Nightly News   |  January 05, 2014

‘Lone Survivor’ Tells His Tale

A new movie tells the real-life story of a group of Navy SEALS forced to fight for their lives as the Taliban tries hunting them down. NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight the title says it all. lone survivor. the true story of a navy s.e.a.l. mission in afghanistan that went terribly wrong. now it is a new movie. lester holt talked with the real life navy s.e.a.l. who survived that mission.

>> reporter: it is not just a war movie . not for marcus latrell.

>> you have to understand, i went through it in real life .

>> reporter: certainly not for the families of those who didn't come home like loonlt michael murphy 's mom.

>> i saw the first 30 minutes . my other son he went over and tapped me and said, okay, mom, this is where you have to leave.

>> reporter: marcus played by actor mark wahlberg was the only member of a four-man navy s.e.a.l. element to survive after they were compromised during a mission to hunt down a taliban commander. when goat herders came upon their hideout. they could free them knowing they would alert the local insurgents.

>> we made a decision to turn them loose, turn them loose and deal with the consequences.

>> reporter: sadly outnumbered, the s.e.a.l.s were hunted down and killed one by one battling to the end. including the team's leader, lieutenant murphy who was posthumously awarded the medal of honor . he willingly exposed himself to enemy fire in order to establish radio contact and make a desperate call for help .

>> it is bitter sweet , definitely. you're so proud of him but you would trade it back in a minute to get him back.

>> reporter: for the murphies, the film evokes pride and anguish.

>> it is emotional and it pulls ought. it also tells a great story.

>> reporter: the team's would be rescuers, eight more s.e.a.l.s and eight army night stalkers died when their chopper was shot down. latrell, blade wounded, unable to walk found refuge in an afghan village where the taliban fought to capture him.

>> i never thought about giving up. i never thought about quitting. the only way to defeat me is to kill me.

>> just remarkable. just glad that i get to sit here next to him.

>> as brutal as the action in the movie is, it was important to him that the filmmakers get it right.

>> just like that.

>> i would expect from the families that they would want this as authentic as possible to represent how hard their sons fought and died.

>> it was a dark chapter in a long war. and now a movie that honors those who fought and those who still fight it. how do you want people to feel when they see this movie?

>> i want them to have a greater appreciation for what those guys do. they're heroes and they deserve that treatment.

>> reporter: lester