Author One-on-One: Marcus Luttrell and Jason Redman
Former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell was honored with the Navy Cross for his actions in 2005 while facing Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of Lone Survivor and Service.
Marcus Luttrell: What is the most important lesson you gained from your SEAL career?
Jason Redman: The only thing that truly stops you from overcoming adversity in life is you. If you absolutely refuse to quit, ultimately you will succeed. This is the essence of being successful; as a Navy SEAL, in training, in combat, in any endeavor in life.
ML: You were in several intense firefights. What would you tell young warriors going into combat for the first time?
JR: Trust in your training, trust in your senior leaders, and focus on your assigned task and doing it to the utmost of your abilities. In the absence of leadership, step up and lead. You will feel fear, but courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to recognize it and still overcome it and act courageously. Trust your, plan, training, and tactics and accept the fact that what happens on the battlefield will happen.
ML: What part did your wife Erica and children play in your recovery after you were wounded?
JR: Erica and my children played a tremendous role in my recovery. Despite my wounds and how I looked, they showed me what unconditional love is. My biggest concern is for our young warriors who come from a broken family and don’t have that support network. This is why I am so passionate now about supporting our veterans, especially our combat veterans.
ML: What advice do you have for vets trying to overcome physically and emotionally after they’ve been severely wounded? Where did the ‘sign on the door’ in the hospital come from?
JR: All warriors who have seen combat carry some scars back from the battlefield, either visible or invisible, we all bring back demons. Don’t suppress those demons; get out and find other veterans who have seen combat and talk about it. You will never fully get rid of those demons, but with time and facing them you can learn to live with them and minimize their impact on our daily lives. You must make a mental commitment to overcome, refuse to give in to your wounds regardless of what they are, and lift up the people around you. This process is cathartic.
The Sign on the Door came from a few people who emotionally expressed their distress at my wounds. I made that mental commitment in the beginning to not focus on what happened. What happened, happened and I could never go back and change it. The Sign captured my mental commitment to say, “The mark of a man is not found in his past but how he overcomes adversity and builds his future.”
“The Trident is a riveting, brutally honest and heartfelt story of a warrior’s journey to hell and back. It’s one of the best memoirs about love, combat and triumph against all odds that we’ve seen in a generation.” (Sean Parnell, New York Times bestselling author of Outlaw Platoon)
“[A] book all leaders and aspiring leaders should read; both military and civiliannot only for the heart-pounding ride-along into battle, but for the inspiring reminder that a warrior’s strength and tenacity comes not from his physical stature but from his family and from within.” (Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless)
“This story is not just about a SEAL on the Iraqi battlefield, but a SEAL at war with himself, and his ultimate victory. [Redman’s] story will inspire the reader, just as it did me.” (Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, from his Introduction)
“Lt. Redman doesn’t hide anything . . . Only an intensely personal account like this can show us what he and thousands of others like him have gone though, and will continue to struggle with, for the rest of their lives.” (Larry Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Exit Plan)
“The Trident is a frank, compelling and inspiring chronicle of an American warrior’s journey.” (Washington Times)