Former Navy SEAL and the lone survivor of a fated 2005 military operation, Marcus Luttrell, has given an extraordinary response to the teen who vandalized the memorial of his fellow SEAL team member, Lt. Michael Murphy.
Murphy, along with Petty Officer Danny Dietz and Petty Officer Matthew Axelson, were killed when their covert position was compromised during an operation to locate local Taliban commander Ahmad Shah in the Kunar Province of war-torn Afghanistan. Despite being gravely injured in the gunfight, Luttrell managed to survive after being taken in by a local villager.
Last week, a Long Island teenager was arrested for vandalizing the memorial to Murphy – a medal of honor recipient who died after moving into the line of enemy fire in order to call for help on a satellite phone.
As you can imagine, Luttrell was not at all happy that someone had defaced a memorial to his courageous SEAL team commander. But even though he was desperately angry, Marcus’ response shifted when he heard that the perpetrator was a kid.
“I’m sure I felt just like you did…when you get a hold of the guy, make sure you give me a call, so I can come down and hang out with him for a while,” Luttrell said on “Fox and Friends.”
“But then I heard it was a 14-year-old boy, and um, I made a lot of mistakes when I was 14. I think we all did. Sometimes when we’re coming into our own, becoming a man, you’re confused,” he added. “It’s tough.”
Once the memorial has been rebuilt, Luttrell suggested, the kid should be sent to him so the former SEAL can explain to him just how much of a hero Murphy truly was.
“Send him to me. Take that kid, don’t put him in jail. You can send him out here to me and I’ll put him to work and show him what kind of man Mike was,” Luttrell said. “We all make mistakes and we push past them. That’s how we become the man that we’re bound a destined to be.”
“I think it’s incumbent on us to cut people a little slack sometimes,” he added.
With that being said, Murphy still insisted that the boy should have to “work off” his mistake so he’d remember just “how big of a deal it was” to “dishonor” Murphy’s memorial.
When Marcus was asked what exactly he would say to the boy following the incident, he replied:
“Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”
Then, he said he’d challenge the young man on his future:
“You don’t have any idea how much of [Murphy] you have inside of you,” Luttrell said, adding that he would tell the boy he expects “great things” to come from his life.