I recently saw the movie "Lone Survivor", based on the book by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell. I read the book when it came out and I had the opportunity to meet Marcus when he spoke at the Union League here in Chicago in 2012. It was an absolute honor to meet Marcus, his lovely wife, and Mr Rigby (Marcus's dog who goes with him everywhere).
I went to ask Marcus to sign his book to the nephew of a dear friend of mine, Teresa. Her nephew, "Will" is a young Hero who bravely fights cystic fibrosis. I'll never forget what Marcus wrote in his book to Will:
"Will, Never Quit Brother, The World Is Yours"
That meant the world to Will! The world is his because of brave men like Marcus!
I am so very grateful to Marcus, Mark Wahlberg and all those involved in the making of this beautiful movie. Yes, I said it was a beautiful movie. I had the honor to witness the most intense love between Brothers who fought and gave they very best they had. On that mountain, 4 Brothers made the most noble decision to let the "brown" goat herders live because that was the only thing their noble hearts allowed them to do. 4 Brave American Warriors went up that mountain, and only one brave American Warrior came down. Most of the movie takes place on the mountain, as it should. I'm am grateful and honored that I was allowed to have witnessed the insurmountable guts and courage of these brave Americans. They fought to the bitter end and THEY NEVER QUIT!
In the end, Marcus is taken in by a Pashtun tribal leader. This brave 'brown" Pashtun man takes care of Marcus and fights the Taliban to keep Marcus safe, just as the "white" man Marcus had fought the Taliban for him. The ending was so very beautiful. It reminded me of what my Son, who served 4 deployments, told me one time, "Ma, there are good people here who just want to live a good life, just like we do." Marcus and his Brothers were trying to make that possible for all of us, brown, black white, yellow, for all mankind.
As I drove home, I had to pull the car over. There were tears for these beautiful brave Warriors and all their Brothers, and for all the brave men and women who have lost their lives and limbs in this war. My heart grieves for all the silent mothers and fathers whose sons and daughters gave their last full measure of devotion. I know they have stories too yet they move silently among us, so stoic and courageous they are, quietly remembering and honoring their noble Warriors, who gave their lives so that we live free. I worry about them and I pray for them all.
And then there was anger. As I sat there, there was one image that I couldn't get out of my mind. It was the image of the Iraqi women with the purple finger, proudly and happily showing that she, for the first time in her life, was able to vote in a free and fair election, This "brown" Iraqi woman was able to vote, due to the brave sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Military.
Since the election in November, I've been angry with those who didn't vote in the last election. I have sincerely apologized to our Troops for the 3 million so called Conservatives who failed to vote. To me, it truly was a knife in the heart of every brave Warrior who fights and risks their lives to preserve our wonderful way of life and to protect our most precious right to vote in free and fair elections. I consider it my duty, in honor of the enormous sacrifices made by all the brave American men and women of all wars, to vote! And all the members of my family know their duty too!
We will never take for granted this beautiful and safe way of life we enjoy everyday!
Thank you to All The Brave Men & Women of the United States Military. We owe you our deepest gratitude and our utmost respect and we will do our part. As you keeping fighting over there, we will keep fighting over here, and those of us who honor your service will do our part and vote!
To Marcus, you came down that mountain alone, but if only we could, I bet there are millions of Americans that would fill that mountain and surround You and Your Brothers with an abundant amount of love, deep gratitude and respect for what you tried to do there, for all of us. Thank you for the hope you instill in my heart that as long as there are brave men such as you and your brothers, there is hope for all mankind. To say Thank You just doesn't seem adequate enough. I wish for you peace and the very best life has to offer.
With A Mother's Heart,
The Band of Mothers