A Reader Opines: Service: A Navy SEAL at War by Marcus Luttrell

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Service: A Navy SEAL at War by Marcus Luttrell & James D. Hornfischer
Published: May 8th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published May 8th 2011)
Genre: Biography | Memoir | Military
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

While reading Lone Survivor I felt as if I had gotten to know Marcus Luttrell a little. When I realized he had written another book, I wanted to catch up with him. Service: A Navy SEAL at War is a superb way to reconnect with the proud SEAL, fill in some gaps of Operation Redwing as well as gain deeper insight into the military mind and the bonds it creates.

Summary taken from Goodreads:
Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell returned from his star-crossed mission in Afghanistan with his bones shattered and his heart broken. So many had given their lives to save him-and he would have readily done the same for them. As he recuperated, he wondered why he and others, from America’s founding to today, had been willing to sacrifice everything-including themselves-for the sake of family, nation, and freedom.

In Service, we follow Marcus Luttrell to Iraq, where he returns to the battlefield as a member of SEAL Team 5 to help take on the most dangerous city in the world: Ramadi, the capital of war-torn Al Anbar Province. There, in six months of high-intensity urban combat, he would be part of what has been called the greatest victory in the history of U.S. Special Operations forces. We also return to Afghanistan and Operation Redwing, where Luttrell offers powerful new details about his miraculous rescue. Throughout, he reflects on what it really means to take on a higher calling, about the men he’s seen lose their lives for their country, and the legacy of those who came and bled before.

A thrilling war story, Service is also a profoundly moving tribute to the warrior brotherhood, to the belief that nobody goes it alone, and no one will be left behind.

Service is a journey. The reader is deployed along with Luttrell and has a front row seat to his thoughts and actions. We’re introduced to members of his team and patrol Ramadi, all safely from our homes. What these men did to turn things around in the Al Anbar Province is extraordinary and deserves recognition.

Service also reveals pieces of the Operation Redwing puzzle that Luttrell discovered after Lone Survivor was written. The story of his rescue and rescuers. We learn what happened to Gulab after he risked his life to save the SEAL and where he is now. The bond between Marcus and Gulab is a testament to ancient traditions and the moral fiber of good men.

The wives of Navy SEALS are recognized through letters they’ve written about their husbands and what it’s like to be a part of the family that develops around the brotherhood. These women are amazing, strong and devoted. It takes a special breed of person to become a Navy SEAL and the women that love them are even more impressive.

Luttrell’s story began in Lone Survivor as he told of his journey to become a SEAL, his tragic mission in Afghanistan and returning home a changed man. Service picks up where that book left off and shows us what it’s like to achieve, accept and keep moving forward. A book well worth reading.

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