The RNC speech that made Texas proud

It was not a polished speech delivered by a politician.

It was plain-spoken by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

If you saw it, you know why Texas is proud of Luttrell, the man whose actions in Afghanistan are portrayed in the movie Lone Survivor.

Luttrell was born (1975) in Houston, Texas and joined the U.S. Navy in 1999.  He served eight years on active duty and became a Hospital Corpsman First Class.

Here is a brief summary of the event that led to his notoriety:

He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2005 with SEAL Team Ten as part of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One (SDV-1). While in Afghanistan, he was involved in Operation Red Wings, during which the four-man Special Reconnaissance element with SDV-1 was discovered by local herdsmen, subsequently ambushed, and all killed except Luttrell. Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions during the operation. The team knew the local herdsmen might reveal their whereabouts to Taliban fighters but, because they were not armed combatants, the team allowed the herdsmen to leave despite the risk to themselves and their mission.

On Monday, July 18, 2016, after a four-minute introduction by former Texas governor Rick Perry, Luttrell addressed the convention for six minutes (YouTube).

Among many clear and fine words, Luttrell said that his father raised him and his twin brother to “be patriotic and to love this country and its people, more than we loved ourselves.”

If Texas U.S. senator Ted Cruz heard Luttrell’s speech, he may have missed that line about loving country more than self.  Or, perhaps, Ted does not align with that particular belief. 

Because later, Cruz had an opportunity, in his speech on July 20, to become a living illustration of Luttrell’s words and be remembered for his selflessness as long as the history of American politics is studied.

But the junior senator from Texas chose to take a converse path that leads to consequences yet to be seen.