Reminiscent of Will Rogers with his earthy anecdotes and folksy style, Marcus Luttrell, the former SEAL who is also the author of the best-selling books Lone Survivor and Service will be speaking to Americans about issues dear to him. He will be kicking off the "Patriot Tour" on August 1st in Houston Texas with Taya Kyle, the wife of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Debbie Lee, the mother of the late SEAL Marc Alan Lee, retired Captain Chad Fleming, and the young country music star, Mary Sarah. American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing Marcus Luttrell about this event.
He and his teammate Chris Kyle, while sitting around one day, brainstormed on what they could do to make Americans understand about what those serving and who have served have gone through. For Marcus, this is summed up best in the Navy SEAL Creed:
"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."
Marcus strongly believes, "No matter how bad everything gets eventually I will overcome my obstacle or die trying. For me, this is the SEAL thought process."
He will be speaking from his heart about such subjects as how patriotism was instilled in him by his parents, what it meant to grow up in Texas, how he became a Navy SEAL, and the Operation Redwing mission that left him as the sole survivor out of a four-man SEAL team, although severely wounded. Since much of the material has been declassified he will be talking about events not in the books, offering insight to his fellow Americans.
He will change what he has to say from venue to venue. Marcus will talk about his personal experiences, and not about politics and religion, because "I am a simple country boy who wants to talk about commitment and perseverance. I am a war fighter that does not make policy."
What does the word patriot mean to him? Marcus told American Thinker, "A patriot is someone who does something for other people, not themselves. Today it seems that a lot of people only think about how to better themselves. A patriot sets that aside and will put their country first instead of themselves, to serve their country. Not a hero but a role model."
How does he feel about America? "I am of the mindset that people should not be sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. It is a blessing to live in this country. What I think the American Dream is about is that every one has the opportunity to be anything they want as long as they work hard the rewards will follow. My dad taught me that there is nothing wrong in serving your country and being proud of how wonderful it is. America is the land of opportunity."
Why did he decide to serve in the armed forces? "Ultimately, we went to Afghanistan to bring those to justice after they hit us on 9/11. We should not forget there are people who hate us for what we represent. If they had stayed on their side we would have stayed on our side. Those people that died on 9/11 probably never heard of Afghanistan or heard the word infidel. I actually walked up to a war protestor and asked 'why are you doing this?' I told him I am pretty sure most of the soldiers in the military don't want to be over there and away from their families. We are over there to protect this country which is why we went."
Will he talk about Operation Redwing? "I understand that when people hear I am going to speak, this is what they want me to talk about. I hope people understand that this story bothers me daily, that it is really hard for me to talk about. Sometimes I don't like talking about it because I have to relive it every time I tell the story. When I tell it I am sweating and my heart is racing. What I do hope Americans will understand is that there are good people in Afghanistan like Gulab, who rescued me. He is a member of my family and I am a member of his village. If it weren't for him and his village we would not be having this conversation now. Because they follow 1,000-year-old traditions they chose to save my life, and now have to endure the wrath of the Taliban."
What would he talk about if he could choose the topic? "I enjoy talking about teamwork, hard work, and perseverance. As an individual you can achieve a lot of great things, but when on a team you can do twice as much, especially with cooperation. You work with your teammates to ensure success. People need to communicate more today. I don't mean texting each other, but to look at each other and talk to each other face to face."
When he was asked to describe himself with three adjectives, Marcus responded that he does not like talking directly about himself. Yet, after this interview the three words that came to the mind of American Thinker are courageous, a straight-talker, and a proud American.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews, author interviews, and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.