This account is as accurate as I could make it, 7000 miles away and 8 years after the fact. Sources differed in their recollections, and particularly timelines. Not having been there, I have had to piece together the story as best I could.

There has been a great deal of controversy about Marcus Luttrell’s account in Lone Survivor. People who were not there have called his account into question, even calling him a liar. Some have even attempted to say, beyond all logic, that Ahmad Shah only had 8 to 10 fighters. This smacks of saying anything to puff up their own credentials and discredit the one man who lived to tell what happened on that mountain.

I found a few discrepancies in Marcus’ account, particularly when it came to dates and times. While this might be an indictment to some, there is a fact that needs to be considered.

I went through several firefights as a Recon Marine, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterward, there was a lengthy team debrief, where we attempted to piece together exactly what had happened. None of us remembered it the same way; it was a process of putting together a puzzle made up of fragmented individual memories. Adrenaline has a way of scrambling short-term memory. And we were doing this the day after the fight, in which none of us had taken a scratch.