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A rescue helicopter arrived, but it was brought down by Taliban fire; the entire crew of 16 was killed.In the end, only Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell remained alive, fighting off the Taliban single-handedly, living by his wits, a trained hunter now himself a hunted man.They faced a profound dilemma: let the goatherds go free and compromise the team’s position, or kill them, a potential war crime.After debating their options, the SEALs released the Afghans.Operation Red Wings was a reconnaissance mission targeting a Taliban commander named Ahmad Shah, whose attacks had taken a high toll on U. So it was almost inevitable that the military would turn to them for a high value special operations mission deep behind enemy lines.



Two other SEALs, Petty Officers Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz, were blown away on the steep mountainside.Eventually he was discovered by friendly Afghans and carried down the mountain to their village. It is an astonishing tale of survival and grit—and of luck or providence, depending on how you look at things.Invoking an ancient Pashtun code requiring them to protect and defend a guest to the death, the tribesmen guarded him from marauding Taliban fighters until the U. But even as he coped with his many wounds—physical and emotional—Luttrell mustered the strength to tell his story.He began working on a book about his experience in 2006, just a year after Operation Red Wings, and his co-author, British novelist Patrick Robinson, says that Luttrell was still “very sad and introverted” as they worked on the manuscript at Robinson’s Cape Cod house.

Grievously wounded and delirious from thirst and fatigue, Luttrell crawled for seven miles looking for water and sanctuary.A rocket-propelled grenade hurled him into a mountain crevice that fortuitously hid him from the Taliban.



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