When it was released in theaters last Christmas, director Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor proved to be a harrowing retelling of the ordeal suffered by Marcus Luttrell (played by Mark Wahlberg) during 2005’s failed Operation Red Wings where 19 American soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan. As evidenced by the film, as well as the book on which it is based, Luttrell made it through this grueling op using the skills he learned as a first class Navy SEAL, and in conjunction with the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release on Tuesday, June 3, we had the chance to experience a bit of that training for ourselves.
Thanks to former SEAL Don Shipley and the course he has set up in Chesapeake, Virginia, we fired several different model machine guns, repelled down a 40-foot tower, and flew in a doorless helicopter. Needless to say, this writer had never attempted any of these activities before in his free time, and despite his pacifist hippy liberal inclinations, it did make him feel like the Great American Badass for a few short hours.
We also had the opportunity to talk to Berg and Luttrell in person on the red carpet for this year’s GI Film Festival in Alexandria, VA where Luttrell received the GI Hero Award for honoring his fallen comrades as well as supporting wounded veterans through his Lone Survivor Foundation in Houston, Texas.
Check out the video and photos from the experience below!