Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Woman’s Thoughts on Lone Survivor

A Woman’s Thoughts on Lone Survivor In case you are living in a cave, "Lone Survivor" is a book and subsequently a movie about Operations Red Wings, a four man SEAL insertion in June 27, 2005 into Kunar Province, Afghanistan to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance to identify an insurgent leader, Ahmad Shah, and specific insurgent locations, in order to guide a direct action team onto this High Value Target.

The SEAL team was made up of Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Petty Officer Second Class Danny P. Dietz, Petty Officer Second Class Matthew G. Axelson, and Navy Hospital Corpsman Second Class Marcus Luttrell. After an intense, long lasting fire fight with insurgents, Luttrell was the only survivor, hence the name "Lone Survivor".

On September 14, 2006, Dietz and Axelson were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for "undaunted courage" and heroism. Luttrell was also awarded the Navy Cross in a ceremony at the White House. In 2007, Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. The below article was written by Michele Hickford, on 19 January 2015. Michele is the Editor-in-Chief for Former Congressman and retired Army LTC Allen West's website. She is a communications strategist and award-winning advertising copywriter. She has held senior marketing positions at Turner Broadcasting and USA Networks, and is the author of “Do I Need To Slap You?” She also served in Congressman West’s congressional office and as Press Secretary for his 2012 campaign.

I saw Lone Survivor today. I wept. I’m a female, I can do that sort of thing in public.

Here’s why I wept.

In the first few minutes of the film, watching the Navy SEALS train, I turned to my friends and said what a travesty it would be if the physical requirements were ever adjusted downwards to accommodate women – or anyone who could not meet them for that matter, regardless of gender or orientation. These men, these warriors, are elite for a reason. They are capable of doing things very few can. That’s the way we want and need them to be.

I wept for the mothers, wives, sisters, fathers, brothers and friends of the beautiful, strong and healthy warriors who gave everything to defend the freedoms of this nation, and of others they would never know.

I wept for the people of Afghanistan who are not supporters of the Taliban. Those who can only dream of a different life. Who even in the best of times must eke out their existence in the harshest of conditions. Who will never know the comfort and liberty we do. For the women who will never have the choices I have, and the freedom to chart their own course. Perhaps it is an accident of birth. In some respects, I felt that about Marcus Luttrell himself. It was an accident of fate that he survived and others did not. Such is life, and only God knows the plan for each of us.

But most of all, I wept in anger. I am overcome with rage at the elected politicians who have never served their country in uniform, never seen battle and yet make decisions that affect the life and death of their fellow citizens.

I am so angry that our rules of engagement, made in courtrooms by people whose personal agenda has nothing to do with victory, restrict the ability of our military to do the thing we send them into battle to do: fight.

I am disgusted that budgets for military equipment and training get shaved away and shaved away so much that lives are lost because we cannot adequately equip the men and women we send into the most terrifying situations.

I have no words to be spoken in polite company to express my frustration that this administration seems more focused on the sexual orientation of our warriors than their fighting readiness or following up on the promises made to them in their retirement.

I am however thankful this film was made, and somewhat surprised Hollywood allowed it. Pardon my candor, but I hope every candy-ass liberal can take a few minutes away from the exertions of Kanye West and Lady Gaga, look beyond themselves and their concern for polar bears and baby harp seals, and understand what real sacrifice, real pain, real effort and real honor truly is.

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