By Paul E. Gable
“America’s fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed.” – Allen Boyd
This past weekend I went and saw the movie “Lone Survivor,” and I have to admit, yes, I cried.
In case you are not familiar with the movie, it depicts the days in late June 2005, and a mission dubbed “Operation Red Wings,” in which four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to kill or capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.
The mission failed when three Navy SEALs were ambushed and killed and a reaction force helicopter was shot down killing all on board.
Marcus Luttrell was the only surviving member of the initial surveillance and reconnaissance team.
Coming from a family that has had someone fight in wars dating back to the Civil War, I am very familiar with the fact that serving in the military comes with a price, including the ultimate price.
Watching the early portions of the movie, where the Navy SEAL members – the premier of premier soldiers – underwent training, you couldn’t help but feel some sense of pride in what you were seeing.
After all, these are the elite soldiers, and they are true warriors who are capable of doing things we can only dream of.
In the movie, we learn the story of four SEALs – Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz and Luttrell.
The story isn’t so much that Dietz, Axelson and Murphy died as much as it is about the four brothers – the Band of Brothers – who did everything in their power to make sure other Americans were safe by putting their lives on the line.
Sure, the movie is a “Hollywood war movie,” but if that’s all you take away from it, you have completely missed out and wasted your money.
It reminds you that while you sleep in peace at night, there are a group of individuals standing at the ready just in case the wolf growls.
It will bring you to the point of tears, as you are reminded that every single day brave men and women die overseas.
And, it reminds you that despite what the suits in Washington tell you, we are still a nation at war.
Now, I admitted I shed tears during the movie.
I shed tears for those who were lost, for their families, for my father and grandfather and other family members who served and for the brave men and women I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years who have worn the uniform.
It has been said that it takes a certain individual to enter a job where they place their life in danger every single day so that we can continue to have our freedoms, and that is definitely accurate.
To those people, I say thank you.
I never met SFC Marcus Muralles, who was one of 16 soldiers killed when the Army MH-47D Chinook helicopter he was in was shot out of the sky in the Afghan hills, but you feel the connection to the Shelbyville soldier in the movie.
And, for that, I am thankful that a street bears the name of a soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice and whose body lies in Arlington National Cemetery.
And, I let out a few tears in anger for the thousands of lives we lost in a war that Washington bureaucrats continue to argue over expanding.
Remember the calls to invade Syria?
We’d be sending more people like Murphy based on decisions of those in Washington, D.C. who have never worn the uniform and don’t know what freedom and liberty are about.
“Lone Survivor” is an absolutely amazing movie that is worthy of being watched by those who are thankful of the sacrifices made every day so we can continue to have the freedoms we enjoy.
Especially by those in Washington who do not know or understand the cost of a real sacrifice and real honor.
Paul E. Gable is the editor of The Shelbyville News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Gable on Twitter @PaulGableTSN