Boot Campaign Welcomes Hero Ambassador: Morgan Luttrell
Morgan Luttrell. You should remember this name because a lot has gone into the man who encompasses it. Recently retired, Morgan served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for nearly the last decade-and-a-half. Since 2001, he devoted himself to serving and protecting our country through an impressive, active-duty career, which included nine tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Morgan is Marcus Luttrell’s identical twin brother. And obviously, our beloved Marcus doesn’t need an introduction within Boot Campaign, since it was his best-selling book, Lone Survivor that ultimately inspired the five Boot Girls to start the foundation in 2009. But now that he has officially served out his active duty status too, Boot Campaign finally gets to bring Morgan out of the shadows to reveal, and also welcome him aboard, as our newest hero ambassador.
As such, there’s no doubt that the similarities these brothers share can lend itself to a bit of confusion. After all, the word “identical,” really does mean “identical” in their case—it’s hard to tell them apart. And, it’s pretty difficult to ignore the Luttrell boy’s same choice of military careers. Yet, even with such shared similarities, the two brothers’ dedication and devotion to their country deserves individual admiration and celebration. This is why it is tremendously important for the Boot Girls’ to acknowledge that while it was Marcus who motivated us to get our boots on, it was Morgan who convinced us not to take them off.
“The five of us were at a point where we weren’t sure how to move forward with the Boot Campaign. It was a time when things were new, challenging and not yet proven,” explained Boot Girl Sherri. “But then we received a letter from Morgan, while on a deployment in Iraq, and his words of gratitude from half a world away were enough to conquer our uncertainty and keep our own mission moving forward,” she said.
Turns out that while the girls had not yet even met Morgan, his brother Marcus had been relaying the stories to him about what the girls were doing back in the US. Morgan was so touched by their efforts, he felt the need to reach out and express his gratitude to them. Since then, the girls lovingly refer to Morgan as their “special guy” because he was the one who, ultimately, kept Boot Campaign going with that correspondence—a part of which read: “My teammates and I have had the opportunity to see the video of the Boot Campaign and we were speechless at the end. It is our pleasure to fight a world away for the five of you, your families and friends. Please know that what you are doing has been recognized by all of us.”
That was in 2010. Fast-forward to today, and it may be a bit poetic to say that life has come full circle now for Morgan Luttrell. He is back on American soil, making a home near Dallas and adjusting to the everyday battles of a civilian life—a life, which includes a different sort of active-duty status. One where he spends his days now serving out roles as husband to his wife, Leslie; father to his son, Gunner; and student to eventually hold a doctorate in mental health studies. The five-year track will allow him to work with victims of traumatic brain injuries. While he stays focused on a new career path and lives out an entirely new way of life, he admits the transition from SEAL to civilian hasn’t been an easy one. “I never went to work and had the same thing happen. So, there was never a dull moment. It was constantly exciting. And the success of my day depended solely on me, and the people I trusted around me. Everybody in my team had the same ambition as I did,” he explained. “The civilian world works at a different pace and has a different set of expectations. Civilians time themselves in years, not seconds. I’ve had to slow way down.”
While Morgan wades through the waters of everyday life, he confirms what he always knew to be true in earning a place as a SEAL saying, “It’s by far the greatest and most rewarding adventure offered to an American citizen.” With each new day beginning a bit differently now, Morgan looks forward to the challenges he’ll face in the trenches with the five girls who captured his heart from afar to continue the foundation he already, unknowingly, kept alive in its beginnings. But now he’ll help keep it afloat as a hero ambassador.
In true SEAL fashion, his goals for the Boot Campaign are already being set pretty high. How high, you ask? Think: Oprah-Winfrey-getting-her-boots-on high. He is a Navy Seal for a reason. And he is that “special guy” for a reason. But, ultimately, Morgan just wants to accomplish a broader awareness of the Boot Campaign—what it’s all about; who stands for it and who stands with it. “Everyone has different wants and needs and the Boot Campaign does a lot of things for a lot of people, no matter how big or small,” Morgan said. “It also has the ability to tie into other foundations. If they can’t carry the load, then they will find somebody to help out. It’s not the Boot Campaign or nothing. If you have something you need, it can be the Boot Campaign—plus. It’s never, ever, just been about them. It’s a truly genuine organization concerned about the wellbeing of veterans.”