The Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

Marcus Luttrell and Navy SEAL Team 10 have been assigned on a mission, Operation Red WIngs, designed to kill or capture a high-ranking Taliban leader responsible for the deaths of several U.S. Troops. As their mission unfolds, the team of four SEALs finds themselves overlooking a small Afghan village staked out silently in nearby mountains to catch a glimpse of their target. The men have their sniper rifles focussed intently on the village patiently awaiting the arrival of the hunted terrorist when unexpectedly, three innocent sheep herders stumble upon the team’s hideout.

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Instantaneously the SEAL team detains the herders and discuss their crippling dilemma: Do they let the innocent Afghanis live, or do they kill them? If they let them live, they face the very real possibility that the herders will return to the town and inform the Taliban of the team’s presence. If they kill them, they will be faced with criminal charges back in the United States, as well as living with the memory of killing innocent people who harbored no hostile intend towards Luttrell and his team.

After a great deal of arguing, SEAL Team 10 decides to release the herders. This becomes the crucial decision that defines operation Red Wings, and makes ‘The Lone Survivor’ a spectacular read.

The tale seems outrageous, unlikely, and downright impossible in many instances, but it is a true story of how Luttrell lives out the ramifications of the decision to let the herders go free. (The story follows a lengthy summary of Luttrell’s training as a SEAL which was intriguing and surprising to say the least) I felt like I was watching Black Hawk Down, Behind Enemy Lines, or some other gripping war movie – this inspiring true story will in the very least entertain you, and will most likely force you to reexamine your feelings on war, the news media, and current U.S. Rules of engagement.

The book is written by Luttrell with Patrick Robinson, and the SEAL’s voice rings through like a good ol’ Texas Boy – farm living, football loving, dog having, red meat eating, republican – the typical Texas stereotype. The voice is very refreshing to read in a way, it ignores any and every attempt to be politically correct, or even to empathize with those who think differently from Luttrell. What you see is what you get with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this epic patriotic story that crescendo’s until the very last chapter in pulse pounding intensity.

I’m going to put this guy on the 4th shelf out of 5.