Lone Survivor is a true eyewitness account of Operation Redwing written by SEAL Marcus Luttrell. In it, he tells the remarkable and tragic story of how he became the only surviving member of SEAL team ten. Near the beginning of the book, to help explain the phenomenal stamina, strength, and courage SEALs have, the author describes his experiences in SEAL training. Both the physical and mental capacity of those who make it through must be enormous, as only six percent of those who attempt to pass the extremely physically demanding exercises, sleep deprivation, and stressful environment actually do. After explaining what it means to be a SEAL, Luttrell tells the tale of he and his three teammates in Afghanistan, 2005. On a mission to capture or kill terrorist Taliban leader Ben Shamark, he, team leader Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz were ambushed by two hundred Taliban fighters. Valiantly fighting for their lives, each showed incredible courage in the face of death. Luttrell’s best friend, Mikey, and his two close friends, Axe and Danny, were all killed. Marcus, while he sustained many injuries, including a broken back and shrapnel wounds, was helped by an Afghan tribe and protected from the Taliban by them. After four days of being missing in action, he was rescued by the US Army Rangers and flown back to his hometown in Texas to his family.
This book was a tear-jerker. As the author mentions in the book, he feels the guilt of the survivor. It shows the pain he feels in not knowing whether the choices he made were the ones that caused the death of his friends. This book both fulfills Luttrell’s purpose in memorializing his teammates, and shows the pain of loss. It also shows what soldiers in the Army, especially SEALs, go through often, not really knowing if they will see their teammates and friends return from a mission. I would give this book four stars, but I would not recommend it to anyone who is sensitive to violence or language.