Coming straight from The Operator I went into this book, knowing vaguely what it’s about. Having seen the movie a few years prior I remember little bits and pieces but of course the book is more detailed and written by someone who actually went through the experiences that are told in the book. It’s a thick book compared to what I’ve read before but I flew through it because it’s so captivating. Anyways, enjoy the tenth.
Lone Survivor is written by Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL who, when on a mission to find a Taliban leader went through a horrible experience together with his team. While being in the Afghani mountains called the Hindu Kush they stumble on a big Taliban force, estimated at around 140, while they’re out there with just 4 SEALs. Working at a disadvantage they manage to fight back, keep them off and stay alive for a considerable amount of time.
Setback literally fly-in by rocket propelled grenades (RPG’s) and they end up falling back repeatedly. Eventually everyone on Marcus’ team falls by the rainfall of bullets and RPG’s that are launched at them from an advantage point. Marcus, however, gets launched in an area that’s out-of-sight for the Taliban by an RPG bullet and they can’t seem to find him. Sitting there, not moving an inch, because it hurts too much and the potential danger, he stays there for 8-hours.
Eventually Marcus moves, in need for water, and struggles his way through the mountains there. Eventually reaching a water spot, (not before fighting off several more Taliban), but then gets cornered by mountain villagers pointing AK-47’s at him. Miraculously they take him in to their village, patch him up and defend him from the Taliban. Later he learned they employed something called Lokhay, an age-old unwritten code that the Pushtun people follow. Some of it’s principles contain hospitality, forgiveness, loyalty and righteousness.
Marcus eventually gets rescued alive, which might’ve been impossible were it not for the Pushtun code Lokhay.
Reading this book there are innumerable lessons to be learned, everyone one of which equally as important. But the main thing, I think, is the idea of Lokhay. The mountain villagers took Marcus in and quite literally saved his life, even at the expense of their own. Even when a Taliban ultimatum was given, either give Marcus or we kill your entire family, they stood their ground to defend their guest. The immense degree of hospitality, loyalty and righteousness (and many more virtues), that radiate from this story exemplify general good people and their honesty.
Once again this book learned me that our physical and mental limits reach way further than the ordinary people ever learn to know. For example, on of Marcus’ teammates was repeatedly shot and still managed to crawl back into position to fight off the opposing enemy. And with a leg that holds a bullet hole and RPG shrapnel, three cracked vertebrae, a messed up wrist, a broken nose and whatever else, Marcus still was ready for a fight, doing whatever is necessary. SEALs are known for defying the odds and I think that we can take an example from thriving out of adversity as opposed to trying to stay in the comfort zone.
Lastly, I think self-confidence or determinism really shines out through this book. Being able to have the faith that you’ll make it out alive or that you can take the opposition I think is really admirable. If Marcus and his team weren’t trained to be the way they were they probably wouldn’t last even as closely as they did. It’s remarkable how much courage a person can have and I think a lot of people can learn from it, myself included.
The only thing I can recommend is READ THIS BOOK! You could watch the movie, but I don’t think a movie ever does a book justice. There are innumerable lessons to learn from reading this book and I think you can only gain from it. It’s an easy read, good to follow and above else it feels like a very good fiction book. The fact that it’s actually a non-fiction, true-story and first hand account from the writer himself, makes it that much more invigorating.