Published January 13, 2015
This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 22, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The top story tonight, joining us from Arlington, Virginia, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who was on the Afghan mission with Lieutenant Murphy. He writes about what happened in his bestselling book, "Lone Survivor."
This is your second appearance on the show, Mr. Luttrell. And I want you to pick up the action, where you and your SEAL unit, including Lieutenant Murphy, came under fire after sparing the lives of three Afghan goat herders, who then turned you into the Taliban. Pick up the action and tell us what Lieutenant Murphy did:
MARCUS LUTTRELL, NAVY SEAL: We'd been for fighting for about an hour —45 minutes to an hour, they had pushed us down — halfway down a mountain. And then we were taking some heavy fire from underneath now. They had us completely surrounded.
We have lost one of my teammates already, Danny Dietz. And Mikey and Matt Ax and himself were shot up pretty bad. Matt and I were below Mikey. We had fallen off of a boulder and landed on some trees.
I looked back up. Matt took a pretty heavy wound to the head. And so I was down there working on him. I looked back up. And the only cover we had was in between — it was on either side of the mountain. If you stepped out in the fatal funnel in the draw there, in those rocks, which we had to go — we had to push laterally, multiple times just to get — to find more cover. And when you stepped outside of that area, you got shot.
So by this time, I mean, we were running low on ammo. And what we had already lost one guy. And Mikey and Ax were hit pretty bad.
So yes, Mikey grabbed the phone, pushed out to the middle of the draw there on a huge rock, and exposed himself. And like I said, once you do that, you were going to get hit. And that's what he did. When he was calling in, he took two rounds I think to the back or from the front. I'm not really sure. Like I said, he was elevated. But you know, he dropped out...
O'REILLY: So he went out. He exposed himself because he had to get a better signal to get the phone call back to Bagram to get you guys some cover in there, some help in there?
LUTTRELL: Yes, sir, because we were dropping.
O'REILLY: OK, so...
LUTTRELL: He picked the phone back up, finished the call, picked his rifle back up, and then flanked left again right above me to my left side. — Continued to fight. Picked up fire again. I could hear — there was a major engagement going up there, but I couldn't see past the rocks. So I really didn't know what was going on up there. And then, he was yelling down. We were yelling back up. And then it got quiet, sir.
O'REILLY: All right, so he exposed himself to the fire. He took a couple of hits, but he did get the call through. He got the call through, which is why you're alive today, because they you knew you guys were under fire. And then they started to get — they being the U.S. military started to get a rescue posse formed.
So he comes back and he's still fighting, but he took more. And he died on that ridge, correct?
LUTTRELL: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
O'REILLY: All right, now...
LUTTRELL: If it wasn't for him, they didn't have any idea where our position was or anything. So...
O'REILLY: Right, they would have never known that you were even in a fight, because you guys were on...
O'REILLY: ...were on an undercover mission, trying to hunt down a Taliban leader on the Afghan-Pakistan border. So they would have known nothing about you. And you wouldn't be sitting here talking to me today. So he sacrificed his life for his unit. OK.
Now you knew him for eight years. You trained with him in San Diego in the most brutal training in the world, SEAL training. What kind of a guy was Lieutenant Murphy?
LUTTRELL: He was a consummate professional. I mean, he was the go-to guy. You know, a great leader, a great friend. I just can't say enough about him, sir. He was the type of guy that all of the other guys tried to emulate and be like. Always had a smile on his face. And it got bad in "buds training." I mean, you've heard the stories of people. People know what I'm talking about, but until you're actually in there, you don't really understand it. And you know, he always had a level head and kept everybody going.
O'REILLY: Now what was it about your friend, the lieutenant, in his personality now, because people want to learn a little bit about him, that elevated him to this status where he would give his life for his unit, where he would be able to be the leader in the toughest outfit in the world, the SEALs? What was it about his personality?
LUTTRELL: Well, he didn't — we used to say he didn't have any quit in him. I mean, no matter what you did to this guy, he'd be — you know, he'd bounce back. And you couldn't stop him. And he'd do it with a smile on his face.
And we've been in some pretty tight spots. And he, you know, every time he'd get us out of there. Level headed, calm, cool, collected, and knew his job, and then knew our jobs. That's what made him such a stellar officer.
O'REILLY: OK. Now he was a very close friend of yours. You saw him die. You were obviously in danger of dying yourself. After you got out of there — and I'm not going to tell everybody — I want them to read your book, which is just a miracle that you got out of there, you went back to Long Island, where the lieutenant is from — Patchogue, Long Island, close to where I was raised. And you told his family about what happened.
Can you describe that meeting for us a little bit?
LUTTRELL: It was tough, sir. I mean, I'm the one delivering the news to a grieving mother and father. I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, each time, it was different.
I went to multiple houses on that trip. But it was — they welcomed me with open arms, and you know, accepted me into their family for what I was and what I had to deliver, which was obviously the news of his son's death, and actually just what had happened up there.
But I think once I explained it and I told them, you know, how valiantly he fought up there, and just exactly what — how everything went down then, they kind of got a good understanding. And I think it helped.
O'REILLY: I think that was important to them, you know, to know that their son had died a supreme hero for his country, for his country. That's why he died.
Mr. Luttrell, look, I've said this on the air before. If there's one book people should read, it's yours. I think you epitomize — you and Lieutenant Murphy epitomize the best of America. And we've got your back here on "The Factor." And we appreciate you writing that book. And we send our best to the lieutenant's family out on Long Island. And if there's anything we can ever do for you or that family, let us know, OK?
LUTTRELL: Yes, thank you, sir.
O'REILLY: All right, a pleasure to speak with you.
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