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In Lone Survivor, Mr. Luttrell recalls the ill-fated Operation Redwing and the untimely, tragic demise of his SEAL mates. Since that time, Mr. Lutrell has endured a painful recuperation and, being the consummate warrior, eventually returned to the battlefield to serve with his brothers-at-arms. Service takes us into the hellspots of Iraq, and it is very unnerving … to say the least. He recounts his tour in Iraq and some of it is cringeworthy enough to make most lose controls of their bladder … and if possible … their bowels. Whether you disagree or agree with the war in Iraq, the one common ground should be pure appreciation for those that answered the call of duty and has been to hell and back on Iraqi soil. Interestingly enough, Service does not only surround members of the SEALs but all members of the armed forces that Mr. Lutrell may have encountered in one way or the other: those that were rescued and those that offered support. If Survivor was, in a sense, a tribute to his lost mates, then Service was a tribute to everyone that has served in uniform. Unlike Survivor, where Mr. Lutrell is very bold and outspoken, in Service we find Mr. Lutrell to very introspective and much wiser … not just in the matters of war but life in general. And like his first book, he included many photographs that made the reading more intimate and personal for the reader. Yes, I know I may come off a bit like a bloody nancy but there were times I had to put the book down and reach for a hanky, because … yes … it got that personal. The power of images, go figure.
At some point of Service, there are echoes of Chris Kyle’s wife (from American Sniper) reflected in four separate essays written by spouses and loved ones of these brave warriors. One such is the spouse of Don Shipley, who is famous on Youtube for outing fake SEALs. I kid you not, there are people out there that pretend to be SEALs and it is downright saddening, but with Mr. Shipley’s approach and wit, the stuff would be even more hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic and serious. Check it out, who knows there might be a few fakes walking around your neighbourhood stealing someone’s valour. Sadly, I have detoured. It is very endearing and like Kyle’s American Sniper, we get to read about what the other half goes through … and yes, it is a sacrifice on their behalf. One of the sad commentaries that I came across in Service, is that despite all the hell that these men endure for God and country, one would think that as they return to civilian life, they’d get a break from the madness and chaos of world. Apparently not: Mr. Lutrell’s dog was cruelly attacked and killed by some poor excuse of a wank; Chris Kyle was held up (at a gas station) by two tossers who had to learn, the hard way, that you don’t attempt to rob at gun point, some guy that has “killed more people than smallpox”; and a Master Chief was determined to be lacking in “leadership” at an interview for a job at an athletic gear design job firm. About the latter. Seriously? We can throw millions of dollars at the Kardashians who offer nothing more than smug smirks and the ability to irritate level-headed folks to mind numbing levels of psychosis … but a Master Chief that has been (and has lead many … safely) through more crap than most of us would ever see in 20 lifetimes is determined by some HR twit to be “lacking leadership material”. WTFs are in order and will probably be an understatement for this.
Mr. Lutrell’s Service is pleasant and humbling read. An emotional rollercoaster it is, but very sobering and in all, a magnificent tribute to those that serve in uniform and those that remain at their sides through it all. And like Mr. Lutrell, it makes you appreciate every day when you consider what these fellows have endured. It may sound clichéd, but I’ll say it anyway: thanks again, to all those that serve and are still serving. Thanks Mr. Lutrell, and may God bless you and yours and the rest of your days.

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