Normally after graduating from the course, you could take up to 30 days’ leave to spend time with your family, but Marcus had already sacrificed his leave time to get himself placed immediately into the sniper course for his second go at it.,Now the only way he could see his family before deploying would be if we let him out of the FTX, or final training exercise, which would normally add about one more week’s time on the course.,The FTX was a graded mission, so theoretically it was mandatory, but hell, Marcus had clearly made it through at that point, so I worked it out for him to skip it and have that week with his family.,Marcus and three teammates — Matt Axelson (Morgan Luttrell’s best friend), Danny Dietz, and Michael Murphy — went out on a reconnaissance mission in northern Afghanistan, not far from the area where we had run so many missions with ECHO platoon.,The next time I saw Marcus was more than a year later, in the late summer of 2006, on the deck of the USS Midway off San Diego where the Navy was holding a big fundraiser.

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