In January, I made my monthly trip to Salt Lake City to visit Wendy, my girlfriend. She is a huge fan of Sundance Film Festival. Its an OK event for me, but she is a huge fan. I went last year, and the movies are weird. There’s no Matrix or Transformers or Batman type movies, you know, good guy movies that I like. So, I wasn’t expecting it to be too great, but I went because I enjoy seeing her happy. She knows I’m not all that artsy about this stuff, so she did her best to pick movies I might like. I think she did a pretty great job.
The first movie we saw was called Taking Chance (IMDB). It stars Kevin Bacon and the movie is being put out by HBO. I have to say, I never thought I would have enjoyed a movie at Sun Dance as much as I liked this one. Straight up I’ll admit, I cried like a baby during this movie. It is really moving. It is about a US Marine Corps Lt. Colonel who volunteers for what is known as escort duty. This is something I was not aware of that happens. Escort Duty is where the remains of our fallen warriors are returned to the family in the US with a member of that branch of the service who is of equal or greater rank. The movie is based on the true story of Lt.Col. Michael Strobl who escorted the remains of LCpl Chance Phelps from Dover, DE to his home in Dubois, WY. Chance was killed in Iraq April 9, 2004, serving his country.
I can not do justice for the way the movie presents the care, dignity, and respect that is shown for the remains of America’s fallen warriors, as they are returned home. The person assigned escort duty stays with the remains throughout the journey until the fallen has been returned home.
After the movie was over, the director, Kevin Bacon, Lt.Col Strobl, and a few others involved with the making of the movie were on stage to answer questions from the audience. Lt.Col Strobl appeared to be a very humble man.
I don’t care if you are pro war, anti war, Republican, Democrat, independent, or what ever your view on the world is. If you are a citizen who enjoys the freedoms of living in the United States, you should really see this movie. It makes you proud to be a part of this country and grateful for the sacrifice that so many have given so you can have freedoms.
When I first realized what the movie was about, I had a sinking feeling in my gut that this was going to be someone’s tirade of how bad the war in Iraq is and that we shouldn’t be over there. Absolutely nothing about that viewpoint was made. This movie was completely apolitical. The director, Ross Katz, did an excellent job of making an unbiased movie that portrays the honor our troops receive after they have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
If you can’t see it on HBO, I’m sure it will be out on DVD some day, maybe even in theatres. Regardless, make an effort to see it.
When one falls, another brings him home