Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movie Review: Taking Chance starring Kevin Bacon

Last night Roger and I sat down and watched "Taking Chance," the most moving film I've probably ever seen. Kevin Bacon plays Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a career Marine who early in the Iraqi war is assigned a job as a numbers cruncher in Quantico. At night he peruses the casualty lists religiously. One night he sees the name of a young Marine from his Colorado hometown, Pfc. Chance Phelps, on the casualty list. Strobl has never met Phelps, nor does he know of him, but he requests permission to escort the body home. This movie is about the real-life trip from Dover, Delaware, where Phelps' body is prepared, to a small Wyoming town where he will be buried. It turns out that Phelps was not from his hometown after all.

The depth of appreciation, honor and respect that Strobl and Phelps receives on this trip home is very moving, and brings people together in honoring this fallen soldier. Strobl finds that everyone he encounters--the cargo handlers, pilots, ticket agents, airline stewardess, etc., understands and respects this solemn mission in providing the last full measure of honor and dignity to this young soldier who lost his life in that war.

I think the message that I came away with was that Americans do care and are decent people, no matter their view on the war and military.