In a remote, mountainous area of Afghanistan, a four-man Navy SEAL team faced a difficult decision when three goatherds stumbled across their location. If they released the goatherds, one of whom was a teenager, then the goatherds might go on to inform Taliban fighters where the SEALs were; if they killed the goatherds, who were unarmed civilians, it would be against the rules of engagement - and reported not as combat, but as murder.
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 frames the outcome of that day with the story of Luttrell's experience as a SEAL. Leading Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell joined the U.S. Navy in 1999 and became a SEAL in 2002. He deployed to Afghanistan in spring of 2005. In the battle that followed the decision they made, against more than 150 Taliban fighters, the other members of his SEAL team were killed, as were sixteen SEALs in a helicopter sent to evacuate them.
Luttrell was the only SEAL to survive. Severely wounded, with three cracked vertebrae in his back, he managed to walk and crawl more than seven miles from the battle. He was taken in by tribesmen from Sabray, a Pashtun village in the mountains of Afghanistan, and granted Lokhay: a Pashtunwali code that guarantees safety and security at all costs for a wounded traveler, with protection from all enemies - even the heavily-armed Taliban fighters who demanded that Luttrell be turned over to them.
From that SEAL team, Petty Officers Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson posthumously received the Navy Cross; Lt. Michael P. Murphy posthumously received the Medal of Honor, the first to be awarded for the war in Afghanistan. Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006 by President George W. Bush, and received his discharge from the Navy in 2007. Lone Survivor was co-written with Patrick Robinson.
DVD 2008-05-19: Marcus Luttrell
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