Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

Making movies about war situations to me is a difficult thing.

There is the intense planning and choreography of people and debris and bullets or bombs.

It is why I appreciate war movies even if they are not my favorite genre. To give a compelling performance while hearing the sounds of warfare, to perform as things blow up around you must be quite difficult. At some point, despite knowing it is all pretend, this must feel real. The bombings and the dust and the potential to lose limb or life.

I remember an interview with Charleston Heston who stated that in one movie he had to walk through a crowd as they cheered him on and how it was easy to walk along feeling proud. All of these people were cheering for him and it was great!

Megan LeaveyOne of the newer movies to come to the home video market has me intrigued but my attempts to see it without buying it have been unsuccessful. Megan Leavey is about a young woman who becomes a marine in order to escape the troubles of her life.

Disciplinary problems follow and one of her jobs is to take care of the cages of the military dogs. One of the most incorrigible dogs is Rex, a huge German Shepard bomb sniffing dog. Somehow, they bond and become a team. Woman and dog work well together till one day a bomb goes off too close and both are injured.

Another movie that came out last year set during an active theater is Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield. Directed by Mel Gibson who has always had a knack for war scenes, this movie tells the story of a conscientious objector who managed to save 75 men during the battle of Okinawa.

Hacksaw RidgeThe man is a soldier who doesn’t want to shoot anyone so he is the group medic. When does his fellow soldiers begin to like him? Right about the time that Desmond proves his worth and saves this large group of men during a nasty, nasty battle.

It is these aspects that non-veterans may not understand but we try. We see these movies and grow to understand how bonds are built through the work of war. You don’t have to agree with war to be a great co-hort with the rest of your troop members. You don’t have to get along with people to discover a useful role within your platoon.

While us civilians may not understand everything it takes to be a soldier, to be a good soldier, we do try. And in that trying, we hope that we give the respect deserved to the men and women who make the sacrifice to serve our country and serve it well.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.