At the time of this writing, it has been 10 years since Operation Redwing, the operation the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 and the movie Lone Survivor is based on. Below is a blog post I published not long after seeing the movie about the negative press it was receiving. The picture included here is to honor all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during this mission.
Thank You For Your Service
I don’t know what movie those claiming Lone Survivor was a movie that glorified war watched but it was not the one I watched which WAS Lone Survivor
Not a glorification of The Lone Survivor
It is NOT, in fact, a glorification of the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell. This movie IS a tribute to the brotherhood, courage, and heroism of the group of men, Navy Seals, who fought the Taliban in the mountains of Afghanistan against unbeatable odds and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
That is the story I saw. Yes, the story was told by the lone survivor as it could not have been told by anyone else because they were not there. As with any movie “based on a true story” some artistic license is always taken to make the movie more marketable and to fill in gaps where the author or witness did not see and had to speculate. His speculations would be more credible than any others.
There were parts of the story the lone survivor Marcus Luttrell did not even see so some license had to be taken there to make the story more complete. If the story consisted of only the details he saw then part of the story would have been missed.
Not a glorification of war
This movie does not glorify war. It does portray the intensity, reality, cruelty that are part of any war. It does exhibit the camaraderie and brotherhood that develops and exists between soldiers who train together, live together, and, when called upon, go to war together. Those of us who have not experienced that can only watch and imagine what it is like. There is no way we could ever presume to understand what it means.
Movies can help us learn and appreciate
However, we can watch movies such as this one that reminds us of these qualities and characteristics that exist for those that do choose to serve and protect us and our freedoms. We can gain some sense of appreciation for what our soldiers do for us every day and be reminded what we are really talking about when we say,
Families sacrifice too
This movie also is a reminder that the soldiers are not the only ones making a sacrifice when they are away from their family and friends while serving in various locations around the world. The families of our soldiers sacrifice time away from their loved ones while they are serving even when they do return home. When lives are lost then the families suffer this sacrifice and have to live with it the rest of their lives. This movie reminds us whenever we hear of any soldier killed in a battle such as those portrayed in this movie or even in a training accident the families are paying that ultimate sacrifice as well. They will not have their husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter any more except in their memories.
Critics have no credibility
I do not believe those criticizing this movie as being a glorification of war have even seen this movie. They are just criticizing it because they are anti-war and the movie has exceeded expectations at the box office. Is this movie for everyone? No. Of course not. It is rated R for a reason. Would I recommend you go see this type of movie every week? No.
However, if you are an adult and want to be transported into the mountains of Afghanistan into a battle with the Taliban via a movie and be reminded or either shown for the first time what war is really like Lone Survivor will do that for you. It will give you a new perspective. I recommend you see it for just such a reminder and perspective. If you do I promise if you are like me and have never served, the next time you see a soldier and shake their hand and say, “Thank you for your service” you will better understand what you are thanking them for and you will have a better sense of what it means, maybe for the first time.
UPDATE: Obviously, at the time this was written the movie had just recently been released and was not available on DVD, Blu-Ray or Digital. It is available now and if you haven’t seen it I encourage you to check it out and see if your perception is similar to mine.
You can get involved!
If you want to find out what Marcus Luttrell is up to and learn more about Operation Red Wing you can do that at marcusluttrell.com.
His new team is called Team Never Quit. Team Never Quit is a movement – a community of people who stand united in the fight to honor, support, and restore our veterans and to help them overcome the struggles they face when they come home. Go to teamneverquit.com and learn more and you can become part of the team as well.
To anyone reading this who has served or is serving now, including families, please know you have my appreciation and respect.
Thank you for your service!
Until next time…
Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 01/24/2014