Lone Survivor releases into theaters this Friday, the true story of operation Red Wing, originally written by Marcus Luttrell. I managed to view it early. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

When rumors began trickling out that Luttrell’s bestseller would be turned into a film, I knew it would be a long time before the production was finished. Hollywood has such a delusional mentality regarding America, America’s military, America’s wars, and… well, war in general.

But Luttrell maintained control over the depiction. After all, Lone Survivor was not so much a war story as a eulogy to great men whose stories are almost always kept under wraps due to the nature of their work. They weren’t just warriors. They were family men, friends, irascible peers, brothers, and Americans.

That’s one of the great things about this film. From BUDS (which doesn’t train SEALs so much as pound them until every ounce of quit has been wrung out of the ranks), to relationships stretched around the world, to the warrior-god confidence strangely mixed in with a thorough and rigid moral core which guides the hammer fist; Lone Survivor gives you a glimpse into real people, not the stereotypical Hollywood combat-junkie image.

It’s humbling. It’s one shade away from shaming (because there can’t be an exclusive rank without the exclusion).

But it makes you proud that America sends people like this out to fight our wars. Historically speaking, America’s overseas combat has been a model for virtue, even at greater cost to those we send.

In the book, Luttrell goes into more detail regarding the Rules of Engagement. His view is that most ROEs are catastrophically harmful to the fighting men and even too the mission. I’ve never been in the service, so I’ll recommend that you read Luttrell’s book and come to your own conclusion.

In the film, as in the book and the real event, ROEs come into powerful conflict with the real world where the worst can (and sometimes will) happen. If you are not familiar with the story, give the book and the movie a chance. Great acting performances. Astounding special effects (nothing that appeared to be CG). And a true story that every American should know about.

Oh and Marcus Luttrell is in the film, which just makes it even better.

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