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Monday, October 5, 2009

Powerful movie for our times - Local Marine Killed

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago but I'm posting this now because of a good friend's son that was killed in a training accident while preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

Lcpl Zachary TenBrook USMC Middlebury, Indiana
April 12, 1988-Sept. 30, 2009
Middlebury, Indiana

Being a former Marine I may be a bit biased when I say the the HBO movie “Taking Chance” is simply one of the best war related movies I have ever seen. It's not a war movie in the traditional sense. There is no gunfire, explosions and only one death. PFC Chance who died in Iraq. . The whole movie is based on a true story by Lt. Col Michael R. Strobl who escorted the young Marine's remains back to his small home town. It is very unusual for a high ranking officer such as Lt. Col Strobl to escort the remains of a low ranking enlisted Marine but the Lt Col thought the body was going back near his hometown and volunteered to do this service. The viewer sees how PFC Chase is treated with respect and honor throughout the long process of going home. As his body passes during the different phases of the trip we see everyone from construction workers to airline employees taking a few minutes to take off their hats and pause with a minute of silence. This movie is in the same mold as “Flight 93” the excellent movie that was based on the true actions of the heroes of flight 93 that stopped the terrorists on 9/11 from crashing their plane into the supposed target of Washington DC. In that movie there were no big names because the producer wanted everyone to see the heroes of that flight as the common man, people just like you and me that arouse to the occasion in horrible circumstances. “Taking Chance” has only one recognizable name, Keven Bacon who played the Lt. Col who was nominated for a award for his performance. The movie isn't trying to get any political point across. You can be for or against the war in Iraq. It doesn't matter. What you will experience is the traditions of how the military treats their dead and the kindness of strangers to someone they have never met. Here is a link to a excellent first hand account by Lt. Col Strobl on his journey taking Chance back home. Story . We live in a fast paced, busy world but I wish people would take an hour and half out of their lives to sit back and watch a powerful movie such as this. Most people are never aware of the behind the scene events that make up such a trip to return the remains of war dead back to their families. No detail is too small. It starts with the recovery of the dead on the battlefield thousands of miles away to lowering the casket in the ground back home. This HBO movie also has been nominated for numerous awards. Some accounts have Chance being a Lcpl others a PFC. I think what happened is Chance got promoted posthumously to Lcpl.
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