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‘Taking Chance’ A Must This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day weekend, like so many others over the years is a time to reflect on those who helped and continue to keep this great nation a free nation. Every year they put out lists of songs and movies that would be appropriate for this day and everyone has their favorite song or movie that best represents what this day means to them. Movies that immediately come to mind would include ‘We Were Soldiers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. While these movies are well done and very emotional, there is one that never seems to be on the list and I would like to add it and recommend it. The movie is the HBO produced ‘Taking Chance’ that chronicles the incredible journey of USMC Lt. Colonel Micheal Strobl who was on military escort duty with the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming for burial. Cpl Phelps was killed by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq while protecting his platoon, he died a hero and he was only 19. The story centers around the incredible outpouring of support Col. Strobl encountered from people who did not know him or Cpl. Phelps during the journey home. There is the scene where the baggage handlers at one airport, while carefully loading the casket on to the plane, stop and line up in silent prayer for the fallen soldier without knowing that Col. Strobl was watching. Another scene involved Col. Strobl encountering another young soldier on escort duty who seems to be struggling, when Col. Strobl asks him where he is headed and the young Private with tears in his eyes, says ‘we are headed home sir, this is my brother’. Kevin Bacon plays Col. Strobl and gives one of the most stirring performances any actor has ever given in my opinion and was Academy Award worthy. Your tears will start very early in this film and will not stop until the very end when it fades to black. This film should be mandatory viewing for all americans about this silent and virtually unseen journey that happens far too often in this country. Please, rent this film, you will be glad you did. God bless you, the men and women of our Armed Forces past and present; we owe you debt that we could never hope to repay. Thank you Col. Strobl and thank you, Cpl. Phelps for your service. To read more about Col. Strobl and see clips from the film including an interview with Kevin Bacon, click here.

Memorial Day
Win McNamee / Getty Images

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