Monday, January 31, 2011
There have been few books lately that have really had an impact on me, but this one by Marcus Luttrell hit me hard. Over the years I have had uncles in the military, a brother-in-law in Iraq, and most recently one of my son's best friends went to Iraq as well.
The brother-in-law that went to Iraq was tough, because it was during the height of the conflict (second time around) and he was in bomb disposal. So yes, the movie the Hurt Locker was something that also touched me pretty hard. Dave is no longer my brother-in-law, but he did make it back from the war in one piece, though not his entire unit.
When my son's best friend went over, it wasn't quite as close, but I still wondered if he was going to make it back. Luckily by the time he got there, most of the fighting was already behind us.
This book, brings back a lot of those thoughts, but at a much higher level, because Marcus tells it from his own experience. Rather than simply getting the broad brush description from those I know, Marcus described what is was really like to become a Navy SEAL (a major accomplishment in itself), and then what it was like to be sent on missions in the Hindu Kush, where the locals traveled the terrain like mountain goats, hundreds of them ready to open up their AK-47s at you without notice.
There was a surprising turn of events in the story, that really humanized the Afghan people, but I'll let you read the book to find out about that.
You may not have the same connections to the military that I do, but even so, if you are an American that values your freedom, I think you will enjoy this book.