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February 28, 2010

Profiles of Valor: PO1 Marcus Luttrell (USN)

Operation Redwing began as a hunt to find a notorious Taliban leader. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and three team members were conducting their operation in a mountainous region of Afghanistan when they were ambushed by scores of Taliban fighters. Luttrell and his team fought hard even though they were clearly outnumbered. A Chinook helicopter sent in as backup was hit by an RPG, killing all 16 of the flight crew. By the end of the night, 19 Americans and 35 Taliban were dead, and Luttrell was the only survivor of SEAL Team 10.

Luttrell could not make contact with the rescue helicopter and, suffering from three cracked vertebrae, a bullet and shrapnel in his legs, Luttrell eventually traveled seven miles before finding help from friendly Afghan villagers who protected him from jihadi assassins sent to finish him. One of the villagers contacted Luttrell’s post, and the rescue operation that followed was, according to one rescue official, “one of the largest combat search-and-rescue operations since Vietnam.” Through the work and bravery of many U.S. forces, Luttrell was pulled out of harm’s way.

Operation Redwing ultimately yielded the largest casualty count in Navy SEAL history. However, “In the middle of everything evil, in an evil place, you can find goodness. … I’d even call it godliness,” Luttrell has said of the villagers who harbored him. Luttrell was later awarded the Navy Cross for his part in the operation.

To read more about the events surrounding Operation Redwing and the brave actions of the military forces involved, purchase “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.”

(This account was originally published in the July 13, 2007 Digest.)

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The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)

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