Elite time. Now almost every post, operation, location, names, time/dates, is being compromised by the ones serving or higher. Lets bring back these OPs the way they were, clueless to everyone and only NEED TO KNOW BASIS.… No every story is accurate unit proving different. Go Bless my Brothers at Arms!!!!

  10. Brian Lawrence says:

    SO I guess the Navy didn’t perform an AAR regarding this mission (last I checked, the Marines are part of the Navy). BTW, This book was supported by the Dept of the Navy.
    None of use were there but Jim Mackin (I hope I have that correct) is convinced another book (by a Marine) tells the ‘true story’, was he on that mountain range?. Not trying to take sides here but lets just acknowledge the bravery exhibited by all branches of the military whether Irag / Afghanistan, or elswhere. Clearly 3 SEALS died, as well as other brave men, is it so hard to just honor their loss and move forward. I also lost colleagues/friends in this Op and I am glad the story is being told!

  11. Hhhhhh says:

    Get a life and get off it. If you want to be an expert here, get back on active duty and show your abilities.
    Stop pissing I other folks pots. Secret is secret for a reason-honor it and shut up. Your not in their shoes so you did’t walk this mile. Stop acting like you have the answers, because you are clueless if you cannot accept it’ s not your place to second judge-especially dealing with a movie-get a life!

  12. booga do says:

    There’s actual video footage of these events out there, if people want to see it. Not of the battles itself, but the aftermath from the afghani view point( Afghans filming)

  13. booga do says:

    And here it is http://​www​.liveleak​.com/​v​i​e​w​?​i​=​c​6​2​0​9​1​3​16c

  14. USN Ret says:

    Sounds like Jim Mackin doesn’t like Navy SEALs.

    • Mike says:

      Jim Mackin is as experienced in this type of warfare as Clint Eastwood was in Heartbreak Ridge. Everyone always has something to say about what they \“would\‘ve done\” or \“should\‘ve done\” but he wasn\‘t close to being there or served in the mountains of the Kunar or Korengal. He knows as much as Richard Engle of MSNBC knows. Actually, Rich knows more lol

  15. Jim Mackin says:

    @ USN Ret ~ Not so…My nephew, Lt. Mike McGreevy USN(SEAL) was one of the 8 Navy SEAL’s killed in the MH-47 that was shot down in the rescue attempt…I have a problem with b/s ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

  16. Jim Mackin says:

    Let’s clear a few things up right away…First, the Marine Corps is NOT part of the Navy, but a separate branch of service within the Dept of the Navy…The CMC reports only to the SecNav, and not to CNO…Secondly, there WAS an After Action Report (AAR) filed by Luttrell, and in it he gave his estimate of ACM fighters to be 20–35, NOT the hundreds of fighters that Robinson indicates in the “Lone Survivor” (“Analysis of 2 videos_made by Shah, as well as other intelligence, indicated 8 to 10 total, a common_ACM team size for this area”.)…Thirdly, this book was NOT supported by the Dept of the Navy, but only given clearance for publication…Fourthly, Ed Darack, the author of “Victory Point”, is NOT a Marine, but was a journalist and writer who was embedded with 2nd Bn — 3rd Marine Regt during their rotational deployment in Afghanistan…Darack used documented facts and intel from captured video to base his statements on the battle that ensued after the R&S team’s position had been given away by the goat herders they saw fit to release…Go back and re-read the excerpt from the Marine Corps Gazette article that I posted a few days ago…And for my last correction, there were 11 Navy SEAL’s KIA’d that day, not just the three inexperienced members of the R&S team on the ground, but also the 8 SEAL’s who lost their lives coming to rescue them, along with 8 members of the Army’s Night Stalkers from the 160th SpOp Avn Bn, which included their Bn CO, who piloted the doomed MH-47 that was shot down during their approach…Those were the REAL heroes of the day…I know that there are some of the “true believers” who don’t want to hear anything derogatory about Luttrell and the “Lone Survivor”, but I have a real problem with this movie being touted as “based on a true story”, when the book contains so many “literary enhancements and embellishments”, better known as b/s…Once again, the book and the movie should have been titled “Survivor’s Guilt”. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

    • Mike says:

      As \“experienced\” as you believe your Marines are or as many combat tours as you say you have, we don\‘t even know what your job was in the Marine Corps. What were you? A communications expert? The Marine Corps did NOT send in asshat \“Recon Marines\” for a reason. What \“experienced\” Recon Marines do you know that would have been chosen for such a mission and why didn\‘t SOCOM choose them. They made mistakes. Both wars and all wars are full of mistakes. Even hovering a chinook over a hot zone was a mistake. Mistakes are made and That wasn\‘t those operators first rodeo either. You sound like one of those bitter old marine sergeant majors who believes cadence and drill and ceremony are more important than tactics and heart. You probably also think your marines are invading a beach somewhere these days. You are stuck in an old fashioned way of thinking and just because the journalist was embedded with those marines it doesn\‘t mean anything, he wasn\‘t embedded with Luttrell and he didnt survive or experience the R&S either. You sir are everything that was and is wrong with the military. Another funny gunny.

    • Jason Bufalini says:

      I was not going to put a dog in this fight but after reading your comments I feel a few things need to be said. Calling the 4 SEALS ” inexperienced” is just a ridicules statement. They were SEALS. If you have truly been in combat like you say you have then you would know that decisions that are made under fire are not always the right ones no matter how well trained you are. You seem to be taking any opportunity to slam the SEAL’s. I am not really sure why. If your nephew really was one of the SEALS that died in the rescue attempt I would think you would show a little more respect to his brothers, especially sense you are telling everyone about your combat experience. I would think someone with as much combat experience as you would surely know these things. As far as the truth about the mission goes ‚some one with as much combat experience as you should know that 1. the military is going to put out as much positive PR as possible and marcus going along with it does not make him a bad person, he is doing what his gov. is asking of him.2.Its a MOVIE! this is not a documentary. It says it right there at the start “BASED on a true story” I have read both books and plan on seeing the movie. for the enjoyment of watching a good movie and to silently say thank you to the men that died that day. As far as I am concerned what ever happened on that mountain that day is between marcus and the other men that were on that mountain with him both afghan and American. To everyone else it is just a great story. the way you are acting makes me doubt that you have any military experience at all.

    • MIke says:

      I believe there are exaggerations in the numbers of enemy forces, but I don’t think its safe to say that you know the R & S team was attacked by 8 — 10 enemy based on captured video evidence reviewed by a journalist. Is it not possible more enemy fighters could have been left out of these reported videos? I’ve seen some of the victory videos the of Jihadists celebrating and going through the SEAL equipment post Red Wings battle.…is it possible their dead cohorts could not be included in these? Is it the same 8 — 10 fighters that wounded 9 marines later on during Whaler? Whatever the numbers were, that 4 man seal team was outnumbered and out gunned and in inferior position the entire battle. Exaggerations are wrong but do 10, 20, 30 enemy fighters really matter? Sorry about your nephew..

  17. Jim Mackin says:

    Is this pathetic rant all you can bring to the discussion ?? ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

    • Ricky R says:

      Referring to poop as candy doesn’t make it so. Religion doesn’t = murder, cult’s like rad-islam do = a reason US can’t win in mid-east. Language counts. Patriots serve, not hero or dilute heroism. Honor supporters of patriots. Heroes sacrifice with honor. Death does not = hero. Own death by small mistake is tragic. Death by big mistakes with others killed very wrong, not rewarded (not promoted). Small unit sop1 top priority members survival, 2 All are enemy, 3 compromise = abort/exfil. Rear officer, no too small unit into impossible terrain w/o good enemy intel unless you go sir. Don’t throw more bodies into fire — IMMED. abort/exfil is for safety of pick-up unit. LT & his sr. enlisted made big mistakes prioritizing non-US survival & cont’d op/not immed. abort/exfil on compromise, caused rear officer mistake with bad extract. Truth: patriots but very wrong, RIP. Survivor got Cross (I think?), makes book, now movie. Leader didn’t get A medal but THE Medal plus ship & (just read here) another movie? Wrong on top of wrong? When will we learn? Those involved likely not sleeping well. Many are restless in Arlington. God bless our boys in harm’s way. Retired USMC combat vet

    • CWO 1 says:

      Is this a new title that you have dreamed up ? A Master Gunnery Sargent of Marines. 23 years in the Navy and I never heard of such a rank. Sounds like a wanna be to me. CWO 1

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Hard to believe that you would make such an ignorant statement…You must have served in “McHale’s Navy” !! ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

      • Ricky R says:

        CWO, please do not enter a site like this using an important title as CWO and make ignorant statements. Like CWOs, the USMC MSgt & MGySgt track specializes. So you cannot be a 23-yrs USN CWO, not know of the USMC MGySgt rank, and admit it publicly in a challenging tone. Also MGySgt is using his actual name, doesn’t that help you get his credibility? Suggest you stop embarrassing yourself and the honorable CWO ranks!

      • Jim Mackin says:

        I think that this yahoo has his military rank structure all screwed up…He identifies himself as “CWO-1″, however a Navy warrant officer doesn’t gain the title of CWO (Chief Warrant Officer) until he’s promoted to CWO-2, and on up to CWO-5…W-1 is simply referred to as a Warrant Officer-1…Strongly suspect he is another ignorant troll.

  18. Eric Edgar says:

    Let it be. We all know Hollywood movies are not documentaries. I for one will read “Victory Point” by Ed Darack.

  19. 173dTrooper says:

    As always it seems as if someones point of view is just that, their point of view. Anyone who has served in any theater of any war knows that you can talk to all the troops who are involved in an action and you will get many different perspectives. The services, regardless of branch, are made up of many MOS (jobs) and all need to be done to support the mission. Let us all remember that only one soldier fits into each pair of boots and that each soldier is important no matter the job he or she does. Your Brothers in Arms are your brothers so treat them all with respect and cut them the slack the civilian world does not.

  20. LuckyXIII says:

    @Gunny Mackin, seems you sir have an issue with Luttrell’s survival, and the death of your nephew Lt. McGreevy. Sadly it seems that the only way you can vent your pain is to attack Luttrell. If you would like to sit down with Luttrell and talk this one out, i can help arrange that.

  21. Lynda Tatrau says:

    They had to make a quick assessment of the goat herders they ran into. In dangerous situations that happens all the time. They made the decision not to kill them in that moment for their reasons. This is what happens in war. You cannot say you would have done this or that unless you were there.

  22. Gunny Al says:

    I just don\‘t understand, so much bitching about who\‘s better or who has the bigger dick. Each operation is different, you make decisions based on the info at hand, when you are on your own in a small team you take it how it comes. My two cents… I salute all of you, Army, Marines, Seals for your service and sacrifices. You too Navy and Air Force…

    Former Navy Corpsman,

    Retired Marine. Semper Fi.

  23. Mavericks-1966 says:

    Vietnam vet–so a long time ago. Monday morning quarterbacking is just that. As far as I can see he did NOT make himself out to be heroic, instead gave homage to those who paid with their lives! Sad part is– tactics employed 50 years ago {didn’t work well then}, are still being used today. The ONLY friend you have in a fight is the person next to you, certainly not the MEDIA, or the GOVERNMENT OFFICALS that put those in harms way in the first place. STONE THROWERS—BEWARE!

    • Matt says:

      So experience in Vietman means nothing because it was “a long time ago”? Who the fuck do you think is leading our military today? The draft dodgers who didn’t fight in that war?

      And there was actually nothing wrong with military tactics as far as the actual war was concerned, but the political will to carry out the war and of course the lack of a functioning government in South Vietnam were the reasons the U.S. chose to leave the country, not because of some military victory by the North. You, Mr. Maverick, do not know the first fucking thing of which you speak.

  24. Shaun says:

    Having served in the Marine Corps I have a deep love for all my brothers and sisters who wear the uniform of any of our great branches of service. Every time I hear on the news or in some report that another service member has died, it absolutely crushes me. Is there a chance of fabrication in the movie? Definitely. Is there a chance of fabrication in the book? More than likely. Is there a chance of fabrication in the AAR? Possibly. I have stared down the barrel of a gun. With that said, I know that in the heat of the moment, when all hell breaks loose, specific details may be lost due to the fact you are trying to stay alive and keep the person to your left and right alive as well. In a matter of a second or two the thoughts of returning fire, finding concealment and cover from enemy fire, proximity of the enemy, enemy numbers, not to mention your own mortality all come to mind. When the actual shit hits the fan, so much is happening in such little time (not to mention during a fire fight most people are not sitting there with their head up trying to get every detail) it is practically impossible to know everything that is happening. Referring to SEAL’s as “inexperienced” is inaccurate, dishonest, and flawed. As a fellow Marine I ask that you (Jim Mackin) never use that term to describe any SEAL, ever. Do I believe there were hundreds of the enemy there that day, maybe, but probably not likely. Last time I heard the firing of 10–15 weapons simultaneously, it could have easily been described as 100 weapons being fired. I also have a hard time believing that even exactly 100 people could not find this “lone survivor”, but do believe that 8–10 people could not find him. Be aware of misdirection when it comes to this book. I do not believe this book or movie should be titled “Survivors Guilt”. Although, I am sure Lutrell has questioned (more than once) why he was saved and did not parish like the others. We know the government will never release 100% of the truth of anything. Take this for what it is, a tribute to the fallen shooters of Operation Red Wings. R. I. P. brothers.

    • karen says:

      Semperfi!!!! unless you are in the battle, you just have to respect the fact that these soldiers do what they have to do to suvive. My husband is a former Marine, served in Nam. My brother in law, joined the Marines to be with his brother. They saw each other once in Nam, and each went with their respective platoon. My brother in law just passed away on Dec 27th. He was in the middle of the fighting, and as the radioman, was protected by being in the middle of the platoon. They were attacked and he was last man standing. Survivoirs guilt plaged him his whole life. There were other graphic things that happened that he only talked about in the last few years. He used alcohol to try to stop the pain, until he became to sick to drink anymore. No matter what this movie is about, we have to remember these wonderful soldiers put their lives on the line everyday for us. My heart breaks for the wasted years of my brother in law’s life. No wife, no children, and he stayed so close to my husband because he felt he understood how thing were over there. I agree with Shaun. Just look at it as a ttribute and let it go.

      • Mud Marine says:

        USMC Vietnam 1965 — 66 I also was a Company Radio Operator. I am sorry for your loss.

      • Ricky R says:

        I don’t tell others how to handle these matters & expect others to not tell me the same. Handle it any way you want. Honor my brothers? Absolutely, but appropriately. We didn’t reward major mistakes in my military. Sorry Shaun, my Marine Corps taught me wrong is wrong, truth is truth. Guy comes on here identifies his full name, combat service & USMC E-9 MGySgt = usually teacher of trigger-pullers, and you go after him? You better know that this Seal unit was inexperienced or this would not have happened or your experience is in question. I honor their service, I mourn their loss, I ask others to learn from their mistakes. Unless Luttrell strongly opposed the decisions of his Lt. & sr. enlisted man to let them go & continue mission-not abort/not exfil then he likely has survival guilt too. Safe assumption he didn’t oppose their decisions or how could he give testimony supporting MOH for Lt.? If he has survivor guilt then he just has an odd way of showing it. Shoot straight or conserve your ammo.

  25. Chief Riley says:

    The bravest men I never known.

  26. Ralph Chappell says:

    Folks.….we have so many different levels of involvement here.…Luttrell the survivor, Hollywood, the Media, the DOD, USMC, USN, Army.….book writers, screen writers, After Action Reports, Intelligence Reports, Video from both the Enemy and our side.…and naturally there is some differences when all are compared.

    I remind you Combat Veterans.…of the confusion that takes place during intense combat at close quarters and how one’s view of things narrows and recollection of events can be swayed due to stress and all the other emotions that such combat brings.

    Rather than argue about how many ACM’s were there, the rightness of the Four Man Team being there.…being who they were.…and all that being argued.….can we not just stand back.…stand erect.…and honor the gallantry of everyone involved?

    Nothing is gained by fussing about any of this.

    We all make decisions that haunt us for life when we go into battle.

    Let’s watch the movie and accept it will serve to honor those who fought and those who died that Day.

    We should mourn their loss and honor their courage.

    Can we not just leave it at that?

  27. Guest says:

    Jim is right… MOH\‘s are usually only given out when things go terribly wrong. Leadership by popular vote is also an indicator of inexperience and should be taught as a \“how not to\” example of military leadership. Anyone who has read the book should understand what I am saying here. Sad day for the Navy and the country. The sacrifice of their lives, and the men who tried to save them should be testiment enough to their deeds without Holleywood turning it into a $$ movie deal. Not a good way to honor their memory…

  28. D-Boy says:

    Why use Walberg as lead? Anti-gun spokesperson, loves making movies involving guns, doesn\‘t want American people to own guns… Phony

  29. Jim Mackin says:

    Well boys and girls, it seems that I have kicked over a bit of an anthill here, and now I find myself having to engage in a battle of wits with several unarmed opponents…Although most of the ignorant, snarky comments directed toward me really don’t deserve a reply, let me see what I can do with a few of them anyway…It might make it easier if I knew who I was actually addressing, but there are so many of you who insist on flying under assumed names or pseudonyms (or no name at all), because you prefer not to use your real name, and remain anonymous for some reason… Most of you all appear to be pseudo warriors, keyboard commandos, and wannabes with little or no military backgrounds at all, but you are offended that I have shed a shadow of doubt about the veracity of Luttrell’s book, “The Lone Survivor”, even though I’ve tried to provide you with good source with valid documentation that contradicts some of what Luttrell and Robinson have written.

    Firstly, there are a few who have commented about my prior service, and seem to doubt that I am a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant (E-9) who has served multiple combat and combat support tours in RVN and Thailand…I’m the real deal, gang, and if you have your doubts, please go to the Buddy Finder section of this website, and it will take you to my profile…I can also be found on the TWS website…For those who require more, feel free to file a SF-180 with the proper channels…I served in the Marines from 1964 until I retired in early 1987…In fact, I will have been retired for 27 years one month from today…And for the yahoo (Hhhhhh) who told me to “get back on active duty and show my abilities”, I would like to mention that I don’t have that option…Agent Orange has taken its toll, and for the last ten plus years, I draw 100% of my retirement under CRSC, concurrent with the associated VA permanent disability pension…So, other than the age factor today, I have some other issues that will keep me on the Fleet Marine Corps Retired list.

    @ Former Marine — Hey, Genius, if you had bothered to read the entire thread, you would have seen that I have already mentioned the fact that I retired in 1987 in my reply to “Lowly spec”…So, in answer to your snarky remark about serving in the Gulf War as a “desk jockey”, the answer is NO; and I have never been a “desk jockey” during my entire career…The great 110 hour war began in 1991, and I was gainfully employed at that time, in my civilian job that I stayed with for 15 years prior to retiring again in 2002…You mentioned that my comments made me sound like a “desk jockey”, so you must be referring to my limited writing skills, and so I will have to take that as an back-handed compliment…Judging from your comments, I would have to guess that you probably had some issues with authority figures during your enlistment, and that attitude still prevails.

    @ Lucky XIII — Let me say that I don’t have a problem with Luttrell’s ability to survive that fateful day when 11 of his teammates were KIA…I wish that they had ALL survived…What I do have a problem with is the amount of embellishment that is written into his book when it didn’t need to be…I got over my nephew, Mike’s death a long time ago…Mike died the good death of a warrior — in the red heat of battle, and I know that this is the way he would have wanted it to be…He was an outstanding young man, and truly dedicated Navy SEAL…Mike was Class Honorman for BUD/S Class 230 in 2000, and was also the honor graduate from the Army Ranger Scol in the spring of 2001…Thank you for your offer, but I have no desire to sit down with Luttrell…What I would like to know is, why didn’t he include Mike’s widow, Laura in his visits with the families of the fallen warriors ?? Laura lived right there in Virginia Beach with several of the other widows, and she remained there until just about three years ago…I think that I may know the answer to this one, but I’d like to hear what he has to say anyway…If you come up with an answer for me, you can contact me through the “Message” function of this website.

    As for all the rest of the snarky individuals posting on this thread, I really didn’t find your comments worthy of a response, and I don’t have the time or desire to bother with you right now…And to the few who had the intelligence to read and comprehend what I have written, I thank you for your comments and condolences for my nephew, Mike.

    So, in closing, I hope that everyone has a very Happy New Year…Go and enjoy your action-packed movie, and pardon me if I refrain from attending…I think that I’d rather watch “Platoon” again !!
    ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

    • Mike says:

      I’m currently in Afghanistan and attached to Marines and we have access to this movie. Despite a number of them also feeling like this should have stayed with Recon instead of having the SEALs get involved, they all still watched the movie and paid respects to all who died at the end of it. They all still felt it was well made. Despite some of their misgivings on how much may or may not be true, they all agreed that while they may have done things differently, they honestly have no idea what exactly went down with those 4 SEALs as they weren’t there (even though a few of them knew men who were involved in the mission but again being involved with the mission from different aspects than Marcus and the others were doesn’t mean they know exactly what went down on that mountain since they were not personally there).

      Mistakes were made and sadly I’m sure mistakes will be made in the future too but I’m not going to go out of my way to pick apart what may or may not have happened to something that I, and no other Americans living outside of Marcus, were directly a part of (again I’m talking about what went down with those 4 in particular since the only thing others involved in the mission can speak towards were the things that they were present for personally, they weren’t right there alongside Marcus and the other 3). I’m glad that I was able to watch the movie with Marines who, while skeptical of some of it, could watch it for what it was, a movie based on a true story that paid respects to those who died and maybe it didn’t go down exactly as shown but it still showed the sacrifice of our military and personally I feel it was well made. I don’t know why you’re trying to manufacture drama when it comes to Marcus’s relationships with the other team members and their families left behind but I felt that the movie showed the respect and love he had for those other men so let’s stop being childish and playing with teenage drama here.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        You mention that you’re “attached to the Marines”…State your actual status, “mike”.

      • Mike says:

        I’m Army.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        “Attached to the Marines” ?? Marine or other ?? State your actual status…

      • Mike says:

        Already said I’m Army to your other comment but perhaps I should have replied on this one because I’d point out why would your question be “Marine or other” when I said attached to the Marines. I’d say I was a Marine if I was one…

  30. Daniel O'Brian says:

    I too have always wondered why they didn’t keep the goat herders tied up until they could get extracted. It seems to me a humanitarian but foolish order by Lt. Murphy. War is hell and not a movie, if you are not prepared to do what it takes to win then don’t engage in it. I am not Monday morning quarterbacking but if we don’t know what happened or try to gloss over it how can we learn from our mistakes and not keep repeating them getting even more good men killed. I or nobody I know doubts the bravery or honor of these men and we all are forever in their debt

  31. Mud Marine says:

    In RNV in 1965 — 1966 I as a Company Radio Operator made 5 man night patrols south of the Da Nang area. No matter what is happening (in the big picture of things) when there is only 5 of you out there it is a different world. We can look back and say “That was a bad decision” or “That didn’t make sense” (what in combat makes sense ?). As was said before this movie is NOT a “by the book” explanation of what happened in Operation Red wing, but simply a view by one man (who was there) view of what happened as he saw it and remembers it. God bless the Navy Seals and the Courage it takes to go out and perform the tasks that they do.

  32. Ricky R says:

    Retired USMC infantry & recon, Desert Storm-Iraq-Kosovo; everyone honors sacrifice. Tacticians interested in lessons learned & authenticity of movie. This type of scenario: too small unit very remote location, is extremely risky requiring extreme decisions favoring safety of unit members. Unwritten top priority in SpecOps is survival of unit members — NO mission is worth 1 American life. Training-SOPs are extensive. Abort SOP calls for instant exfil which is planned for. In this scenario, SOP is ANY compromise is Abort. SOP is all personnel are enemy unless determined otherwise. But rules of war apply so killing unarmed personnel is not necessarily option A. But being unarmed does not mean they are not enemy & not a threat. Compromise SOP = Abort mission, dispatch of ‘visitor’, exfil. An experienced unit leader or member would not have allowed this violation of SOP. Vietnam & Somalia remind that helo insert on combat location maximizes risk. MOH for leader & movie of failure are appropriately questioned. Do it accurately (if enemy was 30 vice 100), not falsely glorify the unit. No disrespect to these patriots. Hopefully will save lives in future. God bless them.

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Thank you…You have reinforced almost everything that I have been trying to get across in this thread…Your comments read like a SITREP summary…Good job.
      S/F ~ A Retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

      • Ricky R says:

        Respect your service & analysis, Master Guns. Not my intent to support you. Bothered by op & book for yrs, now movie. Lost too many good men in wars worse than Nam, unnecessarily continues & in situations violating SpecOps 101, bummer. Not anti-Seal, worked w team guys, anytime. But truth is they f’d up, don’t rate book, movie, MOH. Survivor Guilt? Glory/money off this failed op disrespects operators who do it right & seek/get no glory. Want attention for failed op? Instead of hanging on red carpets, become a spokesperson for PTSD & help veterans. God bless the families.

      • Bruce Pflieger says:

        Thank you for getting to the root of the matter. I have always wondered why after being found out they did not stop the mission. Would this failure have prevented promotion of the team leader or others? Or does the military system expect the top people to overcome anything always going forward? Mr. Murphy, I believe, is having a USN ship named after him. It seems today that everything given to the American people is suger coated. We are very much insulated from reality.

  33. Matt says:

    Two days since the last post so not sure if this thread is still active. One question I have for anyone who knows: is the entire ground action only verifiable by one man? Was there really zero radio contact after coming across the herders until the attempt was made by the LT to make contact on the ridge, and that only to relay the need for help?

  34. Ijassdie says:

    Marcus Luttrell is the type of person who gave all of what he has in spite of eminent danger looming around him and his three other friends staying alive to tale the tales of what went down that day where all his three other team mates died a glorious death. I love his book reading his book LONE SURVIVOR and can’t wait for the movie.. Respect to this Texan man! God Bless You Marcus and all the Seal team operating in different parts of the world

  35. Jesse Watari Bolante says:

    Just a quick question Mr. Mackin. What if Mr. Luttrell was your nephew? Would you have the same opinion about the book, the movie and the four “inexperienced” SEALs as you have described sir?

    I Love My M-14

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Absolutely !! But I know that Mike would never have traded off his integrity for phony glory and a handful of U$D like Luttrell has done…And btw, there was not one of these four SEAL’s who had one bit of combat experience in the Afghan theater prior to their assignment as the R&S patrol to locate Ahmad Shah (code-named Ben Sharmak)…As I’ve stated before, both platoons from S/T –1 and 10 were there for a four month training mission, and only got involved because of a condition set down by SOCOM that a SpecOps team be involved in the early R&S because the Marines from 2/3 had requested MH-47 helo support from 160th SOAR for their Operation Red Wings.

      • Roland C. says:

        I\‘m asking because I really don\‘t know.…. so, Luttrell and the the other members of his team (Dietz, Axelson, and Murphy) didn\‘t have any combat experience? If so that brings a whole new light to his story/stories. The way he makes it sound in his speaking engagements you would think he had been on numerous combat deployments and in numerous firefights up to that point. Regardless, I still believe they fought gallantly and it\‘s a shame that all the warriors who died that day had to make the ultimate sacrifice (especially your nephew, I\‘m sorry for your loss).

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Luttrell was the only one who had deployed in a combat zone previous…He had deployed with S/T-5 to the western region of Iraq sometime previous to being assigned to SDVT-1…After the fiasco in Afghanistan in ’05, Luttrell was deployed again to Iraq, but this time with SDVT-1, and left a short time later due to ongoing issues with his wounds from the firefight on the ridge in Afghanistan…But neither Axelson, Murphy, or Dietz had any kind of combat deployments up until the firefight when they were all KIA trying to fight their way out of an ambush by the ACM. ~ A retired master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

      • Matt says:

        MGySgt Mackin,

        Why is it referred to as an ambush? Was the movie inaccurate as to the initial contact? The initial contact in the movie was not an ambush.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        That would be the term that I would use, Matt…It was not a frontal assault…According to Luttrell’s account, and captured intel, the ACM had surrounded the R&S team from strategic positions above, and the SEAL’s never knew they were being prepped for attack until the fight was on…I would call that an ambush…You are free to call it what you wish.

      • Matt says:

        Fair enough. Your description is not what the movie portrayed, and that is why I asked. Ultimately it is a meaningless part of any argument about all of this, I was just curious as to why it is always referred to as an ambush.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Movies don’t always portray book scenario, and I suspect that this one is no different than most.

      • Roland C. says:

        Thanks for the info.…I am very aware of Operation Redwing(s) as you know it depends on who you are talking to if it\‘s Redwing or Redwings plural) so I did know about Axelson, Dietz, and Murphy being killed in the \“ambush\”(I say ambush with quotes because by the very definition an ambush is a surprise attack…) When they let the goat herders go they should have known bad guys would be coming—-of course, I wasn\‘t there so I won\‘t pretend to know what they were thinking or what really happened and i know better than to second guess anyone or their differing accounts on what happened in a critical incident. I say this because i know what it\‘s like to have your shootings investigated and second guessed by people who weren\‘t there (I\‘m sure you do as well being a combat veteran). I have only been involved in two different shooting incidents as a police officer and in one of them I didn\‘t have the \“luxury\” of having anyone with me.…my first shooting was many years ago and back then you gave a statement immediately after the incident–I can tell you that the original statement I gave wasn\‘t 100% accurate, was that because I was lying? Of course not, it was due to the fact that your mind needs time to process what actually happened..It\‘s now advocated that after a critical incident you have at least one \“good\” sleep cycle(at least a 24 hour period) before giving a statement. That shooting was more than 15 years ago and I remember new details about the shooting everyday. In my second and hopefully final shooting (I say \“hopefully\” because in the current climate it doesn\‘t matter how \“clean\” the shoot is the public will crucify you and my family doesn\‘t need to go through that again) I was standing next to two other operators and our stories were all slightly different. Once again, is that because we were lying or is it because each person was focusing on different aspects at the time. Of course it\‘s the latter. If you have ever had the opportunity to study critical incidents then you will understand exactly what I\‘m talking about. I would suggest looking into the Force Science Institute and their groundbreaking research on critical incidents. You are probably wondering by now, \“what\‘s your point kid?\” My point is simple, rather than calling Luttrell a liar maybe just maybe you should consider the possibility that he gave a true account of what HE remembered at the time. As to why his after action report would be different than some of his later statements and the subsequent accounts in the book? .… Once again that\‘s a simple answer that i explained already, your mind constantly remembers new and different details all the time after a critical incident..But i will agree that some liberties were probably taken by the author so some details are probably fabrications. However, Marcus has constantly said the reason why he wanted the book written is to show the bravery of his brothers who died next to his side, so what\‘s wrong with that? And why don\‘t we take his word for it?

        One last thing.… Have you read Into the Fire? I\‘m sure you have since it was a great book and it was about the heroic actions of one of your fellow Devil Dogs.… what do you suppose Dakota Meyer\‘s motivation was for writing that book? Fame? Glory? Or to tell his own compelling story so people know what happened, according to him. Yes, I understand that Meyer\‘s story was mostly documented by facts but I\‘m sure some of the story was from his point of view and some of it can\‘t be corroborated by anyone.

        The intent of this response is not to piss you off or be disrespectful in any way (you served our country and you have the right to your opinions). I was merely trying to offer a point of view that you may not have thought about. Why can\‘t we take Luttrell for his word even if an investigation that was completed was contrary to his account. In my first shooting the investigation that was done was completely different from my recollection of the events.…i was found to be completely justified but the order of certain events happened differently than I remembered, according to the investigation…

        Anyway, take care and even though we disagree on Luttrell\‘s character maybe we can agree that the four SEALs fought their asses off and we should honor them for their courage despite mistakes that were made.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Roland ~ The name of the operation was “Operation Red Wings” (plural)…It was so name by the Marines’ command and operations staff of 2/3, who initiated the operation…They had decided at the beginning of their deployment to use names of professional hockey teams for all upcoming ops…Thus “Operation Red Wings” was named after the Detroit Red Wings…The op that followed after “Red Wings” was abandoned, was called” Operation Whalers” (New England Whalers — now called the Carolina Hurricanes)…And btw, it was during “Whalers” that the Marines of 2/3 decimated Ahmad Shah’s ACM cell so badly, that they would never return to fight again…Ahmad Shah himself was killed sometime in April of 2008 in a shootout with the Paki police in the Khyber region of Pakistan…And to set the record straight, Ahmad Shah and his ACM fighters were never Taliban…He was simply a mountain bandit who had opposed the Taliban several years previous, and was now seeking recognition from the Taliban.

        I understand what you’re trying to establish about recalling events shortly after a stressful event, but is was almost a week later that Luttrell was picked up and returned to his command, so he had plenty of time to put things in perspective…In his AAR, he estimated that there were 20–35 ACM fighters who attacked the R&S team, but in his book those numbers have grown by leaps and bounds.

        Fighting “gallantly” in a firefight when you are fighting for your life is part of the job, and is also called self-survival, but where is the “extraordinary heroism” that is the prerequisite for the Silver Star or Navy Cross that was awarded ?? Bad decisions cost 19 lives that day…It was wrong to award failure, and it’s wrong to promote it in both books and movies…But since it has, maybe Luttrell can donate a sizable portion of his royalties from both to the NSW Family Fund, which is set aside to help pay for the further education of the children of all fallen Navy SEAL’s.

        As I have several friends who are both active and retired LEO, let me thank you for your service. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

  36. Bob says:

    Glad you seem the all knowing on this subject Jim..

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Do a little actual research, and you might find it to be a lot more informative than Luttrell’s book and now the upcoming movie.

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Try doing a little research of your own, “bob”

    • Jim Mackin says:

      My comments are being monitored/censored at this time…Ludicrous !!

      • Ricky R says:

        Ditto, my several previous comments were posted immediately and now they are being delayed for approval by administrator, mm? so likely my last post The experience of the unit on insert is less important. Big questions about feasibility of op for such small unit in such remote & extreme terrain. Every experienced combat vet started with no experience. 90%+ of what we do is SOP written in our forefathers blood designed to keep us alive. Combat is a bad lab for innovation, follow SOP usually stay alive. I’ll guess most here have read many MOHs, met many, know a couple. I’ve read a hundred at least, almost every one, maybe every one, unit made no major bad mistakes/decisions/basic SOP violations & recipient sacrificed & saved life/lives. This op was a disaster, basic SOPs violated leading to unit KIAs plus exfil unit KIAs. Honor service: Patriots, Purple Heart, flag to family. Book, MOH, ship, movies? Do it right or do something else. Bless our warriors.

  37. Outwardbound says:

    To all the vets, past and present posting about this movie, it is my humble opinion as a currently serving leader of soldiers and a person that has risen through both the enlisted and officer ranks and seen combat too, like many of you, that your hateful remarks about Luttrell and the movie and what you perceive or have read to be facts are really painting yourselves and the services in a negative light. We are ALL brothers in arms and if you can’t recall the fog of war from your 24 yr military career and what I assume to be numerous battles, then you’ve lost sight of this sacred brotherhood in arms. Forget the pissing contest you’ve entered about 10 ACM fighters versus 35. Whether you agree or not, the only thing you’re really accomplishing right now is by discounting yourselves as heroes and standing professionals in the military; which I am sure you are and were. So just stop, observe subtly that you have conflicting info, and move on with your lives. If you don’t want to see the movie, don’t. If you do, don’t freakin compare it to a real world mission because it’s hollywood. You know damn well that they have to glamorize it so that people will see it. See it for what it is, not for the training video or AAR report you think it ought to be.

    Sine Pari

  38. Jim Mackin says:

    It seems that someone has decided that my comments need to be monitored/censored at this time…I have tried to post a reply at least a half dozen times, but keep getting told that my comment (which is well within the guidelines of the website) must now first be “approved by admin”…Ludicrous !!

  39. @Diveanx says:

    No matter who puts on a pair of boots and grabs the bull by the horns and jumps into the fight, we are all human and can only process so much. It doesn’t even have to be in war. In any event whether it is in combat or a wreck on the street, when asking for details you get 20 stories out of everyone there. Just the way it goes. Everyone will have their own version of what happened. Ask any police officer that has responded to any crime and has asked questions of witnesses. The one thing that really kills me is the statement of the Seals being inexperienced. Seals are one of the most highly trained special ops teams in the world with it taking several years to get there. The even be a Seal most are already combat hardened troops before they even apply so to say that they were inexperienced was very immature and unbecoming a Retired Gunny. It is also a slap in the face to your nephew because those guys went through the same training as he did so was he inexperienced as well? Let us all just get along and understand that not everyone sees things the same. Does it mean they are right? Maybe. Maybe not but this Seal lost his team and I am sure that he is reminded of that every day that he wakes up so if he wants to tell a story to help remember then and if it helps him deal with what happened then I say he is doing the right thing. Let us not have any malice for any solider male or female. Marine, Army, Navy, Airforce and even the Coast Guard. All of these soldiers step up when others do not to make sure that we stay safe and some pay the ultimate price and no matter if it was their fault or not still need to be recognized because they went there and did that.

  40. Ricky R says:

    If you read entire posts we have honored service so don’t make false accusations about hate or malice. But tacticians have right to criticize when justified. We have the duty to do so. I can disagree & get along — if you can’t that’s your issue. There is no intent to be negative about service but if you wish to be dishonest about it then you are wrong. Div says “most Seals have combat experience before they even apply” is absolutely false so his cred is disqualified. We also have duty to criticize false commendations including books, movies, incorrect medals, etc. Spare me the fog of war jive. This was a basic R&S scenario & basic SOPs were badly violated — if you don’t know that then your cred is zip. In this scenario, any compromise = abort & exfil immediately, there is no other acceptable option. Experienced operators don’t violate basic SOPs in a basic scenario. Therefore they made inexperienced mistakes. Be truthful, respectfully, uphold our standards or you disrespect them which is as bad as those improperly making money & getting glory from inappropriate books, movies & medals. Shoot straight or conserve ammo.

  41. Matt says:

    Still interested if anyone knows, so I’m posting again:

    One question I have for anyone who knows: is the entire ground action only verifiable by one man? Was there really zero radio contact after coming across the herders until the attempt was made by the LT to make contact on the ridge, and that only to relay the need for help?

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Yes, Matt, it would seem so…Luttrell was the only survivor, and other than the videos taken by the ACM fighters, his narrative account is all that exists…According to his narrative, there was only one contact made with team hq and the QRF (quick reaction force), and that was the emergency call that Murphy made requesting reinforcements and emergency extraction after they were ambushed.

  42. Ricky R says:

    Jesse doesn’t matter if warrior Is family or not, mistakes are mistakes & truth is truth. We aren’t Judged by family, Judged by Maker. Can’t polish poop & shouldn’t try. If can’t interpret Sit no matter who is involved then unethical. Matt, good questions, only other source may be radio comms. I don’t know details, disgusted by this plot. I obviously have my own PTS issues & don’t do books, movies, etc. Give Luttrell credit, if he is only source then it went down this unfavorable way, since many would have made the story more favorable, just sayn. No one is superman & no op is suicide mission — if can’t find OP with concealment, can’t do comms or emergency exfil then don’t do op — when will we learn? Ignore truth, call em heroes & give out commendations? Sad. My guess is improper MOH idea wrongly came from above, maybe WH, sounds like BO style. Disrespects actual heroes. You support them because you are patriots, good. They are warriors, I honor their service. Heroes sacrifice & save lives — they didn’t. Truth.

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Initial awards were direct result of the initial shock within the SEAL community…I remember the memorial service that was conducted in early July or ’05 at Little Creek, VA when Adm. Maguire and Capt. Pete Van Hooser presented (PH) Bronze Star w/V award to the families of all of the QRF who had been KIA in the MH-47 crash…Considering that these men laid down their lives in a rescue attempt of the for R&S members on the ground, this was a justifiable award.…Dietz and Murphy were initially awarded the Silver Star (PH)…Shortly after Axelson’s recovery and the return of Luttrell, the Silver Star awards were upgraded to the Navy Cross, and same award given to Axelson and Luttrell…Murphy’s family spent the next 2 years pressuring their congress critter to upgrade the Navy Cross to MOH…On 22 Oct 2007, President Bush presented the MOH to Murphy’s family…There is no justification for either a Silver Star or Navy Cross award for any of the four members of the R&S team…They failed their assigned mission, and ended up trying to fight their way out of an ambush that they brought upon themselves when they turned the goat herders loose…This in turn cost the lives of an additional 16 more warriors…Where is the “extraordinary heroism” in that action which is a required part of the criteria for the award ?? How can we put these men on the same plane with real heroes and recipients of the Navy Cross like Chesty Puller, Dan Daley, John Ripley, Jim Webb, Karl Marlantes, and many others ?? Someone at NSW and CNO really had to stretch for this one…Murphy’s MOH award denigrates the award system even further.

  43. chuck says:

    It seems…incredible that 8–10 Taliban fighters can wipe out a 4 men SEA: Team, and shoot down a MH-47 same thing. In the book, it says up to 200 fighter that maybe what it feel like went under fire. But 8–10 Taliban can do all this.…I just don’t think they are that good.

  44. George H. says:

    Yes, I will Monday morning quarterback on the goat herders situation. I have had a day to think about the situation (since watching the film) and develop my best solution. Fasten two of the goat herders securely to respective trees and duct tape their mouths, etc.. Take the third as a temporary prisoner. Shoot him if he attempts to escape. Move back up the mountain to re-establish communication and select an evac point. While being evac’d, release the third prisoner and give him a knife so he can rescue the other two herders from their bindings.

  45. Matt says:

    Those 8–10 Taliban had likely been fighting guerrilla wars since the Soviets were there, and if not had grown up during that time and been learning to fight from those who had, so the idea that they could take on a force half their size and then put an RPG into a stationary helicopter does not surprise me at all. It’s also highly unlikely that once contact was made with the 4 Seals some type of reinforcing element was not called on to wait for the extraction force which the Taliban knew was coming. If they were doing it right the Taliban only made contact in order to get a shot at the reinforcing element as they landed anyway. Standard “guerilla” warfare.

    And if the Seals were actually ambushed-that’s not how the movie portrayed it-that would explain how everyone got separated and/or killed. Even 8–10 Taliban if they brought their RPG’s and M-60’s (or whatever their version of the M-60 is) would have been a problem even for 4 Seals no matter how contact was made. The fact that one did make it is a testament to their ability, imo.

    I’m not going to pull out my dick and try to prove it’s bigger than anyone else’s, so I’ll just fall back on what I learned from having a father who suffered from PTSD from his time in Vietnam with the 2/7 in late ’65 through May ’66 (look that up, they fought A LOT during this time-when my old man left in May ’66 he was the only surviving member of his platoon twice over… seriously) and listening to his stories about how “guerrilla” warfare is fought, the way this went down for the Seals does not surprise me. A LRRP patrol when/if discovered would be lucky to get out with fewer than 50% casualties, and those guys LIVED in the bush for months at a time, so if the 4 Seals really were inexperienced, they really did get compromised, and they really couldn’t make radio contact, I’d say it’s a damn miracle even one of them made it-which it was.

    Now that I’ve thrown my two cents in, I also could not finish the book, stopping at some point early on in it when I picked it up years ago. It just rang hollow to me as far as war stories go, and the movie left endless questions. Regardless, 4 tougher than nails men fought and three died with an rescue force helicopter shot down and everyone on board dead-that is the message I take away from all this. If mistakes were made then they were made, but I don’t know that, and if they weren’t then this is what happens in war.

    Luttrell most likely altered events in order to make his fellow Seals look like the heroes that they are and diminish any fodder for the haters to use against them, and my hope is that no one in his place would have done any differently. So long as he isn’t throwing anyone else under the bus this is the way it should be.

  46. Mike Eyerly says:

    Mr. Mackin, do you have an opinion about the controversy surrounding Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer\‘s Medal of Honor award?

    • Jim Mackin says:

      What controversy are you referring to ?? Be specific, Mikey…There have been several, including the long delayed MOH award to USA Capt. Will Swenson, who was with Meyers during the battle of Ganjgal in the Kunar Province…It seems that the Army tried to bury the recommendation, but thanks to Marine Generals John Allen and Jim Mattis, the award was finally pushed thru the proper channels …I’m glad to see that Swenson has finally received his much deserved award on 15 Oct 2013. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Mike, I have to honestly say that I have not followed Dakota Meyers much since he was awarded the MOH, but we\‘re getting off-topic here, so let\‘s keep the comments within the current discussion of \“Lone Survivor\”, and maybe we can hash out the other one some other time. ~ A retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

  47. Ricky R says:

    Chuck history shows NEVER underestimate enemy, Taliban are great fighters. I agree with MGySgt. Experienced operators don’t violate basic SOPs with ANY Major mistakes. Op likely impossible for 4 men, assignment Major mistake 1. Unit compromised, LRRP/OP Major mistake 2. In AO all are enemy, handle as you wish — unit survival is top priority. On compromise, not IMMED. abort Major mistake 3. Key to best handling emergency is staying ahead of emergency with SOPs. Not immed. exfil Major mistake 4. Bad comms, likely Major mistake. Extract helo on top of firefight Major mistake 5. Inadequate fire support for emerg. ext. likely Major mistake. Under-estimate ANY enemy Major mistake 6. ONE Major mistake in impossible op = deaths, can’t be rewarded. Patriots support. Warriors fight. Hero risks life to save lives AND saves others (also MOH standard; don’t meet standard-don’t get award). Honest patriots always favor truth. Honor all (appropriately, never excessively). If we don’t learn, more sons/Dads will die needlessly. I’ve made these points many times, no one disputed. I’m out. God bless all. Take care of your troops. S/f MGySgt! from Retired USMC combat vet

  48. Ricky R says:

    ps. (sorry :) At a macro-level, please advocate for getting all US troops out of middle east ASAP, today is best, all troops, right now. There is no national security interest there. US is accomplishing zero except getting our sons & Dads killed. Cannot win especially using conventional warfare. They do not want us there. Disgraceful waste of US treasure including our diplomacy, taxpayers’ money & our families’ blood. Most US oil comes from US, large majority from North & South America. Middle-east is a political scam not deserving of one US drop of sweat, nevermind blood. Now I’m really out.

  49. Mikey says:

    Some needs to ask the question why they didn’t keep them tied up until they found a spot where their coms worked?

    • Matt says:

      Because no one wants to say it, and maybe they shouldn’t but far worse has already been said here so it may as well be put on the table. The story as is being told by the one person who is alive to tell it is not what actually happened. And if the story as it is being told leaves so many glaring questions to be answered, the truth of the matter is likely not something the Navy wants people to know.

      • Matt says:

        It occurred to me right after posting that reply that someone reading that might think I mean there is fault of the part of the 4 men in the field, and while that is possible, it is also possible that something happened/intended that simply cannot be made common knowledge. It’s clear the story as told is not what happened, but that does not mean the 4 Seals are at fault, it does not mean they aren’t at fault, it just means we don’t know.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        I think that you’re on the right track, here Matt…The Navy has stepped all over itself by letting Luttrell continue to perpetuate this mythical story over the last 8 years…The only heroics that happened that day, happened when the QRF and the men from the 160th SOAR lost their lives in the rescue attempt…The awards of three Navy Crosses and the MOH to the four members of the R&S patrol was totally unjustified, and has denigrated the Awards System ever since…Where was the extraordinary heroism that should have predicated such awards ?? How can these men match up tothe deeds of real heroes like Chesty Puller, Dan Daley, John Ripley, Jim Webb, or Karl Marlantes, just to name a few ?? But, we have to endure watching Luttrell continue to polish this turd with his embellished b/s books and movies.

  50. Teri-Lynn Bonica says:

    Who the hell do you think you are Mackin? You call yourself a Marine?!! You do a disservice to the name Marine, and more importantly, you dishonor your nephew’s name. He was on a rescue mission and I’m certain that during a firefight, he wouldn’t have looked to his left or right and figured, effin’ Seals, hope you die you MFs. Your nephew rightfully belongs to those bands of brothers. However, your name has been permanently removed and you can no longer be a part of that club. Only a true Marine, a true Soldier, a True Airman, a true Frogman can be a true brother in arms. HOW DARE YOU add your name to this discussion? You are not welcome here. Go watch your football games and sit in your comfy armrest and let the real Marines, Soldiers, Seals, Rangers, Airmen get back to work protecting your ungrateful hide.

    • Steve M says:

      Jim, I\‘m an A-10 driver. Been reading this thread with interest.

      I read the book and the reports, and I saw the movie last night. I get your point, and your position is accurate. The concept you are trying to illustrate in these posts is one that a lot of people under 40 today simply can\‘t understand. A generation of people where everyone gets to bat, everyone gets a trophy, we don\‘t keep score, etc.….the progressive ideology of relativism, control, and emotionally manufactured self-esteem without accomplishment or measurement. Critical thinking and objective analysis, regardless of the factual data, is not possible.

      These people cannot differentiate emotion from measurement and facts, because to them, what they feel equates to factual, and the desire to dig deeper in the pursuit of truth is not required. Someone who does dig deeper and comes into possession of truthful facts, and presents those facts, even from a basis of actual experience, is labeled as a deviant, kook, insensitive, unpatriotic, “who do you think you are”, arrogant, etc….like Teri-Lynn’s tirade above. Teri-Lynn’s are in the general population, and certainly in the military. Unfortunately (for them, or those in their command) combat is the ultimate form of reality and measurement because a bullet with your name on it does not care how you feel. The first time a Teri-Lynn is shot at, regardless of training, is in many cases the first time something happened to her that was beyond her control. Reality intrudes upon her delusions of the way she thought things were, and they are not, and instead of doing the right thing, she does the wrong thing and people get dead. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid the golden BB, but, in the case of Operation Red Wings, this was not the case.

      There is no doubt that it required bravery and grit on the part of PO Marcus Luttrell to survive that situation, and neither you, myself, or anyone else is questioning that. To “enhance” the situation in any way, for any reason, is not acceptable, and will cause harm to future ops if truthful lessons are not learned.

      Based on examination of the facts, the mission planning was a failure, the mission execution was a failure, and the subsequent rescue mission was a failure. These failures were preventable, and in that regard criticism is warranted. Critical thinking provides one with a mechanism to separate heart felt emotional sympathy and respect for the fallen and their families, from the truth and objective facts of mission success or failure. As time goes on, fewer people in our beloved land have this capability, and thus movies like this are made.

      I can\‘t count the number of high-risk ground support missions I\‘ve flown on ops similar to ORW caused by CENTCOM/SOCOM ego\‘s writing checks that others (myself, ground operators, foreign civilians, and the American taxpayer) have to cash.

      Making mistakes means that I have to fire my GAU-8.….and then NOBODY wins. I do not enjoy risking my life and indiscriminately killing everything that lives in my HUD because of ego\‘s and preventable mistakes like Operation Red Wings. However, when it comes to our boys on the ground, I have/will employ kamikaze tactics to keep them from being captured by islamic savages. My dad flew F-105\‘s in Vietnam for guys like you with similar conviction.….the VC were just as bad as the Haji\‘s.….and in that regard, I share your frustration.

      The goat herders were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were male, displayed hostility towards American forces, and were likely lookout\‘s for the bad guys. If they had a weapon, they would have used it without hesitation and should have been put down on the spot. Failure to do this set in action a tragic sequence of events. War does not always allow pedantic consideration of all options. Gun’s don’t kill, a hard hearts kills, and if you hesitate at the moment of truth, you and others will be killed. These guys are trained to recognize the moment of truth, and they hesitated and debated = dead. Flying at 350 knots above the trees through AAA I live this every month.

      I have made decisions in the cockpit I regret, and I am accountable for those. I have to live with that as much as any man that has taken a life in combat, whether up close, or the aftermath of a 30mm run.

      Semper Fi Gunny.

      • Jim Mackin says:

        Steve, your comments were a genuine breath of fresh air after having to read the babble from the keyboard commandos and other sorts of pseudo warriors and wannabe’s on this thread…There have been very few on here who have “been there and done that” and who actually “get it”…Ricky R(econ) also had a real handle on this thread, but he signed off a week or so ago…I enjoyed his thoughts as well…The rest of the “individuals” posting here appear to be enamored with Luttrell’s mythical story of what he claims happened that fateful day on a ridge in NE Afghanistan on 6/28/05, and don’t want to be confused with actual intel, captured video, or other real facts which contradict Luttrell’s account.…I would enjoy an exchange of ideas, but now is not a good time for me…I’m trying to get ready for an extended trip back to SEA again…I’ll check back and see if this thread is still active after I get settled later this week…In the meantime, keep your down, and keep the haji’s hopping with those 30mm runs…Don’t let them forget that you guys own the night !!…They may run,but they can’t hide !! ~ Semper Fidelis, Steve ~ The Master Gunz

  51. Jacob Coper says:

    Marcus Luttrell you are the bravest man on the face of this planet and what you have done has moved me in a bunch of ways. Don’t let these jackass’s say any different! They have no idea and no one has ever been through what you have been through or have had to make the decisions your squad had to make that day! I will never forget what you did and your bravery inspires me. Thank you Marcus Luttrell your a blessing to America and you are the definition of a soldier. God Bless

    • Jim Mackin says:

      Jacob, let me borrow a phrase from a great American, John Wayne…“Life is tough, but it’s even tougher if you’re stupid !!”

  52. ALC says:

    I was in the Navy and whole heartledly agree with your assessment… I\‘ve actually met and drank with Mr. Lutrell and he was a shell of a human being. My guess (not professional diagnosis) was from guilt. And, yes, I have similar experiences and NO way would goatherds be let go to blow the entire op as well as endangering on ground personell. I just don\‘t understand what happened up there and never will. Probably more to it than any of us will ever know. The Gunny is on the money and I would bet my left nut that he\‘s worked with plenty of SEAL\‘s and other special op teams during his career.

  53. Gary.D says:

    To all in arms,Respect…

  54. Inexperienced says:

    Not second guessing any of the combatants; I’m not qualified to do so. I just wonder why more people aren’t asking why they didn’t tie up the goat herders and take them to the extraction point and release them when they were extracted? The mission was already compromised; right?

    • Matt says:

      It seems the general consensus of those who aren’t just flag waving zombies that the story as told is not a reality of actual events, but since only one man is left that actually knows what happened, and this is the story he’s telling, who knows what really happened and why your thought on how to handle the situation was not how it was handled.

  55. SNL says:

    can I say the book is not about the Marines or the mission. It is about what happened to the 4 seals.
    Also how does Ed Darack know how many fighters were there. Oh I know because intel said there was only 8–10 fighters. Right, just ask a few soldiers that fought in Viet Nam how reliable intel is. Also Ed seems to be upset the most because Lutrell never mentions the Marines. Again the book was about the 4 man seal R&S team.

  56. +++++++++++++ says:

    Collateral damage and innocent deaths from drone strikes are not out and out murder of civilians. And it wasn’t a game of Call of Duty or Splinter Cell or some other game.

  57. PD5678544566 says:

    Do you know how many drone strikes happen every day without you knowing about it? You only hear of the mistakes. Civ casualties from drone strikes are extremely rare. Idiot.

  58. Ethan Woodard says:

    just read this comment. i don’t need to explain how wrong this is. i wish someone would contact Marcus and tell him this bull. People like this is what makes me want to blow crap up and go shoot them. They are living in america (which incase you haven’t noticed we are FREE) while these amazing men and women go over seas and die everyday for our freedom, to protect our way of life and to protect these scumbags like this from terrorist RPGs. Im only 15 now but i look up to guys like Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle because what they do for our country. They deserve a little more respect then some one these idiots give them. They deserve so much more then just being criticized by people that have no idea what they are taking about. If you were in there position at the time you wouldve wanted to kill them but the rules of engagement tell them they can’t kill civilians or anyone that doesn’t pose a threat. Have you seen videos of SEAL boot camp or BUDS? Probably not but what these men go through to become SEALS and what they have to do to become a SEAL is tough and hard. They basically tear these men down from innocent civilians to hardboiled kick ass hard knuckled SEALS. They are fighting for our freedom and our safety and our wellbeing. Going over seas and leaving home and family and friends to do something 95% of people would never do. So please have a little more respect for people you could basically call your dad. The guy that survived may be a redneck and maybe from Texas but he’s one of the toughest people you’ll ever meet (and I’ve never met him i just know) id like to see a civilian go over seas and do what men and women like him do everyday. I’ve never been but one day i will and i get my motivation from guys like Marcus because people like him are what make this country literally. If any liberal or someone who doesn’t support the second amendment would like to come talk to me about this please come see me I’m in Mississippi and ill be glad to tell you how your wrong and i might even show you my gun safe if your lucky. For God and Country Oorah Mr. Luttrell thank you for you service.

  59. Matt says:

    Stopped reading at “I’m only 15 now…” You’ve seen too many rah rah war movies kid. Good luck at BUDS.