Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor, tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Redwing. An unparalleled motivational story of survival, the book is also a moving tribute to the friends and teammates who did not make it off the mountain. A powerful testament to the courage, integrity, patriotism and community that forged these American heroes, Lone Survivor is an incredible account of teamwork, fortitude and modern warfare.
Operation Redwing’s mission was to gather intelligence on a Taliban leader with ties to Osama bin Laden. When the team encountered several goat herders, the SEALs questioned them and, after a debate about the rules of engagement, let them go. Shortly after a large Taliban force ambushed the four-man team on a remote ridge, Luttrell and his teammates valiantly fought for hours, displaying characteristic SEAL determination and bravery, refusing to retreat from the fight despite being heavily outnumbered. Hours later, after Luttrell had watched all three friends die and had literally been blown off the mountain by an RPG, a rescue helicopter carrying 16 special operation forces was shot down, killing all on board.
His face shredded, nose broken, rotator cuff torn, three vertebrae cracked, his body riddled with shrapnel and unable to stand, Luttrell began to crawl through the mountains in search of shelter. Help arrived by way of the Afghan villagers of Sabray. They took Luttrell in, cleaned up his wounds and, honoring their tribe’s custom, protected him from the Taliban at the risk of their own lives. As the Taliban circled the village and the threats intensified, the village elder sought help from the nearest Marine outpost. Five nights after the nightmare began, Luttrell was rescued.
In this emotionally raw account, Luttrell honors the memories of all those who died, sharing with us the incredible bravery, courage and honor of these extraordinary warriors. He holds their lives up as examples of this guiding philosophy of the SEALs:
“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”
In 2013 Luttrell’s amazing story will make the leap to the big screen in what promises to be a blockbuster success. Directed by Peter Berg (Battleship, Hancock), the film is slated to feature Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, The Departed) as Luttrell.
At the podium, Luttrell takes us from the rigors of SEAL training and what it takes to join the America’s elite fighting force, to the battle on the mountain, into his family’s experience of community support and generosity, and back to his own incredible story of survival and grace. In powerful narrative, he weaves a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, community and destiny that audiences will find both wrenching and life-affirming.
In his new bestselling book Service: A Navy SEAL at War, Luttrell turns his focus from his own experiences as a combat-trained Navy SEAL to the nature of service on America’s battlefields and the soldiers who give their lives to defend their nation and each other.
Marcus Luttrell joined the U.S. Navy in March 1999 and became a combat-trained SEAL in January 2002. After serving in Iraq for two years, he was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2005. As a SEAL, Luttrell was trained in weapons, demolition, and unarmed combat. He also served as Platoon medic.
After recuperating, he redeployed to Iraq for a second tour. In the spring of 2007, Petty Officer 1st Class Luttrell retired. He was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006 by President George W. Bush.
To honor his lost comrades from Operation Redwing, Luttrell established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010, dedicated to honoring and remembering American warriors by providing unique educational, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness opportunities to U.S. Armed Forces service members & families.