Tyler Grant's Reviews > Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
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's review
Aug 31, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in July, 2011

Lone Survivor was an incredible story. Four SEALs holding off a few hundred Taliban was incredible, and they gave those Taliban a very rough time, though they slowly got hit here and there until only Luttrell survived. I think it's in all men to get inspired by such battles so that when we are forced to fight them for our freedom, country, or family, we can do it and win. So no one wants war, but I think it's important to understand that we have the feeling for reason and when it's needed we need to bring it out with a vengeance. Anyway, Luttrell's team members made the ultimate sacrifice, doing what I could never do, and they will forever be honored by that.

I'm grateful for all the members of society who do their respective duties with honor. Many people are suited for different things and Luttrell was suited to be a SEAL. He worked his butt off, never gave up, and lived the code of the SEAL. This book shows what it takes to be a SEAL. I could never do it. Besides the physical aspect, I don't have the pitbull attitude, and the constant machismo drives me nuts. But thank goodness there are people like Luttrell who excel at being a soldier.

The larger issues that were some moral issues that the situation brought to light. Before I read this book, I thought it would never be justified to kill anyone who didn't have a weapon and wasn't an enemy. Luttrell's team were behind enemy lines and happened on some locals who were unarmed, nor could they determine if they were Taliban sympathizers or fighters without weapons. Now, normally I would consider it unethical under any circumstances to kill an unarmed person. Luttrell and his team decided to let the locals go since they had no other options. Shortly thereafter an army of Taliban descended upon them and killed Luttrells team members and Luttrell only survived by luck. What should they have done? What should someone in a similar situation do next time? Rules can't cover all possible situations in reality.

The other issue, not as large, but enlightening, was with the rules of engagement. Under the rules of engagement, U.S. military cannot fire unless fired upon. In the event, it wasn't completely clear that the Taliban army was coming for them or meant to kill them, though it seemed likely. Luttrell was in camou and a Taliban came around the corner with his gun up. Since Luttrell was in camou and up under a ledge, the Taliban was looking right at him and his gun was pointed right at him. At that point Luttrell shot him and that began the battle.

Rules. You can always get in trouble for breaking the rules, but wise people know that the rules can't cover every possibility. Think about that and how the government functions.

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