Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell revealed to Joe Rogan that he has never watched Lone Survivor, the 2013 movie about his experience Afghanistan and the attack that left three fellow SEAL team members dead. Luttrell was the guest on The Joe Rogan Podcast Experience episode #1622 on March 24, 2021.
Luttrell, a 45-year-old Houston, Texas, native, served in the SEALs from 1999 to 2007 and received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 in Afghanistan during a Taliban ambush and firefight in which he was the only survivor.
Rogan asked Luttrell, “What it was it like to have a movie about one of the worst experiences of your life?” Luttrell responded, “Thank you for asking it like that. No one ever has. It’s an honor to do that, to be a part of that. … It was about me getting my a** whipped. As a fighter and a warrior, those are usually the stories you don’t want out.”
Luttrell said about the movie, “I haven’t seen it, I haven’t watched it all the way through. I know the director’s cut.” Luttrell added, “There’s so much we kept from the story that if I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”
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Luttrell Said the ‘Craziest Part’ of the Afghanistan Incident Was His Rescue
Luttrell told Rogan the movie was filmed around the gunfight, because that’s when the other SEALs were still alive. But he said the “craziest part” about the operation was his rescue, which he said wasn’t part of the movie. He said in the movie they filmed a daylight extraction, but in real life it wasn’t like that.
“It was unbelievable, it was at night. The world was blowing up. … They had to carry me, I couldn’t walk,” Luttrell said. “The Green Berets, the Rangers, it was a hodgepodge. …. When they found me I was laying in a river bed, dried up, tucked under a rock. The villagers had shoved me underneath this rock.”
Luttrell added, “It’s funny, when I talk about it, it’s hard to even wrap my head around it. Why am I even sitting here. Because y’all came and got me. I couldn’t believe it when y’all showed up. I signed up to be an expendable asset. That was the sexiest thing I ever heard of. I was nobody. I was expendable asset and you work to become dependable and they kind of keep you around. So when y’all showed up I couldn’t believe it. I remember talking to them, I was like ‘I can’t believe y’all made it out here.’ We were in the middle of nowhere.
Luttrell told Rogan, “And the first time I ever got scared, was when they were with me and trying to get me out of there. I was like ‘Hey man, I hope you all can get me out of here.’ Is that selfish? … I was like, ‘I sure would like to live man.’ To get me out there, it’s a whole different movie altogether. Those Green Berets and those Rangers, the pilots … when they came in they came in to crash, they don’t ever talk about it. He had to crash that bird on a side of a mountain to get in there and he did it. He didn’t give a s***. … And they got me out of there, I couldn’t believe it.”
Luttrell Told Rogan He ‘Had to Go Back’ … ‘Out Here in Texas, Man, If You Get Your Butt Whipped You Go Back for More When You Get Healed Up’
Luttrell also talked about going back into combat after his experience in Afghanistan. He returned to active duty a year after his rescue and went to Iraq. “In my head I was apprehensive, because I’d just had my a** kicked really bad,” Luttrell told Rogan. “I had to go back. Out here in Texas, man, if you get your butt whipped you go back in for more when you get healed up.”
Luttrell added, “Look at the fraternity I’m in. They never looked down on me. … The first gunfight I got in I remember taking a knee and kind of sitting there and going, ‘What in the hell am I doing here.’ It hadn’t even been a year, I could barely walk, really.”
Luttrell told Rogan that after that first firefight since the ambush he talked to some of the newer members of his SEAL team. “I was like, ‘Hey how you guys doing? You good? I know you got into it, you did what you were supposed to do, well done.’ And they were like, ‘Well I was freaking out when the gunfire started but then I looked up and you were calm and cool. And you looked back at us and you looked forward and you kind of made a call and we got out of there and it was smooth.’ And I was like, ‘Keep thinking that brother.’ Because when that gunfire started I took that knee and I was like, ‘What the hell.’ It was just that first fight when you start getting beat up again and then you realize, wait a minute, I’m a fighter.”
He added, “In any situation you go into there’s going to be that hesitation. … In the beginning you have fear because you’re not trained. But then as you train it becomes anxiousness, so when that first punch is thrown, that first bullet flies, it’s like ‘Oh, let’s go.’ It’s a switch. It has to be that way, you don’t want to walk around engaged all the time. It has to be a trigger.”