The word “hero” gets thrown around an awful lot, to the point that it’s become cheap. This person is a hero for talking about the death of their hamster while that person is a hero for taking a suggestive picture of themselves while being overweight. None of this stuff is particularly heroic.
Yet former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell is a different matter. While he may not use the term to describe himself, plenty of others do, and for good reason.
If the name is familiar to you, Luttrell is a survivor of the ill-fated Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan and the subject of the movie Lone Survivor starring Marc Walberg who portrayed Luttrell and based on the former SEALs autobiography of the same name.
Luttrell is clearly a hero. However, his latest task earns him hero status in a whole new way as he helps a 99-year-old World War II vet rebuild following Hurricane Harvey.
A 99-year-old World War II veteran who served in Europe now faces a new challenge, after his Houston home was flooded by Tropical Storm Harvey’s devastating deluge.
Bill Fly said the home he bought with his wife in 1972 never flooded before, so he didn’t have flood insurance.
Now a group of volunteers, including former Navy SEAL Mark Luttrell, the man who inspired the book and movie “Lone Survivor,” are working to get Fly back into his home in time for his 100th birthday on Nov. 1.
Luttrell’s wife, Melanie, set up a fundraising drive to help Fly, which had a goal of $75,000 but topped $80,000 as of Thursday morning. She told KHOU the extra money raised in the drive will be used to help other veterans affected by Harvey’s floodwaters.
The Greatest Generation did nothing less than save the world from the forces of evil. Make no mistake, the Axis nations were led by evil men. Yet many are now dying in droves. Before long, there won’t be any left.
The idea of one losing everything so late in life, with no way to get back on his feet, is devastating.
Luttrell and company stepped up, though. Our aging veterans deserve every bit of help they get. Many of these guys have bodies and minds damaged by the horrors of war, and while they came home to an adoring nation, it was still a nation filled with people who didn’t really understand what they dealt with.
For decades, they have marched on stoically, asking for nothing from their fellow man except for a fair shake. That’s all any man or woman should ask for, after all.
Yet now, people like Bill Fly need more than they probably even know how to ask for, and people like Luttrell–who, it should be noted, isn’t tooting his own horn in this–step up. This is what makes America great. It’s how we as a society thrive despite our differences because we know that deep down, those differences come second. What comes first is people.
Luttrell has already exemplified the Navy motto of “Non sibi sed patriae” (Not for self but for country) in his days, but he’s still not for self.