Survivor

You, yes you, stop whatever you’re doing and read this book.

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s amazing to hear the perspective of a Navy SEAL. He gives an insight of what it takes to be a SEAL, what it means to be a SEAL, and what it feels like to be the only surviving SEAL of Operation Redwing.

To hear a soldier’s story in such a personal and conversational way was an electric wake up call. I hadn’t forgotten the war exactly, but it was sort of in the back of my mind like a test that was a month away, a battle between people I would never know. That’s how Lone Survivor changed everything. After reading it I felt as though I had known Danny, Axe, and Mike at least a little, enough to care for them, admire them, and thank them as I read and they fell one by one. I think it was very brave of Marcus, after returning from the collapse of Operation Redwing, to share the most tortured event of his life and let people into his deepest nightmares.  He’s a hero on the battlefield and off. Once back home he started the Lone Survivor Foundation, an organization that helps to optimize recovery and healing of our American Patriots. The Foundation also asks America to stand up and support her troops and never forget Operation Redwing. Because of Marcus I have an inkling of an idea of what it means to be a Navy SEAL and what the members of Operation Redwing, Danny, Axe, and Mike, did for me and for us all.

Thank you,  Danny, Axe, and Mike. You’d be proud of your Southern Boy. He made it out of that hell hole and told your story. He made us love you all and I, a college kid in East Texas, have got my boots on for you.

I’ve also got my boots on for my own lone survivor, my Grandpa Mac. He joined the Navy to be a pilot in 1958. A helicopter, in which he was the copilot, malfunctioned and went down not far from the California training base. It crashed into the ground as a ball of flame. After he had picked himself up from the broken glass and and fire, he went back in for his injured fellow servicemen. However, despite his efforts, he alone survived. For his valor and selflessness he received a medal.

Learning that about my own grandpa made me realize that there are secret heroes all around us. Imagine that one of those heroes saw you walking around in a pair of combat boots, boots just like theirs. You could bless a serviceman just by walking to the grocery store! So what are you waiting for? Get your boots on!

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