Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
In 2005, four Navy SEAL’s Marcus Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson were deployed on a mission to take out the Taliban leader Ahmad Shah in Afghanistan. After arriving at their lookout, they are accidentally discovered by an elderly shepherd and two teenage goat herders. The team is faced with the life-threatening decision on what to do with them, knowing that if they release them the herders will likely alert the Taliban to their presence. They are split about whether to kill the headers or not. Team leader Michael Murphy decides to up hold the rules of engagement and let the shepherds go. As predicted the herders alert the Taliban and an hour later they are surrounded by an army of Taliban warriors. A terrible battle ensues, in which the SEAL’s find themselves outnumbered and outgunned. Marcus Luttrell was the only one of the four men to survive. He was initially rescued by a group of Afghan Pashtun villagers who cared for him for several days until the American armies became aware of his location.
The theme endurance is addressed throughout the entire battle. Marcus says; “I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity”. This shows that he wouldn’t give up and will keep going whatever the situation. This determination was crucial for the survival of Luttrell as he was faced with an extreme battle. It would have been both physically and mentally exhausting being constantly under fire and seeing your team mates getting killed. Having such a strong mental strength allowed him to endure and survive this intense ordeal. He said; “Anything in life worth doing is worth over doing”. By this he means if you’re going to do something you may as well do it at 110%, this is seen as he became a SEAL not just joined the ordinary army which is a lot more physically and mentally demanding.
This connects with the rest of the world as many people go through tough times and lose loved ones. Most people won’t have to face such an extreme situation as the SEAL’s team but will have something that they have had to endure that was physically and mentally exhausting. It shows that it’s not always the best option to follow what the government wants you to do in war instead do what your gut says. Luttrell goes on to say; “The politicians have chosen to send us into battle, and that’s our trade. We do what’s necessary. And in my view, once those politicians have elected to send us out to do what 99.9 percent of the country would be terrified to undertake, they should get the hell out of the way and stay there”. He says this as he was angry at the government as they ultimately caused three of the SEALs to lose their lives. This is because they had to stick to protocol even if the shepherds were most likely Taliban.
This teaches us that there are very strong people in society that will sacrifice their life for the safety of their country. Most people take the safety of everyday life for granted and don’t realise there are people risking their lives so we can live in peace. The strong mentality of these SEAL’s allows them to pursue the battle, Luttrell said; “If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates…I am never out of the fight”. This sentence shows us that he will do whatever it takes to protect his team mates and go to any lengths to achieve this. This ensures the safety of his country, so every ordinary person can live in peace. This mentality was developed over many years of hard training of pushing their body’s and mentality past what they ever thought they could achieve.
This text connects with my personal view point as these SEAL’s were able to push their body’s to new extremes. This was all possible because of their extreme mental strength, the body will do what the mind says. This is why it’s so crucial that their mentality was strong as that’s how they were able to survive for such a long time against an impossible situation. Marcus Luttrell said; “The real battle is won in the mind. It’s won by guys who understand their areas of weakness, who sit and think about it, plotting and planning to improve. Attending to the detail. Work on their weaknesses and overcome them. Because they can.” What he says shows us his pure determination and mind set, carrying this mind set allows the SEAL’s to execute the extreme missions to the highest level possible. I personally share the same view point of mental strength is everything. It allows you to achieve to the highest levels not just in war but in everyday life. It could be school, sport or anything else.
I would recommend this book to everyone, it portrays an incredible picture in your mind about an extreme battle that Marcus Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson had to endure. It teaches you a lot about life and makes you rethink what you thought was physically and mentally challenging, it is made vivid that everything begins in the mind. As Marcus Luttrell said; “Nothing just happens. You always have to strive”. These remarkable limits that the SEAL’s showed they were able to reach, shows what these people in war have to push themselves to do in order to allow the average human to live in peace.
September, Term three