How many times have you stood and thought about how you are able to live the free life that you live to this very day? Soldiers fight for our nation’s freedom, and their courage is not something that should be taken for granted.

“The Lone Survivor” is the story of Marcus Luttrell and his comrades in the failed “Operation Red Wings,” in the search for Ahmad Shah. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsh, “The Lone Survivor” takes the viewer through the emotional ups and downs of being a Navy SEAL from the very beginning of the film. It encapsulates the intensity and heartbreak of war, as well as the brotherhood that SEALs form in their training.

“The Lone Survivor” is a movie that must be seen on the big screen or in IMAX to gain the full effect of the experiencet that Luttrell went through with his comrades in the firefight with Shah’s forces.

A turning point in the movie defines the beliefs of America’s soldiers, when goat herders discovered the five SEALs, and their position was compromised. They went through all of the options that were at their disposal, killing the herders, who were unarmed, and not hostile, or letting them go, where they were certain to alert Shah of their presence and location.

The group leader, Lieutenant Michael Murphy, played by Kitsch, made the decision to let the herders go, which was followed by a scene when one of the herders was seen running down the mountain to alert Shah.

Not long after, the five SEALS, Luttrell, Murphy, Danny Dietz, played by Hirsch and Matthew Axelson, played by Foster, were in a dogfight with the Taliban.

A good majority of the film takes place on that ridge in Afghanistan, when the Navy lost three of their best SEALs, and the world lost three people.

After the failed operation, Lieutenant Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor and Luttrell, Dietz and Axelson were awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest honor a soldier can receive.

Ever since the failed operation, Luttrell has been traveling the country telling the story of his friends and their courage for their country. He has spoken at many schools and conventions all across the country.

Luttrell spoke at my high school in Arden, North Carolina my freshman year. His story is even more powerful when you hear it coming from the man himself.

“The Lone Survivor” might be the best war movie since “Saving Private Ryan.” It is a must see. It shows the courage and how much United States soldiers sacrifice for our freedom.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons