March 25, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Buckeyes were honored after their fifth practice of the spring season Saturday by a visitor whose words completely silenced about 100 athletes and an additional 100 to 150 coaches, administrators, parents and anyone else fortunate enough to be in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on this day.

Marcus Luttrell, the retired Navy SEAL and the subject of the book (that he authored) and movie “Lone Survivor,” spent about 45 minutes after practice speaking to and mingling with members of the team. With Luttrell were members of his “Patriot Tour” that is currently travelling around the country sharing messages of courage and brotherhood: Billy Wagasy, Pete Scobell, Chad Fleming and Taya Kayle.

Luttrell was open and direct in his comments to the Buckeyes, which had a practice-harder-than-you-play theme.

“If you train and practice as hard as you possibly can, when things do start to go bad for you on the field, if you keep that focus and that attitude, you can probably push past all of those bad parts.

“We train like we fight. So everyday it’s as hard and as fast as we can possibly go. That way when we get out there and do the things that we do, most of the time it’s – I don’t want to use anticlimactic, but when you go out thinking, ‘Man, this is going to be the most horrible thing I’ve gotten myself into,’ then you get back to the base and, ‘Wow, that wasn’t anything like I expected.’

“But there are those times when things go very bad for us, and because of the way we train we can rebound from it.”

Luttrell was part of a four-man SEALs team that was ambushed in Afghanistan in 2005 during Operation Red Wings. A total of 19 U.S. servicemen lost their lives during the mission.