Marcus Luttrell · 390 pages
Rating: (62.7K votes)
“I will never quit. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”
“We know about bad guys, what they do, and often, who they are. The politicians have chosen to send us into battle, and that's our trade. We do what's necessary. And in my view, once those politicians have elected to send us out to do what 99.9 percent of the country would be terrified to undertake, they should get the hell out of the way and stay there.
This entire business of modern war crimes, as identified by the liberal wings of politics and the media, began in Iraq and has been running downhill ever since. Everyone's got to have his little hands in it, blathering on about the public's right to know.
Well, the view of most Navy SEALs, the public does not have that right to know, not if it means placing our lives in unnecessary peril because someone in Washington is driving himself mad worrying about the human rights of some cold-hearted terrorist fanatic who would kill us as soon as look at us, as well as any other American at whom he could point that wonky old AK of his.”
“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”
“These men of the special forces have had other optinos in their lives, other paths, easier paths they could have taken. But they took the hardest path, that narrow causeway that is not for the sunshine patriot. They took the one for the supreme patriot, the one that may require them to lay down their lives for the United States of America. The one that is suitable only for those who want to serve their country so bad, nothing else matters. That's probably not fashionable in our celebrity-obsessed modern world. But special forces guys don't give a damn about that either.....They are of course aware of a higher calling, because they are sworn to defend this country and to fight its battles.”
“In the military, if we don't know something, we say we don't know and proceed to shut up until we do. Some highly paid charlatans in the media think it's absolutely fine to take a wild guess at the truth and then tell a couple of million people it's cast-iron fact, just in case they might be right...I hope they're proud of themselves, because they nearly broke my mom's heart.... ”
“...the first murmurings from the liberal part of the U.S.A. that we were somehow in the wrong, brutal killers, bullying other countries; that we who put our lives on the line for our nation at the behest of our government should somehow be charged with murder for shooting our enemy. Its an insidious progression, the criticisms of the U.S. Armed Forces from politicians and from the liberal media, which knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line.”
“..Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.”
“Eternal Father, faithful friend, Be quick to answer those we send In brotherhood and urgent trust, On hidden missions dangerous, O hear us when we cry to Thee, For SEALs in air, on land, and sea.”
“He closed by telling us the real battle is won in the mind. It’s won by guys who understand their areas of weakness, who sit and think about it, plotting and planning to improve. Attending to the detail. Work on their weaknesses and overcome them. Because they can.”
“We’re loyal servants of the U.S. government. But Afghanistan involves fighting behind enemy lines. Never mind we were invited into a democratic country by its own government. Never mind there’s no shooting across the border in Pakistan, the illegality of the Taliban army, the Geneva Convention, yada, yada, yada. When we’re patrolling those mountains, trying everything we know to stop the Taliban regrouping, striving to find and arrest the top commanders and explosive experts, we are always surrounded by a well-armed, hostile enemy whose avowed intention is to kill us all. That’s behind enemy lines. Trust me. And we’ll go there. All day. Every day. We’ll do what we’re supposed to do, to the letter, or die in the attempt. On behalf of the U.S.A. But don’t tell us who we can attack. That ought to be up to us, the military. And if the liberal media and political community cannot accept that sometimes the wrong people get killed in war, then I can only suggest they first grow up and then serve a short stint up in the Hindu Kush. They probably would not survive. The truth is, any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing’s fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed. It’s been happening for about a million years. Faced with the murderous cutthroats of the Taliban, we are not fighting under the rules of Geneva IV Article 4. We are fighting under the rules of Article 223.556mm — that’s the caliber and bullet gauge of our M4 rifle. And if those numbers don’t look good, try Article .762mm, that’s what the stolen Russian Kalashnikovs fire at us, usually in deadly, heavy volleys. In the global war on terror, we have rules, and our opponents use them against us. We try to be reasonable; they will stop at nothing. They will stoop to any form of base warfare: torture, beheading, mutilation. Attacks on innocent civilians, women and children, car bombs, suicide bombers, anything the hell they can think of. They’re right up there with the monsters of history.”
“Don’t let your thoughts run away with you, don’t start planning to bail out because you’re worried about the future and how much you can take. Don’t look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day,”
“Wraps that up then, right? Praise Allah and pass the high explosive.”
“...and I am left feeling that no matter how much the drip-drip-drip of hostility toward us is perpetuated by the liberal press, the American people simply do not believe it. They are rightly proud of the armed forces of the United States of America. They innately understand what we do. And no amount of poison about our alleged brutality, disregard of the Geneva Convention, and abuse of the human rights of terrorists is going to change what most people think...Some members of the media might think they can brainwash the public any time they like, but I know they can't. Not here. Not in the United States of America.”
“Remember the philosophy of the U.S. Navy SEALs: “I will never quit...My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates...I am never out of the fight.”
“...these are the problems of the modern U.S. combat soldier, the constant worry about overstepping the mark and an American media that delights in trying to knock us down. Which we have done nothing to deserve. Except, perhaps, love our country and everything it stands for.”
“The SEALs place a premium on brute strength, but there's an even bigger premium on speed. That's speed through the water, speed over the ground, and speed of thought. There's no prizes for gleaming a set of well-oiled muscles in Coronado. Bulk just makes you slow, especially in soft sand, and that's what we had to tackle every day of our lives, mile after mile.”
“There is no other way to beat a terrorist. You must fight like him, or he will surely kill you.”
“Nothing just happens. You always have to strive. - Marcus Luttrell”
“Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.”
“Every bone in my body was crying out for rest, but I knew if I stopped, and perhaps slept, I would die. I had to keep going. It was strange, but the thirst which was killing me was also the driving force keeping me on this long, desperate march.”
“I looked Mikey right in the eye, and I said, “We gotta let ’em go.” It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life. I must have been out of my mind. I had actually cast a vote which I knew could sign our death warrant. I’d turned into a fucking liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain, and the judgment of a jackrabbit.”
“it’s little things like that, the words of a song, which can give you the strength to go on.”
“He was Instructor Reno Alberto, a five-foot-six man-mountain of fitness, discipline, and intelligence. He was ruthless, cruel, unrelenting taskmaster.”
“Nothing just happens. You always have to strive.”
“My heart dropped directly into my stomach. And I cursed those fucking goatherds to hell, and myself for not executing them when every military codebook ever written had taught me otherwise. Not to mention my own raging instincts, which had told me to go with Axe and execute them. And let the liberals go to hell in a mule cart, and take with them all of their fucking know-nothing rules of etiquette in war and human rights and whatever other bullshit makes ’em happy.”
“One time during Indoc while we were out on night run, one of the instructors actually climbed up the outside of a building, came through an open window, and absolutely trashed a guy’s room, threw everything everywhere, emptied detergent over his bed gear. He went back out the way he’d come in, waited for everyone to return, and then tapped on the poor guy’s door and demanded a room inspection. The guy couldn’t work out whether to be furious or heartbroken, but he spent most of the night cleaning up and still had to be in the showers at 0430 with the rest of us. I asked Reno about this weeks later, and he told me, “Marcus, the body can take damn near anything. It’s the mind that needs training. The question that guy was being asked involved mental strength. Can you handle such injustice? Can you cope with that kind of unfairness, that much of a setback? And still come back with your jaw set, still determined, swearing to God you will never quit? That’s what we’re looking for.”
“But these are the problems of the modern U.S. combat soldier, the constant worry about overstepping the mark and an American media that delights in trying to knock us down. Which we have done nothing to deserve. Except, perhaps, love our country and everything it stands for.”
“If the public insists it has the right to know, which I very much doubt, perhaps the people should go and face for themselves armed terrorists hell-bent on killing every single American they can.”
“We always seem to be on the eve of destruction. And we always seem to get through it.
Maybe we all survive the destruction we have wrought.”
“I'm small, I'm young - and I'm so different. You've always respected that difference, and you've always trusted it. Trust me now. There's a reason I am the way I am, and there's a reason I was born to you. There's always a reason. We belong together.”
“Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.”
“No need to be sarcastic, Codex.
I think that's sincere, actually.
“He looked with horror round the room: nobody could say he hadn't done right to get away from this, to commit any crime... When the man opened his mouth he heard his father speaking, that figure in the corner was his mother: he bargained for his sister and felt no desire... He turned to Rose, 'I'm off,' and felt the faintest tinge of pity for goodness which couldn't murder to escape.”
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