The book I’m about to talk about is not on the Amazon list, but I had every intention of making a video for it. Except that I’m sick and I don’t think I could speak loud enough or long enough for y’all to hear me. So, I’ll just write about it here instead.
The book I’m talking about is Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
Before I tell you about the book, I’d first like to say that I don’t label books as the best I’ve read often. I’ve only had three different books hold the top spot, ever. And I was fully convinced that Anne Frank’s diary would remain in that spot for years to come. Until I read this book.
Lone Survivor tells the story of Operation Redwing, which took place in 2005 in the mountains of Afghanistan. The goal of the four Navy SEALs who were sent in was to kill a high ranking terrorist. But it went horribly wrong when the SEALs were stumbled upon by local farmers and made the decision to release them without further harm.
This is where I say to not keep reading if you haven’t read the book or perhaps plan on doing so in the future because I’ll be revealing details. Proceed at your own risk.
The decision to release the farmers came back to bite the members of SEAL Team 10. The terrorists in the area (100-200 men) made their way up the mountain and eventually came upon the SEALs and a firefight ensued. But the SEALs’ communications with HQ could not be established, and the terrain was not conducive for a quick retreat. They repeatedly retreated down the sheer sides of mountains when no other option was available. But ultimately the terrorist fighting force proved too much for the four-man SEAL team, and three men were killed up in those mountains after fighting longer and harder than I can possibly describe here.
Marcus Luttrell became the lone survivor after a local tribe took him in and protected him at all costs.
But let me tell you why this book hit me so hard.
First, I’ve never cried reading any book as much as I cried reading this one. And I’m someone who knew a little about what happened because I’ve seen the movie adaptation that pretty much stuck to the original.
Marcus Luttrell put you in the shoes of a Navy SEAL. We don’t start the book in the mountains of Afghanistan, we start long before that here in the US as he’s training to become a SEAL. He gives insight into the training and mindsets of future SEALs that cannot be understated. He gives readers an idea as to what it takes to become a SEAL and only then does he take you into the fight in Afghanistan.
This story is not a story of death or sadness. It’s the story of the unsung heroes of war who never make it home. Because those three members of SEAL Team 10 were and forever will be heroes, along with every member of our military who died on that mountain trying to save the life of Marcus Luttrell. Those men knew they were going into incredibly hostile territory, but a SEAL Team was in bad shape and help was coming whether it was ideal or not.
This book is not written as a novel. And it’s not meant to be read as one. It’s written as if you’re sitting on the back porch of Luttrell’s Texas home and he’s describing every aspect of being a SEAL and Operation Redwing to you. If you read it accordingly, there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll appreciate it like I have.
I told y’all that I’d never forget the dedication page found at the beginning of this book, and I won’t. But I’ll also never forget this book. The story of those men on that mountain will stay with me, forever.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you should read this book because of how great I believe it to be. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you should read this book if you’re interested in a story about modern war. I’m not going to tell you that you should read this story at all. But I’m glad that I did.
Have you read Lone Survivor yet? What did you think?
You can visit the Amazon product page for the book here.
On this day in 2014 I published Keeping a Journal.