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Luttrell brings McLane Lecture

Luttrell brings McLane Lecture

Speaking to more than 1,000 people, retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell gave a detailed account of his training as a SEAL and service to his country during the annual McLane Lecture Thursday, March 31, in the Mayborn Campus Center. Luttrell’s primary message was “never quit,” as he recounted the events of the Operation Redwing mission in Afghanistan in which he and three other SEALs were attacked by some 150 Taliban fighters.

“People always ask what kept me going out there,” he said. “It was my faith in God, my faith in my family, and my kinship with my team.”

The operation’s mission was to gather intelligence on a Taliban leader with ties to Osama bin Laden. The four-man team was ambushed by a large Taliban force on a remote ridge in the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Luttrell and his teammates fought for hours, displaying characteristic SEAL determination and bravery despite being heavily outnumbered.

In the course of the battle, Luttrell saw all three friends die and was literally blown off the mountain by an RPG. A rescue helicopter carrying 16 special operation forces to the site was also shot down, killing all on board, making the encounter the single largest loss of life in a day in SEALs history.

In 2006, Luttrell was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism by President George W. Bush. Luttrell’s experiences became the basis for his 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor.
Luttrell was the eighth speaker to participate in the annual McLane Lecture, which is hosted by the College of Business and is provided through the generosity of Temple residents Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, Jr.