Lone Survivor Movie Thoughts

Lone Survivor Movie Thoughts

By:  Joshua Gideon

I am not a movie buff, I know nothing about cinematography and what works and doesn’t work.  I like watching westerns, action movies, dramas, and sometimes war movies.  Beyond being a consumer, frankly I don’t care to know more than that.  What I do know about is living through people trying to kill you, losing brothers and friends, and dealing with the consequences afterword.  Even with my very limited and short experience I know it absolutely sucks.  It takes a man like Marcus Lutrell to dig up the worst days of his life to honor his fallen brothers.  I can only imagine the pain this caused Marcus and his family to retell this story.  Marcus has honored his fallen brothers with great respect and has told the story in such a way that it has made those outside of the SEAL community realize what great men we have working on our behalf.

The movie was in my opinion the best war movie I have watched.  I was amazed with how well they captured the sound of battle.  The video was not shaky like most war movies are but firm and steady.  My wife and I both were captivated throughout the entire movie.  I did find myself moving a bit in my seat dodging the sounds of bullets that sounded a bit too close.  I did find my wife crying a couple times as was many of the people in the audience.  I was most impressed by the silence of the theater when the memorial section at the end of the movie rolled.  It was a fitting memorial and a tribute to the great men who gave their lives.  It was a job well done and worth seeing more than once.  In fact, we should watch it periodically lest we forget.

When the book came out I heard all sorts of opinions and criticisms of inaccuracy.  I knew when the movie came out there would also be the same group coming out of the woodwork to express their views on what “really happened” and how the guy that was there got it all wrong.  This kind of nonsense is unnecessary and disrespectful to the men who are being honored.  If you think by reading a book, watching a show on the history channel, reading a blog post on a SpecOps website, or even reading the actual AAR makes you an expert on what happed, you are greatly mistaken.  Unless you were there you are not an expert.  Were there liberties taken in the book for publishing purposes, of course.  Were there liberties taken when creating the movie, of course.  You are never going to get the full story with all the details in any setting.  Some things are personal and are never told.  You don’t need to know.  Deal with it.  Your take away is this was a really bad situation and these men are the best at thriving in these really bad situations.  They gave their lives for their brothers and for their country.  They also did the best any expert Navy SEAL could under the circumstances.  That’s what our country trains them to do and that’s what they do without fail.  They are the experts; we are not.  If you want to be an expert and criticize, join the Navy and become a SEAL, otherwise, deal with it.

My patience is really pushed when I hear people criticize or have opinions on certain areas of the movie.  Should they have been in Afghanistan?  Did they make the right decision letting the goat herders go?  They were in Afghanistan because their country told them to be there.  Their job is to chase down bad guys that our country needs chased down.  Make no mistake, they do that and they do it well.  To question if they should have been on that mountain in Afghanistan is disrespectful and shows your ignorance.  Don’t disrespect these men with stupid questions like this and miss the big picture.

To end my thoughts on the movie, I think it’s important to point out a major point of the movie.  We as citizens need to stay out of the way.  We ask our government for protection, our government trains experts like our Navy SEALs to go after the worst of our enemies, and we let them loose to do their job when the need arrives.  We need to let them do what we ask them to do.  If you are sitting there questioning decisions made and saying things like, “I would have killed those goat herders” or “I would have let them go,” then you are part of the problem.  You weren’t there; you don’t know all the details and you can’t possibly make that decision.  The decision of what should or should not be done MUST rest on those we have put in that situation.  What you and I would have done with our limited skills and knowledge of the situation is irrelevant.  We don’t need to know and we don’t want to know the details.  What we should be saying is that we support our Navy SEALs and thank them for what they do.  Let them be the silent professionals.

“When the country is in danger, the military’s mission is to wreak destruction upon the enemy. It’s a harsh and bloody business, but that’s what the military’s for. As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”  Richard Grenier

May each day we live to make the very most of the time we have been granted here on earth so as not to dishonor the gift of freedom for which they paid so high a price. And above all else, may we never, ever forget:

LT Michael P. Murphy
SO2 Matthew Axelson
SO2 Danny Dietz
SOC Jacques J. Fontan
SOCS Daniel R. Healy
LCDR Erik S. Kristensen
SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas
LT Michael M. McGreevy, Jr.
SO2 James E. Suh
SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor
SO2 Shane E. Patton
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment
SSG Shamus O. Goare
CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature
SGT Kip A. Jacoby
SFC Marcus V. Muralles
MSG James W. Ponder III
MAJ Stephen C. Reich
SFC Michael L. Russell
CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach