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The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadi

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

My interest in the Navy SEALs and who the men really are behind the machine was piqued after seeing the film American Sniper.  The Last Punisher, Kevin Lacz’s personal account of the Battle of Ramadi, was accessible even to me, an ordinary American who has never served in the military.

Last Punisher

The thing that I found to be most remarkable about this memoir of sorts is the immutable bond that exists among the most elite military outfit in the world. “Your brothers stick by your side when you do the dirty work.” How many of us can say this?

I see glimpses of this brotherhood among my husband’s submarine veterans, but Lacz elucidates this bond by expertly conveying the strength and eternal nature of this exclusive fraternity. We outsiders come as close as possible to peeking into the fogged window of their world because of Lacz’s brilliant storytelling. The myriad facets of the SEALs would be difficult to imagine otherwise.

We are invited to understand with all of our senses what the SEALs feel and know and do. As this is a story about war, of course it includes loss. “But there is one cruel truth in war: it plays out the way it plays out. And then you have to live with it.” Lacz offers words of comfort to us because, though we may not have lost a brother in battle, we have all been bereft. “…[T]here wasn’t a possibility of moving on, but there was a need to move forward.” I have a greater appreciation for these men and that thing they possess that differentiates them from me. It’s a fascinating story.