Taking Chance

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cyclonepride, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
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    #1 Cyclonepride, Feb 21, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
    I watched this movie tonight on HBO, and I would highly recommend this to anyone. In fact, I would say that everyone should watch it. It's heart wrenching and beautiful.

    HBO Films: Taking Chance

    Please don't send this to the politics forum either......it doesn't belong there.
     
  2. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
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    Just a quick description, this movie is based on the true story of Marine Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who was killed in Iraq. It is written by the Marine Lieutenant who had the honor of escorting him home.
     
  3. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
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    B
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    P

    No, really. You should watch it.:yes:
     
  4. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus Well-Known Member

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    Just a note, it was Lieutenant COLONEL Michael Strobl who escorted LCpl Chance Phelp's body home.
     
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  5. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus Well-Known Member

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    #5 Phaedrus, Feb 22, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
    And, screw the brief description, here's the whole article. Took my five times to make it through it.
    http://www.hbo.com/films/takingchance/article/index.html

    In April 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl, USMC, came across the name of 19-year-old Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, a young Marine who had been killed by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran with 17 years of military service, requested that he be assigned for military escort duty to accompany Chance's remains to his family in Dubois, Wyo.

    Witnessing the spontaneous outpouring of support and respect for the fallen Marine - from the groundskeepers he passed along the road to the cargo handlers at the airport - Strobl was moved to capture the experience in his personal journal, writing Taking Chance.

    Taking Chance
    Chance Phelps was wearing his Saint Christopher medal when he was killed on Good Friday. Eight days later, I handed the medallion to his mother. I didn't know Chance before he died. Today, I miss him.

    Over a year ago, I volunteered to escort the remains of Marines killed in Iraq should the need arise. The military provides a uniformed escort for all casualties to ensure they are delivered safely to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and respect along the way.

    Thankfully, I hadn't been called on to be an escort since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The first few weeks of April, however, had been a tough month for the Marines. On the Monday after Easter I was reviewing Department of Defense press releases when I saw that a Private First Class Chance Phelps was killed in action outside of Baghdad. The press release listed his hometown — the same town I'm from. I notified our Battalion adjutant and told him that, should the duty to escort PFC Phelps fall to our Battalion, I would take him.

    I didn't hear back the rest of Monday and all day Tuesday until 1800. The Battalion duty NCO called my cell phone and said I needed to be ready to leave for Dover Air Force Base at 1900 in order to escort the remains of PFC Phelps.

    Before leaving for Dover I called the major who had the task of informing Phelps's parents of his death. The major said the funeral was going to be in Dubois, Wyoming. (It turned out that PFC Phelps only lived in my hometown for his senior year of high school.) I had never been to Wyoming and had never heard of Dubois.

    With two other escorts from Quantico, got to Dover AFB at 2330 on Tuesday night. First thing on Wednesday we reported to the mortuary at the base. In the escort lounge there were about half a dozen Army soldiers and about an equal number of Marines waiting to meet up with "their" remains for departure. PFC Phelps was not ready, however, and I was told to come back on Thursday. Now, at Dover with nothing to do and a solemn mission ahead, I began to get depressed.

    I was wondering about Chance Phelps. I didn't know anything about him; not even what he looked like. I wondered about his family and what it would be like to meet them. I did pushups in my room until I couldn't do any more.

    On Thursday morning I reported back to the mortuary. This time there was a new group of Army escorts and a couple of the Marines who had been there Wednesday. There was also an Air Force captain there to escort his brother home to San Diego.

    We received a brief covering our duties, the proper handling of the remains, the procedures for draping a flag over a casket, and of course, the paperwork attendant to our task. We were shown pictures of the shipping container and told that each one contained, in addition to the casket, a flag. I was given an extra flag since Phelps's parents were divorced. This way they would each get one. I didn't like the idea of stuffing the flag into my luggage but I couldn't see carrying a large flag, folded for presentation to the next of kin, through an airport while in my Alpha uniform. It barely fit into my suitcase.

    It turned out that I was the last escort to leave on Thursday. This meant that I repeatedly got to participate in the small ceremonies that mark all departures from the Dover AFB mortuary.

    Most of the remains are taken from Dover AFB by hearse to the airport in Philadelphia for air transport to their final destination. When the remains of a service member are loaded onto a hearse and ready to leave the Dover mortuary, there is an announcement made over the building's intercom system. With the announcement, all service members working at the mortuary, regardless of service branch, stop work and form up along the driveway to render a slow ceremonial salute as the hearse departs. Escorts also participated in each formation until it was their time to leave.

    On this day there were some civilian workers doing construction on the mortuary grounds. As each hearse passed, they would stop working and place their hard hats over their hearts. This was my first sign that my mission with PFC Phelps was larger than the Marine Corps and that his family and friends were not grieving alone.

    Eventually I was the last escort remaining in the lounge. The Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant in charge of the Marine liaison there came to see me. He had Chance Phelps's personal effects. He removed each item; a large watch, a wooden cross with a lanyard, two loose dog tags, two dog tags on a chain, and a Saint Christopher medal on a silver chain. Although we had been briefed that we might be carrying some personal effects of the deceased, this set me aback. Holding his personal effects, I was starting to get to know Chance Phelps.

    Finally we were ready. I grabbed my bags and went outside. I was somewhat startled when I saw the shipping container, loaded three-quarters of the way in to the back of a black Chevy Suburban that had been modified to carry such cargo. This was the first time I saw my "cargo" and I was surprised at how large the shipping container was. The Master Gunnery Sergeant and I verified that the name on the container was Phelps's then they pushed him the rest of the way in and we left. Now it was PFC Chance Phelps's turn to receive the military — and construction workers' — honors. He was finally moving towards home.

    As I chatted with the driver on the hour-long trip to Philadelphia, it became clear that he considered it an honor to be able to contribute in getting Chance home. -LtCOL Michael Strobl
     
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  6. Cyclonepride

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    One last time before I let it go (maybe). This is a powerful movie that everyone should see.
     
  7. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry I wasn't able to see it. I remember reading the article, and tearing up so bad I couldn't make it through it.

    It made me not give a crap less about how some stupid College athletic team was doing.

    I hear they gave it the treatment it deserved, and cannot wait to see a rebroadcast. Alone, of course, so noone else can see me fall apart.
     
  8. JHudd

    JHudd Well-Known Member

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    I have it DVR'd, just waiting for a good time to watch it, I have heard good things about the way the film was done.

    Maybe everyone missed it being on HBO since a week ago or so they all wanted to cancel based upon the Pelosi film/prop.
     
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  9. akclone

    akclone Well-Known Member
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    I watched it twice last night and felt it was a wonderful tribute to Chance Phelps, his family, and those in the military who are tasked with carying out this sensitve service with honor and respect.
     
  10. Cyclonepride

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    They did give it the treatment it deserved. Very little to no politicization of it. My wife was nice and didn't look over at me a lot during the movie.
     
  11. akclone

    akclone Well-Known Member
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    After watching the movie I was thinking about those heartless members of the Westboro Baptist church in Kansas and wondering how do they reconcile with themselves protesting a military funeral? It's such a terrible show of disrespect that does nothing but pour salt on the open wound these familes are dealing with.

    They publish their protest schedule online and they will be at Arlington National tomorrow for a Marine funeral.
     
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  12. JRE1975

    JRE1975 Active Member

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    Outstanding show, everyone should make an effort to watch it.
     
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  13. cyeah

    cyeah Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this has been discussed before but HBO has done a movie about the escort of a KIA in Iraq with Kevin Bacon starring. From everythin I have heard and read this story is a compelling read and movie regardless of you views on the war.

    If you have HBO it would be worth your time to take a look.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtmiLdzzgGE]YouTube - "Taking Chance" trailer[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iphqTnVkOA]YouTube - Taking Chance: Conversation with Lt. Col. Michael Strobl and Kevin Bacon (HBO)[/ame]
     
  14. cyclonefan59

    cyclonefan59 Member

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    A very powerful story. It is sad that our liberal press forced us to bring these brave men and women back without publicly honoring them. I hope another movie is done to tell the story of the motor cycle group that protected the grieving families from the war protesters during their funerals.

    This topic is important to me because I have a son that had two tours in Iraq and was seriously wounded during his first tour, but couldn't wait to get back with his company as he felt it was his duty.
     
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  15. 1100011CS

    1100011CS Well-Known Member

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    links? sounds interesting.
     
  16. cyeah

    cyeah Well-Known Member

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    The group is called The Patriot Gaurds - they ride procession along every route a fallen military member travels by ground.

    Patriot Guard Riders
     
  17. Phaedrus

    Phaedrus Well-Known Member

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  18. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
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    Create three more threads if you want. The more people that see this, the better!
     
  19. isucyfan

    isucyfan Speechless

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    Threads merged!

    Sorry, I still hope lots of people see it!
     
  20. cyeah

    cyeah Well-Known Member

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    It was very well done as the clips attest to. Sorry I did not know it was already discussed.

    I guess there is still hope for our country when our fallen are rendered respect due.

    There is alot more info at Blackfive - actualle there are a ton of Chance Phelps out there.

    BLACKFIVE: Someone You Should Know Archives

    Spend some time getting to know some of these heroes.
     

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