If you know me, you'd know that I have this secret (well, not so secret any more) part of me that admires people in the military so much. I can spend hours on Wikipedia reading about military missions and reputable soldiers, mostly the ones who had sacrificed themselves for their country. I know... It's so weird. My sister laughs at me and makes fun of me about it. I just have this unexplainable amount of love and respect for people who are extremely courageous and self-sacrificial. When I learnt about the film adapation of this book before it started showing in cinemas, I looked it up and read all about Operation Red Wings. I knew I had to watch the film.
On a clear night in late June 2005, four U.S. Navy Seals left their base in northern Afghanistan for the mountainous Pakistani border. Their mission was to capture or kill a notorious al Qaeda leader known to be ensconced in a Taliban stronghold surrounded by a small but heavily armed force. Less then twenty-four hours later, only one of those Navy SEALs remained alive.
This is the story of fire team leader Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of Operation Red Wings, and the desperate battle in the mountains that led, ultimately, to the largest loss of life in Navy SEAL history. But it is also, more than anything, the story of his teammates, who fought ferociously beside him until he was the last one left. Luttrell recalls their valiant efforts in one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare-and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
I usually only read fiction novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but I couldn't resist picking this up, especially after I'd watched the film (it was super good). No regrets at all, I tell you. The book was even better than the film. I won't give away what happens, but the last part in the movie differed a lot from the book.
In the middle pages of Lone Survivor, you'd find some photographs dedicated to the team. Most of them have appeared at the end of the film. It was so heart-wrenching to see those photos, knowing that the story was real and that these people have really been through all that fear and pain in their dying moments.
When I was done reading it, I had this strong urge to fly to America, just to visit the graves of these men. There, I'd lay flowers and express my admiration for them. Okay okay, you must now be thinking that I'm crazy, but you see, that's how much respect I have for them. I don't think there's anyone else that I respect more than the people serving in the military.
I always think, "We're all humans. Why do these people have to go out, risk their lives and fight for others while the rest of us do nothing." But I get it. I know not all of us are as gallant and unselfish. In a way, I guess the respect I have for these men stems from the knowledge that I can never be as brave and as self-sacrificial as them.
I hope I didn't bore you with this long rambling. Let me know what you've been reading recently in the comments and I'll see you in my next post!