Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"BA" Marcus Luttrell

The shepherds were released to go about their business, and we're fairly certain that their business was to immediately go out and inform the warlord that there was a team of badass Navy SEALs running around the mountains with grenade launchers getting ready to pummel the fuck out of him and all of his buddies.  Armed with the knowledge of his impending doom, the warlord set a trap.  When SEAL Team 10 entered a particularly nasty ravine, they were ambushed and bombarded on three sides by a heavily-armed forces of somewhere in the vicinity of 50 to 200 guys armed with machine guns, assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.  I know that it's kind of a huge variable between fifty and two hundred, but when you've got four dudes in an exposed position flanked on both sides by fighters who have an elevation, position, and concealment advantage on you, it doesn't really make a huge difference if you're outnumbered twelve-to-one or fifty-to-one.  Either way, it ain't good. 

But these guys weren't just some chump mooks – they were United States Navy SEALs, and they weren't just going to throw down their weapons and start hyperventilating into paper bags simply because they were in a hopeless situation against an impossibly-huge enemy force.  In a tactical clusterfuck of a situation that would have seen lesser squads annihilated in about fifteen to twenty seconds, the SEALs immediately began a fighting withdrawal that would stretch out for over two hours.  Moving from rock to rock, attacking the horde of assailants, and laying down covering fire, the team moved deeper down the ravine, sometimes jumping down 20 or 30-foot cliffs to try to get out of the kill zone. 

Tragically, there was nothing that could be done to escape the gunfire.  The team leader, Lieutenant Michael Murphy, was heroically able to get to elevation (exposing himself in full view of the enemy to get a usable radio signal – an act of self-sacrifice that would earn him the Medal of Honor) and call for extraction, but the daring attempt to fly in a rescue chopper failed when a surface-to-air missile hit the bird, killing all 16 men on board.  After an epic battle the team was annihilated, and the SEALs suffered their bloodiest day of fighting since Vietnam.  Luttrell was shot in the leg, then hit with an RPG and blown off a cliff.

But amazingly, amidst all the chaos and destruction, Marcus Luttrell didn't die.  Concussed, bleeding, dehydrated, and exhausted, with three broken vertebrae, a bullet in one leg, and a shitload of burning-hot shrapnel in the other, the seemingly-unkillable SEAL awoke to find himself alone, in relatively-unfamiliar territory deep behind enemy lines, and without any hope of timely extraction, resupply, or medical attention. 

Not like that stopped him. 

 Oh, another BA, local hero Lapu-Lapu.

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