Sunday, February 22, 2009

Took A Chance On "Taking Chance"

I have written previously about the HBO movie that premiered last night called "Taking Chance", the story of LTC Strobl who escorted the body of LCpl Chance Phelps home for his final trip, and after watching the movie last night all I can say is Bravo! to HBO.

I talked about the movie earlier today on my BTR radio show, (click the icon over on the right to hear the episode), and left my comments over at Blackfive's place in the hopes that the Phelps family will see them.

If you have HBO I can wholeheartedly recommend that you watch this movie, with generous amounts of Kleenex handy.

But this is more then a movie about the sacrifice of a Marine, it is the story of America. The America we don't see on our televisions, but the one in which we all live. Too much of the attention in the media is to that 5% that manage to make asses out of themselves and therefore get more then their amount of attention.

While it is the story about the honor and respect that is shown to the fallen by the military, a much bigger part of the movie shows us just how decent and respectful most Americans are of those who put on the uniform and are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to protect the rest of us and our way of lives.

The only big name star in the movie is Kevin Bacon, who played the role of LTC Strobl, the officer who escorted LCpl Chance Phelps' body home for burial. To me that was a good thing. People were not playing watch the stars and instead were drawn to the story.

I was struck by the respect paid to him and to the body of Chance by everyday people all across this nation. People from every walk of life, all age groups, and all areas. Some too young to realize just what it was they were witnessing, but taking their cues from the adults around them knew that something special was occurring.

I will admit to tensing up a few times in the movie, when I saw an opportunity for some left wing, liberal, anti war talking point to be inserted into the movie, but it never happened. I wonder how much peer pressure the producers and directors of this movie must have felt to do something like that? To their credit they did not give in to the temptation, and instead we got a view of the America most of us live in.

It is rare that I can recommend a movie without having to issue some sort of caveat, but I can do it with this one.

The movie will be on HBO for a while, so those that can please make the time to see it. Other viewing options are that HBO is going to make this available "On Demand" starting on Monday for those that have cable service that offers such a feature. For others the DVD should be coming out in May.

For those so inclined please take a few minutes to visit Blackfive's place and leave your comments if you have seen the movie.

During my career I never performed the duties of escort. I have been a notification officer, even though I was an NCO, on a couple of occasions as well as being part of the military funeral detail on numerous occasions. Every time I took my duties seriously and performed my duties with all of the respect and solemnity that was called for. As hard as it was for me, I always realized that it was far harder for those for whom I was performing the service for, and always kept in mind that if the roles were reversed that those that I may have left behind would be accorded the same.

Finally thanks to the Phelps family and LTC Strobl for sharing their story with the rest of us.
Cross posted at my place.

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