Eventually, as the taliban prepared to attack, luttrell wrote, a team of Army rangers arrived and whisked him and Gulab off in a helicopter that took them to a nearby. Military base in Asadabad. Before they parted, luttrell tried to give gulab his watch, a token of his gratitude, but the villager declined. I had no words in his language to express my thanks, luttrell wrote. Our paths, which had crossed so suddenly and so powerfully in a life-changing encounter for both of us, were about to diverge. Full of Sadness and Anger saving Luttrell was an extraordinary act of courage, and it destroyed Gulabs life.
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He was exhausted, scared and dying of thirst, but he food pushed. The next day, he wrote, he stumbled upon a waterfall, where he drank a bit and cleaned his wounds. Thats when a few Afghan villagers appeared before him. One of them shouted. He gave luttrell water and helped carry him back to their village. Soon, luttrell wrote, i met my first real friend, mohammad Gulab. For days, gulab and the other villagers protected Luttrell from the militants—even in the face death threats. They considered it their duty under. Pashtunwali, a tribal honor code requiring them to protect those in need. As Gulab guarded Luttrell, the seal wrote, another villager went to a nearby. Military base with a note from the American.
Yet somehow Luttrell found the strength to essay move, crawling into a crevasse and waiting until it was safe to emerge. What he didnt know at the time was that Murphys call sprang the. Eight members of the 160th Special Operations aviation Regiment and eight navy seals had quickly boarded a helicopter to come to his rescue. But as the aircraft flew over the mountains and the team prepared to rope down, an insurgent fired a rocket-propelled grenade. It struck the fuel tanks, luttrell wrote, and no one survived. Helicopter flies over mountains north of Asadabad in 2005, near where the chopper sent to rescue luttrells seal team was shot out of the sky, killing 16 Americans. When darkness fell, the seal started walking.
The Americans were badly injured, luttrell wrote, but continued to fight back, killing as many taliban as they could, until they were nearly out of ammunition. We must have killed 50 or more of them, luttrell wrote. Murphy eventually realized their only hope was to call for help once again. From his position, he couldnt connect, so he sat on a small rock out in the open, making one last attempt. He succeeded, but it cost him his life. A short while later, all of Luttrells teammates were dead, and then a taliban grenade blew him sideways and over a ravine. When he came to, the seal realized the blast had blown his pants off, and he was badly injured: His back and nose were broken, and his face was busted up, he wrote. His left leg was full of shrapnel, and his shoulder ached.
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Because they cant be hidden. Killing the men would be a problem too—the seals, luttrell wrote, worried theyd be charged with murder if the media found out. The way luttrell tells it in his book, his team tried to contact headquarters but couldnt get through, so murphy decided to take a vote: Axelson wanted to kill the herders, dietz abstained, and Murphy deferred to luttrell, who decided to let them. It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lame-brained decision i ever made in my life, he wrote. More than an hour and a half later, the seals spotted about 80 to 200 heavily armed militants above them. My heart dropped directly into my stomach, luttrell wrote.
And I cursed those fucking goatherds to hell. Luttrell fired at one hook-nosed Taliban warrior and blew his head off. The militants responded with a barrage of bullets. The Americans again tried to contact headquarters but couldnt get through. As gunfire rained down on them, the seals blasted back before tumbling proposal down the mountain, as their attackers followed, firing rocket propelled grenades. The battle raged for quite some time.
Last fall, the 40-something villager from Sabray sought refuge through the. And finally arrived in Texas with his wife and seven children. But it wasnt Luttrell who saved him from the taliban; the two had a falling out over money, respect and what really happened to the seals on that tragic day. Instead, gulabs saviors were a handful of strangers and acquaintances, Afghans and Americans, doctors, lawyers and government officials—some of whom put themselves in danger and broke rules to keep him safe. Today, as Gulab struggles to adjust to life in America, his harrowing journey—from the snowy peaks of the hindu kush to the drab strip malls of Fort Worth—is an inspiring story of hope and survival and a grim tale of betrayal and despair. My heart Dropped, on the night of June 27, 2005, with a sense of dread creeping over him, luttrell and his fellow seals—Michael Murphy, matthew Axelson and Danny dietz—headed out for a recon mission in a dangerous part of Kunar province near the pakistani border.
A sniper and a medic, luttrell packed a scoped military assault rifle and 11 magazines—three more than usual, he wrote. The seals were dropped in the bad and barren mountains to hunt for a taliban leader known to be one of Osama bin Ladens closest associates, luttrell wrote. He was also the kind of terrorist who would like nothing better than to mastermind a new attack on the. Navy seals Michael Murphy left, and Matthew Axelson were killed during Operation Red Wings; Luttrell was the only man in his team who survived. The next day, their mission unraveled. Around noon, as the Americans hid among rocks and fallen trees, a goat herder stumbled across Luttrell as two other herders, one of them a teenage boy, trailed behind with roughly 100 goats. The Americans were in a deadly bind. They had no rope to tie up the men, but letting them go might be a fatal mistake; the Afghans could alert the taliban. The main problem, luttrell recalled Murphy, the team leader, arguing, is the goats.
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S has stopped accepting Iraqi applications, and Afghans now face barbing stiffer requirements. This is the most rigorous review on the face of the planet, johnson says. We are looking for ways to say no to them. No one wants their signature on the next 9/11 hijackers visa papers. People are dying waiting in line. History, johnson adds, will not judge us very kindly. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now. Gulab is among the fortunate few.
In his book, to be a friend Is Fatal, kirk johnson, a former. Agency for International development worker in Fallujah, describes the essay wishful thinking and twisted logic that left so many. Allies stranded in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the mid-2000s, as insurgents stepped up their attacks against collaborators, johnson began compiling a list of at-risk Iraqis. America, he felt, had a moral obligation to bring them to the States, so he started a nonprofit and began working with lawmakers. In 2008, in a rare display of bipartisanship, congress created a system to bring over Iraqi and Afghan translators, office workers and other American allies. In the next five years, the Special Immigrant Visa program created tens of thousands of slots for Afghans and Iraqis, but bureaucratic bottlenecks, among other things, have left many of those slots unfilled. With the rise of the Islamic State group, the program has seen massive backlogs.
lasted for hours until, with daylight approaching, the militants retreated and Gulab and his wife climbed down, still terrified. Recommended Slideshows, gulab decided he had to flee afghanistan, go to europe or America. Paying smugglers was too dangerous and expensive. He had friends in the States and contacts in Kabul, but no one seemed able to help. So as he stood in his yard, watching the sun slowly rise, gulab finally lost something the taliban hadnt been able to take from him in nearly a decade of attacks—he lost hope. Gulab had saved the life of a navy seal, but no one, he felt, would ever come to his rescue. Gulab, in his apartment in Fort Worth, texas, holds a photo of Luttrell taken during their confrontation with a taliban-linked militia. To be a friend Is Fatal.
But somehow he survived every ambush, every assault. Gulabs troubles began in roles northeastern Afghanistan in June 2005, after he saved a navy seal from a taliban-linked militia. The seal, marcus Luttrell, went on to write a best-selling memoir, lone survivor, which later became a hit film. And his newfound fame proved to be lucrative. The Afghan timber worker didnt fare so well. With a taliban bounty on his head, he had to leave his village, and hes spent the past decade on the run, while trying to protect his family. The most frightening attack came on a hot night in the fall of 2014. Gulab was asleep in his room when a bomb exploded by the front gate of his home. The blast woke his children, who ran to a neighbors house for safety while gulab and his wife grabbed their Kalashnikovs and climbed onto their roof.
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Navy seals, taliban, they tried to kill him in the morning. They tried to kill him at night. They tried as he bumped book over the road in a silver sedan, killing his nephew with a bullet to the brain. They tried with a sniper. They tried with a bomb. They tried with a grenade outside his daughters bedroom, the blast hurling shrapnel into her leg. In a rural valley, along a desolate trail, in the doorway of his modest home—in all these places the taliban tried to kill Mohammad Gulab.