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April 9, 2011

Lone Survivor

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Pearce) for 5 minutes.

Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, this past week, I had the opportunity to read a book called ``Lone Survivor,'' a tale about four Navy SEALs that were inserted into Afghanistan territory, Lieutenant Mike Murphy, Petty Officer Matthew Axelson, Petty Officer Danny Dietz, and Marcus Luttrell. Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor, writes the book and says, ``If they built a mountain as high as the Empire State Building for Lieutenant Murphy, it would not be high enough.''

These four young men--physical specimens, men of valor, men of courage--were inserted into the dark on top of an Afghanistan mountain. Shortly after arrival, daylight hit. Three goat herders came upon them. They easily subdued them. Then the choice was to kill--if they represented a clear and present danger--or to let them go. One voted to abstain. There was a tie vote between the other two. Finally, Marcus Luttrell voted to let them go. He knew what the consequences would be. Twenty minutes later, the Taliban that they were after, over 100 came rushing over the top of the mountain firing their AK-47s and RPGs.

The four young SEALs moved to the back of the precipice. They were forced back by the fire and finally jumped off the edge of the mountain, 200 to 300 yards, the equivalent of three football fields straight down.

Lieutenant Mike Murphy had already been shot through the stomach. They were facing odds of 35 to 1, at least. They were worried about being tried for murder in this country because of their actions. They fell back off the mountain doing back flips headlong. Enemies swarmed after them. They were pushing through trees, grabbing limbs, trying to stop. Danny Dietz is shot. No SEAL is ever left behind. Mikey, bleeding out of his stomach, and Marcus move into the open and drag Danny back to cover. The enemy keeps closing in.

They are forced back a second time to another precipice and jump off a sheer cliff, the equivalent of four stories, straight down. Danny was shot again in the lower back. It blew out his stomach. He was still firing. Grenades are now pouring in on them. The Taliban reinforcements are coming closer, yards away, 20, 30 away. Danny is shot again. This time he slumps over, drops his rifle. He props himself up miraculously and continues to fire.

They have fallen over 900 feet down the mountain now. They fall back to the edge again and go over the edge. The SEALs had taken a heavy toll. Eighty Taliban are rushing after them, firing. Danny is shot again, this time in the neck. He slumps over. No SEAL is left behind. Marcus Luttrell steps out into the hail of gunfire to rescue him, props him up, and starts pulling him back by the pack. Danny is still firing his weapon.

Again they have to go over the edge. This time, Lieutenant Murphy understands they've got one choice. He casually walks out with his severe wounds into the opening to where he can get his cell phone open and get a call for help. He sits there with thousands of rounds of AK-47 rounds hitting near him. He makes a call and says, sir, taking heavy fire. Need help.

A round hits him in the back, blood spurts out his chest. Marcus Luttrell listens to him saying, ``Yes, sir.'' He drops his rifle, he picks up his cell phone from the ground and says, ``Yes, sir, I'll tell the men, sir.''

Mortally wounded, he sits there, rounds continuing to come in. Lieutenant Mike Murphy falls on the ground and says, ``Marcus, help me. Marcus, help me.'' Axelson, the third soldier to die that day, is dying on the other side. Miraculously, Marcus Luttrell survives.

We made this, yesterday, a discussion that was academic about supporting our troops. We have friends on the other side of the aisle saying it's a

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trick. We have the President saying he would veto it immediately. And for us to not give the pay to men and women like this who are putting their life in harm's way causes great shame on this Nation.

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