Lone Survivor

Marcus Luttrell Character Analysis

Marcus Luttrell is the protagonist, narrator, and hero of Lone Survivor. A Navy SEAL who fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, Luttrell is involved in Operation Redwing, the ill-fated SEAL mission in which Luttrell and three other SEALs are sent to capture or kill Ben Sharmak, a dangerous Taliban official. During the operation, Luttrell’s team is attacked by an army of Taliban soldiers, and later, the American helicopter full of SEALs sent to provide backup is shot out of the sky, killing everyone onboard. Luttrell is the only survivor of the brutal battle—hence the title of the book. Over the course of Lone Survivor, Luttrell describes his struggle to save his own life in the aftermath of Operation Redwing, as well as his feelings on patriotism, military service, and the War on Terror. He is, in many ways, a model soldier: a good, loyal friend, a faithful servant of his superior officers, and a loving family man and patriot. Luttrell’s perspective on the War on Terror, however, is in many ways much more problematic. He sneers at the rules of warfare designed to prevent soldiers from committing war crimes and murdering innocent people, and he paints the people of Afghanistan with a broad brush, seeing them as ungodly, untrustworthy murderers.

Marcus Luttrell Quotes in Lone Survivor

The Lone Survivor quotes below are all either spoken by Marcus Luttrell or refer to Marcus Luttrell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Politics and the War on Terror Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown, and Company edition of Lone Survivor published in 2013.
Prologue Quotes

I heard that terrible, terrible scream, the same one that awakens me, bullying its way into my solitary dreams, night after night, the confirmation of guilt. The endless guilt of the survivor.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 1 Quotes

In Baghdad we were up against an enemy we often could not see and were obliged to get out there and find. And when we found him, we scarcely knew who he was—al Qaeda or Taliban, Shiite or Sunni, Iraqi or foreign, a freedom fighter for Saddam or an insurgent fighting for some kind of a different god from our own, a god who somehow sanctioned murder of innocent civilians, a god who’d effectively booted the Ten Commandments over the touchline and out of play.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

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In our view, the question of whether Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons was answered. Of course he did. He used them in Halabja, right?
I guess by now the issue in the minds of the American public was, Did he have a nuclear weapon, an atom bomb?

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Saddam Hussein
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

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That situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes

Now, everyone in the area knew that Billy trained kids for the special forces. And when he had a group of us running down the street, cars driving by would blow their horns and cheer us on. He always ignored that, and he showed us no mercy.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Billy Shelton
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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They are a proud people who adhere to Islam and live by a strict code of honor and culture, observing rules and laws known as Pashunwalai, which has kept them straight for two thousand years. They are also the quintessential supporters of the Taliban. Their warriors form the backbone of the Taliban forces, and their families grant those forces shelter in high mountain villages, protecting them and providing refuge in places that would appear almost inaccessible to the Western eye.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

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I had in my rucksack a DVD player and a DVD of my favorite movie, The Count of Monte Cristo, from the novel by Alexandre Dumas père. It's always an inspiration to me, always raises my spirits to watch one brave, innocent man's lonely fight against overpowering forces of evil in an unforgiving world.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Alexandre Dumas
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

"Marcus, the body can take damn near anything. It's the mind that needs training. The question that guy was being asked involved mental strength. Can you handle such injustice? Can you cope with that kind of unfairness, that much of a setback? And still come back with your jaw set, still determined, swearing to God you will never quit? That's what we're looking for."

Related Characters: Instructor Reno Alberto (speaker), Marcus Luttrell
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

We loved him, all of us, because we all sensed he truly wanted the best for us. There was not a shred of malice in the guy. Neither was there a shred of weakness.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Instructor Reno Alberto
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

I remember the pure indignation we all felt. Someone had just attacked the United States of America, the beloved country we were sworn to defend. We watched the television with mounting fury, the fury of young, inexperienced, but supremely fit and highly trained combat troops who could not wait to get at the enemy. We wished we could get at Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda mob in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or wherever the hell these lunatics lived.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Osama bin Laden
Page Number: 176-177
Explanation and Analysis:

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SEALs don’t look for personal credit, and thus I cannot say who the class voted their Honor Man.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

The truth is, any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing's fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 194-195
Explanation and Analysis:

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This was definitely a mistake. That helo crew was supposed to have taken the rope away with them. God knows what they thought we were going to do with it, and I was just glad Mikey found it. If he hadn’t and we'd left it lying on the ground, it might easily have been found by a wandering tribesman or farmer, especially if they had heard the helicopter come in. That rope might have rung our death knell, signifying, as it surely must, that the American eagle had landed.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy / “Mikey”
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

If these Afghans blew the whistle on us, we might all be killed, right out here on this rocky, burning hot promontory, thousands and thousands of miles from home, light-years from help. The potential force against us was too great. To let these guys go on their way was military suicide.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

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Axe said firmly, "We're not murderers. No matter what we do. We're on active duty behind enemy lines, sent here by our senior commanders. We have a right to do everything we can to save our own lives. The military decision is obvious. To turn them loose would be wrong."

Related Characters: Matthew Gene Axelson / “Axe” (speaker), Marcus Luttrell
Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:

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We tried to take the fight to them, concentrating on their strongest positions, pushing them to reinforce their line of battle. No three guys ever fought with higher courage than my buddies up there in those mountains. And damn near surrounded as we were, we still believed we would ultimately defeat our enemy.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 257
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

“You stay alive, Marcus. And tell Cindy I love her.”

Related Characters: Matthew Gene Axelson / “Axe” (speaker), Marcus Luttrell, Cindy
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

I think at this point I may have been suffering from hallucinations, that very odd sensation when you cannot really tell reality from a dream. Like most SEALs, I’d experienced it before, at the back end of Hell Week.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 301
Explanation and Analysis:

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To an American, especially one in such terrible shape as I was, the concept of helping out a wounded, possibly dying man is pretty routine. You do what you can. For these guys, the concept carried many onerous responsibilities. Lokhay means not only providing care and shelter, it means an unbreakable commitment to defend that wounded man to the death. And not just the death of the principal tribesman or family who made the original commitment for the giving of a pot. It means the whole damned village.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 327
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

Often, deep within the communities, there are old family ties and young men who sympathize with the warlike mentality of the Taliban and al Qaeda chiefs. Kids barely out of grade school—joke, they don't have grade schools up here—are drawn toward the romantic cutthroats who have declared they'll fight the American army until there is no one left.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

This armed gang of tribesmen, who were hell-bent on driving out the Americans and the government, could not function up here in these protective mountains entirely alone. Without local support their primitive supply line would perish, and they would rapidly begin to lose recruits. Armies need food, cover, and cooperation, and the Taliban could only indulge in so much bullying before these powerful village leaders decided they preferred the company of the Americans.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 391-392
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Gulab walked down the hill to me and tried to explain Sharmak had handed him a note that said, Either you hand over the American—or every member of your family will be killed.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Mohammad Gulab
Page Number: 398
Explanation and Analysis:

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It was a grim smile, I admit, but these guys had chased me, tortured me, pursued me, tried to kill me about four hundred times, blown me up, nearly kidnapped me, threatened to execute me. And now my guys were sticking it right to 'em. Beautiful. I saw a report confirming thirty-two Taliban and al Qaeda died out there that night. Not enough.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker)
Page Number: 407
Explanation and Analysis:

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That night, for the first time, I heard Mikey scream.

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy / “Mikey”
Page Number: 415
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mostly I remember the laughter. "Jesus, you look awful," said Morgan. "Mom'll have a nervous breakdown when she sees you." It reminded me of what I'd said to Axe when he'd been fatally wounded on the mountain—"Hey, man, you're all fucked up."

Related Characters: Marcus Luttrell (speaker), Morgan Luttrell (speaker), Matthew Gene Axelson / “Axe”, Holly Luttrell
Page Number: 423
Explanation and Analysis:

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Marcus Luttrell Character Timeline in Lone Survivor

The timeline below shows where the character Marcus Luttrell appears in Lone Survivor. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
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Marcus Luttrell, the author and narrator of the memoir, drives through a small Long Island town, accompanied... (full context)
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Luttrell walks to a little house with an American flag waving in the window. “Mikey’s mother,”... (full context)
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Marcus Luttrell is making a “long and melancholy” journey across America, paid for “by the organization for... (full context)
Chapter 1
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Navy SEALs have a strict code of behavior, Luttrell writes. One rule of this code is to keep goodbyes short—just a curt hug or... (full context)
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Luttrell can still remember saying goodbye to the other SEALs in the island country of Bahrain.... (full context)
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Luttrell and his five fellow SEALs drive through Manama toward a U.S. air base. They fly... (full context)
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The SEALs have fought a dangerous enemy in Baghdad. This enemy goes by many names, Luttrell says, including al Qaeda, Taliban, Shiite, and Sunni. But the enemy fights for “a different... (full context)
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...to plot against America. These may not be “the precise same guys who planned 9/11,” Luttrell admits, but he says they’re the “heirs.” Luttrell’s task is to stop them from hurting... (full context)
Machismo and the Navy SEALs Theme Icon
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...hardest to defend the “proud tradition and feared reputation” of the SEALs. The SEALs on Luttrell’s team include Matthew Gene Axelson, who everyone calls “Axe.” Luttrell’s twin brother Morgan is Axe’s... (full context)
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Luttrell’s best friend in the SEALs is Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy, or “Mikey.” Mikey was accepted... (full context)
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Also on Luttrell’s SEAL team is Senior Chief Daniel Richard Healy. Healy is a loving father of seven... (full context)
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Three hours after their plane takes off, Luttrell and the other SEALs fly over the Gulf of Oman. This can be a dangerous... (full context)
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Luttrell joined SEAL Team 5 in Iraq on April 14, 2003, just one week after the... (full context)
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Some people have called the Iraqi insurgents “freedom fighters.” Luttrell finds this ridiculous, arguing, “They’d sell their own mothers for fifty bucks.” Luttrell enjoys fighting... (full context)
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As time went on, Luttrell and his SEALs learned to “fight like terrorists,” using their superior firepower to frighten their... (full context)
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Once, Luttrell and his SEALs made a mistake. They’d uncovered an insurgent ammunition dump, and instead of... (full context)
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Fighting in Iraq changed Luttrell, he says. His senses sharpened, and he learned how to move stealthily. He also learned... (full context)
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...before it. By this time, the American military still hadn’t found weapons of mass destruction. Luttrell claims that Saddam Hussein obviously had these weapons—biological and chemical weapons. However, Luttrell understands that... (full context)
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As he flies from Bahrain into Afghanistan, Luttrell thinks about the growing problem in America today: too many liberals, who know nothing of... (full context)
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Luttrell isn’t a political person, he claims—he’s a patriot, sworn to defend his country and obey... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Luttrell and his SEAL team fly over the Gulf of Oman. They’re headed over the Arabian... (full context)
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Luttrell thinks about his home. He’s from East Texas, and he’s still very close with his... (full context)
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Luttrell’s mother, Holly Luttrell, is a “brilliant horsewoman,” and Luttrell grew up surrounded by horses. Holly... (full context)
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How did Luttrell, “a farm boy from the backwoods of East Texas,” become a Navy SEAL? To begin... (full context)
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When Luttrell was in his twenties, his family was very poor, and he and Morgan had to... (full context)
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Luttrell’s father always wanted his children to be Navy SEALs. By the time Luttrell was twelve,... (full context)
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...often don’t have the willpower to work as hard as it takes. Becoming a SEAL, Luttrell says, is probably harder than getting into Harvard. And yet SEALs tend to be humble,... (full context)
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Back in 2005, Luttrell and the SEALs fly across the Regestan Desert, over the peaks of the Hindu Kush... (full context)
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...the Taliban and al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan were in retreat. But by the time Luttrell and his team were preparing to land in Afghanistan, the Taliban had made a resurgence. (full context)
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To understand Afghanistan, Luttrell says, it’s important to understand the Pashtuns, a “tribal group” that make up a large... (full context)
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Luttrell and the SEAL team land in the American military base in Bagram, in the heart... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Luttrell’s SEAL team lands in Bagram in Afghanistan just after dawn. Before he writes anything more... (full context)
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On March 7, 1999, Luttrell decided to join the Navy SEALs. When he spoke to a SEAL recruiter, Luttrell bragged... (full context)
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In his weeks of training, Luttrell was made to do thousands of pushups and other exercises. He learned how to handle... (full context)
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Luttrell’s next step is Indoctrination, or Indoc—a two-week course designed to prepare him for BUD/S (Basic... (full context)
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During his BUD/S training, which takes place in Coronado, California, Luttrell suffers a major setback. While climbing a rope, he falls and hurts his thigh. The... (full context)
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In Indoc, Luttrell adjusts to the harshness of SEAL life. He wakes up at the crack of dawn... (full context)
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...portion of Indoc, the recruits focus on water training. This is a welcome change for Luttrell, who excels at swimming. He can hold his breath for two minutes, and he leads... (full context)
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...course designed to eliminate substandard recruits. One of the hardest parts of the O-course for Luttrell is climbing, since he weighs well over 200 pounds. With Reno’s help (and pressure), Luttrell... (full context)
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Instructor Reno Alberto once told Luttrell, “The body can take damn near anything. It’s the mind that needs training.” With this... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...to run along the beach and “get wet and sandy”—i.e., lie down in the surf. Luttrell wakes up at dawn every day, and before seven am he’s done hundreds of pushups.... (full context)
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...“damn nice job” and orders them to go eat. This sudden bit of praise surprises Luttrell. The next day, however, the instructors discipline the recruits for keeping their barracks sloppy. (full context)
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During his time in training, Luttrell meets Captain Joe Maguire, a legendary commanding officer on SEAL Team 2. Maguire later becomes... (full context)
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...men have quit, some in tears. Every time someone quits, the instructors ring a bell. Luttrell often wonders if the bell will ring for him. (full context)
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...and land a boat on rock outcrops. In order to do so, one man on Luttrell’s team has to act as “a human capstan” and make sure the boat doesn’t drift... (full context)
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...spent their entire lives wanting to become SEALs, but they don’t have what it takes. Luttrell later speaks to instructors who tell him how hard it is for them to break... (full context)
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...Breakout. An instructor rushes into the recruits’ barracks, firing a machine gun (hopefully with blanks, Luttrell notes). Luttrell wakes up to Instructor Mruk’s voice saying, “Welcome to hell, gentlemen.” (full context)
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...backbreaking challenges. During breakfast on the first day of Hell Week, the men look shell-shocked. Luttrell, however, is just hungry. After a couple minutes of eating, the instructors burst into the... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Following the events of the previous chapter, Luttrell and the other recruits rush outside for further training. After thirty hours without sleep, Luttrell’s... (full context)
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...swimmer in the group rings the bell and quits Hell Week—a shocking development. Soon after, Luttrell collapses in the middle of a training exercise with what feels like appendicitis. He’s taken... (full context)
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...left in Phase One of BUD/S, but they know that the worst is behind them. Luttrell finishes Phase One and proceeds to Phase Two, where he learns about scuba tanks. He... (full context)
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Luttrell and the other recruits then proceed to Phase Three of BUD/S, during which he trains... (full context)
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In March, Luttrell and the recruits move out to San Clemente for a month of training. There he... (full context)
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The next phase in Luttrell’s training is to enroll in Sniper School. There, he studies camouflage, stealth, and, of course,... (full context)
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The SEALs, Luttrell admits, can be arrogant. But they pay for their arrogance with blood and sweat. Above... (full context)
Chapter 6
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In March 2005, Luttrell and his SEAL team are sent to join SEAL Team 10, led by Lieutenant Eric... (full context)
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...the people who live there, and eventually arrests a Taliban fighter. The man stares at Luttrell, and Luttrell senses, “if he could have killed me, he would have.” (full context)
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The ROE (rules of engagement) dictate that SEALs can’t shoot unarmed Afghan civilians. Luttrell is angry that SEALs can’t shoot other dangerous people, such as spies, and Taliban operatives... (full context)
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On one mission, Luttrell remembers, the SEALs are attacked by a group of “Afghan wild men” armed with rockets.... (full context)
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...in the area, and in fact, some of them have been educated in America. Sometimes, Luttrell feels unreal knowing that he’s in the place where the plan to destroy the World... (full context)
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The Pashtun dwellings are “primitive with a capital P,” Luttrell says. They reek of urine, and some are hundreds of years old. Luttrell and the... (full context)
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...lists of suspected Taliban terrorists. One prime suspect is named Ben Sharmak (for security reasons, Luttrell will use this invented name). Sharmak is believed to command over a hundred Taliban fighters.... (full context)
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...SEALs, known as Operation Redwing, which revolves around the capture or killing of Ben Sharmak. Luttrell relishes the thought of putting a bullet through the head of this dangerous enemy of... (full context)
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Luttrell, Mikey, Shane Patton, Matthew Axelson listen to their assignment. The biggest change is that Patton... (full context)
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...a go. The community in which Sharmak is believed to be residing is small, and Luttrell senses that the SEALs will be unable to land their helicopters without being seen and... (full context)
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The helicopter carrying Luttrell and the other SEALs flies over the mountains. It’s accompanied by a second helicopter, carrying... (full context)
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For the next fifteen minutes, Luttrell and the three other SEALs don’t make a sound. In the distance they can see... (full context)
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...After half a mile or so, the SEALs smell goat manure: there’s a farmhouse nearby. Luttrell realizes that he and his teammates are clearly visible: the moon is shining so brightly... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Recognizing that they’re visible even in the dark, Luttrell and the other SEALs back up behind the shadows cast by tall trees in the... (full context)
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...wait before proceeding toward the village. Soon, the sun has risen, drying the sweat on Luttrell’s clothes. Luttrell realizes that he and his teammates are in a lot of danger: if... (full context)
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Suddenly, Luttrell hears a noise. He turns and sees a man wearing a turban and carrying an... (full context)
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The SEALs have a problem. The three goatherds are obviously unarmed civilians. Luttrell writes, “The strictly correct military decision would still be to kill them without further discussion,... (full context)
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...to kill the goatherds. Danny says, “I don’t really give a shit what we do.” Luttrell doesn’t give his opinion. Mikey points out that, if they kill the goatherds, the Taliban... (full context)
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...SEALs, but they’re also Christians. Axe votes to kill the goatherds. Danny declines to vote. Luttrell hesitates, and then says, “We gotta let ‘em go.” Mikey says, “Luttrell, I’ll go with... (full context)
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...the SEALs’ horror, there are at least eighty armed Taliban soldiers running toward the mountain. Luttrell curses himself for letting the goatherds go. (full context)
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As the Taliban approach, Luttrell realizes some of the soldiers are pointing their guns at him. Not sure whether they... (full context)
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Luttrell can see Mikey nearby—he’s fallen, too. He seems to have been shot during the fall,... (full context)
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Axe appears beside Luttrell and Mikey, having rolled down the mountain the same way as Luttrell. Luttrell can see... (full context)
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The three SEALs open fire on the Taliban and rush toward Danny’s body. Luttrell, the resident medic, is unable to help Danny, since he’s lost his supplies in the... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...middle of the shoot-out with the Taliban, Mikey shouts, “Fall back!” Right away, Axe and Luttrell jump down the mountain, while Mikey and Danny provide cover. Luttrell and Axe land safely,... (full context)
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Luttrell and Axe shoot back at the Taliban. There are at least eighty soldiers rushing toward... (full context)
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The four SEALs manage to move farther down the mountain, with Luttrell dragging Danny. Just then, additional Taliban fighters appear in the distance—the SEALs are even more... (full context)
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Luttrell realizes that Danny, who he’s been dragging down the mountain, is dead. Somehow, this makes... (full context)
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...a Taliban soldier fires a bullet into his back, and he falls to the floor. Luttrell will never forget the calm tone in Mikey’s voice as he makes the call: fearless... (full context)
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Luttrell is the least injured member of the team, but he’s running out of ammunition. Mikey... (full context)
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Suddenly, a grenade explodes, blowing Luttrell off his feet. He loses consciousness for a moment, and when he comes to, his... (full context)
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Luttrell begins to gather his senses. He can’t hear any gunfire, suggesting that the Taliban assume... (full context)
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Back at the U.S. military base, Luttrell later learns, Lieutenant Kristensen gets Mikey’s message and sends the entire 160th Special Operations Aviation... (full context)
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Wounded, and still hiding under the rock, Luttrell pulls out his radio and tries to make contact. He can hear an aircrew talking,... (full context)
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By this time, the sun is setting behind the mountains. Luttrell is thirsty and frightened, but he doesn’t move for fear of being shot. He notices... (full context)
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Luttrell is light-headed from loss of blood, and his backs hurts—he later learns he’s cracked three... (full context)
Chapter 9
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By the time Luttrell summons the strength to move, it’s pitch-black on the mountain. He climbs up the mountain,... (full context)
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Luttrell slips and falls about ten feet. Even though he’s in enormous pain, he gets up... (full context)
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By 2 am, Luttrell is still climbing up the mountain. He can hear Taliban soldiers not far away. He... (full context)
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At 6 am, Luttrell is still climbing up the mountain. He’s desperate to find water, and he’s so dehydrated... (full context)
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By this time, the American military has concluded that Luttrell is dead. The story of the SEAL team’s defeat makes national news, and Holly Luttrell... (full context)
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Back on the mountain, Luttrell approaches the waterfall, when suddenly a Taliban soldier fires at him, hitting him in the... (full context)
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Luttrell tries to hide in a forest on the mountain, but a Taliban scout approaches him.... (full context)
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Breathing heavily from his running, Luttrell tries to decide what to do. He moves west, perhaps three or four miles, toward... (full context)
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Luttrell climbs back to the waterfall. Once there, he drinks some more water. Suddenly, he looks... (full context)
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Luttrell sees three other Afghan men approaching, him, also carrying guns. Nobody fires. One of the... (full context)
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Luttrell doesn’t realize it at the time, but Sarawa and his men take a huge risk... (full context)
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Luttrell, of course, has no idea what Sarawa is thinking. From Luttrell’s perspective, Sarawa and his... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Sarawa and his men carry Luttrell down the mountain. They don’t attempt to take his rifle. Meanwhile, Luttrell continues clutching his... (full context)
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Eventually, Sarawa, Luttrell, and the other men arrive at a house by the mountain. Inside, Luttrell drinks water,... (full context)
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Night falls, and Luttrell falls into a deep sleep. Late at night, however, eight armed Taliban soldiers break into... (full context)
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An elderly man enters the room, and the Taliban fall silent. The old man offers Luttrell water and bread. Then, he turns to the Taliban and tells them something. Luttrell can’t... (full context)
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Later at night, Sarawa enters the room again, accompanied by some friends. They carry Luttrell out of the room—Luttrell later learns they acted on the elder’s orders, lest the Taliban... (full context)
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Around 8 am, Luttrell hears the faint sound of bells, signaling that the goatherds are passing by. Suddenly, he... (full context)
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Unbeknownst to Luttrell, back home in America, his entire family has come together to mourn his death. Contrary... (full context)
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On Friday, July 1, Norzamund and two other men lead Luttrell back to Sabray. There, Sarawa replaces the dressings on Luttrell’s wounds. Luttrell is then taken... (full context)
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Gulab tells Luttrell that there’s an American military base two miles away. However, he says, Luttrell is too... (full context)
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During his time with Gulab, Luttrell learns about the al Qaeda networks in Pashtun villages. Jihadists (i.e., Muslim terrorists) are careful... (full context)
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Luttrell notes that the American military is forbidden from fighting its enemies in the same way... (full context)
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Gulab arranges for some men to move Luttrell to a different location, since it’s too dangerous for Luttrell to stay put. In this... (full context)
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Outside the house, Luttrell hears American helicopters flying low. He rushes outside and waves his shirt, trying to draw... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Luttrell continues to stay with Gulab while Gulab’s father walks out to Asadabad to talk to... (full context)
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One evening, Luttrell hears local children shouting, “parachute!” Luttrell learns that the American military has dropped supplies near... (full context)
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A few nights later, the village children bring Luttrell instructions for using a cell phone, which they say they found with the parachute supplies.... (full context)
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Luttrell wants to leave Sabray his own—he knows he’s in danger as long as he’s in... (full context)
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...4th of July weekend, a time of celebration for all Americans. But back in America, Luttrell’s parents are grieving, thanks to the misinformation they’ve seen on television. However, Senior Chief Petty... (full context)
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On the morning of July 4th, Luttrell wakes up—the overnight walk was canceled due to the rain. Luttrell is furious and—he admits... (full context)
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Later in the day, Gulab cries out, “Taliban! Taliban are here!” Luttrell runs out of the house, but then realizes he doesn’t have his gun. Bravely, Gulab... (full context)
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The Taliban storm Sabray—Luttrell can hear the cries of young children. But slowly, it becomes clear that the Taliban... (full context)
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Though Luttrell doesn’t know it at the time, Gulab has correctly guessed that the Taliban have broken... (full context)
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Back in Texas, the Luttrell family’s vigil continues. The media repeat that Luttrell is dead, but Morgan refuses to consider... (full context)
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In Sabray, Gulab and Luttrell decide to “make a break for it.” They rush away from the village and into... (full context)
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While the men hold their fire, Gulab and Sharmak speak in private. Luttrell knows they’re talking about him. This is a standoff between two principled men: Gulab the... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...Sharmak return from their conversation, and Sharmak walks away to rejoin his forces. Gulab and Luttrell stand by the mountain, staring at Ben Sharmak and his men. Gulab explains that Sharmak... (full context)
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Gulab leads Luttrell through a forest in the mountains. They’re vulnerable to Taliban soldiers, but they also have... (full context)
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Suddenly, Luttrell sees an Afghan man pointing an AK-47 at his face. To his relief, Luttrell realizes... (full context)
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The Army Ranger captain orders a team to move Luttrell out of the forest immediately. They begin fixing Luttrell’s wounds, replacing Sarawa’s dressings with fresh... (full context)
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The Rangers lead Luttrell back to Sabray with Gulab. Back in Sabray, Luttrell gives the Ranger captain a full... (full context)
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Suddenly, Gulab shouts, “Taliban!” The American soldiers spring into action. It’s clear to Luttrell that the Taliban, knowing that the helicopters are about to take him away, are trying... (full context)
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As the Taliban retreat, an American helicopter lands in the Hindu Kush. The Rangers help Luttrell, and then Gulab, into the helicopter. Gulab is uncertain for the journey ahead, both because... (full context)
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In Bagram, Luttrell receives the medical care he desperately needs. He’s lost thirty-seven pounds, cracked three vertebrae, broken... (full context)
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Back in Texas, Luttrell’s parents learn that their son is alive. Holly is so overwhelmed that she faints. Every... (full context)
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During his time in the intensive care unit, Luttrell learns about the practice of lokhay, which saved his life. He also begins to have... (full context)
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...the troops recover the bodies of Mikey and Danny (Axe is yet to be found). Luttrell will always remember Mikey as a proud, brave, funny soldier—the best friend he ever had.... (full context)
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...discovered that he had only one round of ammunition left—two fewer than he had when Luttrell saw him. This proves that Axe lived longer than Luttrell thought, and fought to the... (full context)
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On July 8, Luttrell is moved to a hospital in Germany. For a little over a week, he receives... (full context)
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Luttrell returns to San Antonio, Texas, and reunites with his brothers. When Morgan first sees Luttrell,... (full context)
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On the long drive home, Luttrell and his brothers catch up, and Luttrell summons the courage to tell Morgan about the... (full context)
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After the brothers arrive at their home, Holly weeps at the sight of Luttrell, who’s considerably unhealthier than he looked when Holly saw him last. To Luttrell’s surprise, there’s... (full context)
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In August, Luttrell is promoted to Petty Officer First Class. Luttrell receives his appointment directly from Admiral Mike... (full context)
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On September 12, 2005, Luttrell makes the decision to deploy back to the Middle East. He’s the only member of... (full context)
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...Americans: they respect Axe for his sacrifice. “No amount of poison about our alleged brutality,” Luttrell adds, “is going to change what most people think.” (full context)
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During his visits to the SEALs’ families, Luttrell travels to New York, D.C., Los Angeles, and many other smaller cities. Shortly afterwards, he... (full context)
Epilogue
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On July 18, 2006, Luttrell receives the Navy Cross for his heroism in combat. There, he shakes hands with President... (full context)