I went to a private showing of the Lone Survivor Friday afternoon with Dietz family and their friends.
My movie recommendation: SEE IT!
It is at the level of quality of Saving Private Ryan in terms of telling the story of the brotherhood. But don’t forget, that while the Navy SEALs are the tip of the spear, there are a lot more veterans that are the back story to the SEALs actions and are not so glamorous or action oriented: cooks, base security, truck drivers, administrative personnel, janitors, doctors, nurses, equipment maintainers, not only for the guns they use, but also the transportation vehicles for the troops, and a host of others that are just as important to keep the tip of the spear ready to deploy. And telling the complete story is all that most veterans ask for, it is the telling of the story so that others might learn of their deeds and actions, not the accolades of hero worship, and that it is a team effort to accomplish the mission. Now on to the review.
Lone Survivor Movie
Having read the book of the same title, I usually pick apart movies to see how close the movie sticks to the book, but not this time. I went to see a movie about the brotherhood, those individuals whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of up to and including their life. In the Navy’s Operation Red Wings, some gave all, and some gave some, and others will live to continue on with the mission, with the hope of an AAR (After Action Report) or Debrief that looks into preventing or reducing the tragedy from happening again.
While there are going to be more movie reviews posted in the next few weeks, I won’t belabor what the movie was about, but give a short account of what the takeaways were for me:
- The scene where the discussion of what to do with the captured old man, a teenager, and the one child was of particular attention getting to me. That type of discussion goes on ALL of the time with military service members, and shows that military service members are committed to doing what is right, even though it may not end up that way because of the fog of war, and military service members are not the automatons that are portrayed by others. If anything, the “without thinking” part in reality is the training for the fight kicking in after a split second decision is made.
- The teams commitment to each other was unwavering and true in the face of the dangers. Devoted to each other and to their mission and cause.
- As my wife said as we were leaving the theater, with tears in her eyes and trembling in her voice, you get a glimpse of what the ground pounders do (Army, Marines, Navy SEALS, Rangers, Delta Force, etc.) compared with the USAF, but this movie brings to the screen just what they go through, and therefore we both came away with having a much greater respect and esteem for those that put their bodies on the line for us and others. Their mission: defeating those evil men that want to do harm and control our’s and other’s lives through force.
- Watching the movie brought to bear for me the same intensity and chaos that I encountered in the USAF during Gulf War I and various exercises to test our capabilities, but without the bullets flying all around me. The mental ability to use the OODA Loop watching the movie came to bear being “in the fight” with them on the screen.
The Book “Danny: The Virtues Within”
The author of the book, Jeremy Dunlap, was on hand to sign his book about Danny Dietz, Danny: The Virtues Within, but first, as he has decided, I had to sign one of Jer’s copies of the book first as a veteran, before he’d sign my purchased book. One of the few times that I have been asked to sign my name to anything as a veteran, that act only stood out for me. Most veterans don’t want recognition because saying thanks is good enough, because we’d do the mission regardless of the accolades involved. It’s just the appreciation for a job done, well done, or beyond well done that we hope to garner from others. Thanks, Jer, for having me sign your book. It meant a lot to me, and I’d gladly be ready to go again if the need arises, that’s what sheepdogs do, run to trouble, not away from it.
Jer said it the best in his book,
The best way to honor the fallen warrior, to honor Danny Dietz, is to recommit our lives to the simple values they so dearly upheld…we must put action to word, motion to emotion.
In the Christian world, “faith without works is dead” is the same in the business world as “ideas without execution” are worthless.
Briefly reading the book, Jer was asked by the Captain why the SEALs have taken prominence in the American focus. He gave his answer and I’ll let you get and read the book yourself, but mine will parallel his and reminds me in the Bible of Rom 11:4, which calls 1 Kings 19:18 into being, “I have kept for Myself 7,000 men who have not bowed the knee to BAAL.” The story of Elijah, fleeing Jezebel, desiring to die, having self-pity. We Americans may be feeling like that, but we are NOT searching for a dictator leader, but a group of men that are sheepdogs, ready and willing and able to take down the wolves in our society. The Navy SEALs and those men like them. Not just one man, but a host of men willing to battle evil for the good of the sheep, whether that be in the military, first responders, business, or just in one’s daily life. We’re looking for people to do good.
I’ll be reading the book about Danny Dietz over the next month or so and will be writing and reviewing it after I am done, so watch this blog space for my comments.
The Dietz family has started the Danny Dietz Leadership & Training Foundation in Littleton, CO to inculcate the virtues that Danny exhibited to others, no matter the age. Please visit the site and if you’re in Littleton, CO, stop by and contribute to their mission for changing lives.
Thank you Cindy and Dan Sr. for raising a sheepdog that you can be proud of, and as Jer says, I’ll commit to do my part going forward in my neck of the words, just down the street from you.