Convention of Statesmen

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Movie Corner: Lone Survivor

Last week Alvin and I finally had the chance to see Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor. First, may I say that this is a movie that every single American should see. The price the men and women of our military pay is it exorbitant. We should be an extremely grateful nation dedicated to taking care of the needs of these men and women. And second, thank you to Mark Wahlberg for doing such a stellar job in portraying this stark event in America's military history.

The movie takes us through the events that took place on an Afghanistan mountain in 2005. Marcus Luttrell's SEAL Team 10 was tasked with gathering intelligence on a particularly brutal Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah, who was rumored to be close to Osama bin Laden. This was known as Operation Redwing. (Learn more about that here.)
Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.

This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history. His squadmates fought valiantly beside him until he was the only one left alive, blasted by an RPG into a place where his pursuers could not find him. Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains and was taken in by sympathetic villagers who risked their lives to keep him safe from surrounding Taliban warriors.

A born and raised Texan, Marcus Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training, where he and his fellow SEALs discovered what it took to join the most elite of the American special forces, to a fight in the desolate hills of Afghanistan for which they never could have been prepared. His account of his squadmates' heroism and mutual support renders an experience that is both heartrending and life-affirming. In this rich chronicle of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers a powerful narrative of modern war.
The movie takes us through the events on that mountain, as one by one the SEALs fall. These men are heroes and watching the decisions they made, how hard they fought, and not giving up until they expelled their last breath, was extremely difficult to watch. I'm not ashamed to say I wept. Although it was actors on a screen, each represented a real man who gave their last full measure of devotion to their nation.

The film is brilliantly made and it is heart wrenching to watch. I've read liberal reviewers who attempted to destroy the film, but you have to a be a particular kind of heartless bastard to watch this movie and know that the true events being played out cost the lives of three exceptionally good men and heroes. 

Some are finding it fun to second guess the decisions these men made on that mountain. Others sit in their warm little homes and ridicule them. I would never presume to be so foolish or arrogant as to second guess Luttrell's team. I am not a Navy SEAL. I have not been through Navy SEAL training (BUDS). I have not fought in war, not have I had to deal with the godforsaken Taliban who are little more than animals. Actually, that's an offense to animals, so let me rephrase. The Taliban have wholly embraced evil and more likely have a resemblance to demons than animals. 

Nonetheless, Marcus Luttrell has made it clear that the decisions made were good decisions, specifically stating that "knowing and proving" are two different things. The goatherds that compromised the mission, in hindsight, should have been killed on the spot, but again, knowing and proving are two different things.

When a CNN anchor called what happened on that far away mountain, senseless, Marcus said to Jake Tapper, “I don’t know what part of the film you were watching, but hopelessness really never came into it,” he said, shifting in his seat. “I mean, where did you see that? Because there was never a point where we just felt like we were hopelessly lost or anything like that. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing until we were actually dead.”

If viewers of this movie can come to understand the extraordinary nature of the men of this SEAL team, then you will come to understand the nature of true heroism and courage.

Thank you, Marcus. Thank you to your men for...for, everything. God bless you and God bless America. And to Mark Wahlberg, thank you for the extraordinary job you did in telling their story.



I give Lone Survivor a solid 5 out of 5 Stars and if I could give more, I would. This is a must-see movie for every single American over the age of fourteen. The language is rough, the story is brutal, but it is the reality of what our men face when they stand for America. These are real men, real heroes, and they had families that love them dearly. It is critical for America to understand the price that is paid so they can sleep at night.

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Copyright 2013. All rights reserved by Candace E. Salima.

Movie Corner: Lone Survivor Movie Corner: Lone Survivor Reviewed by Candace Salima on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Rating: 5