Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Watch “Taking Chance” on HBO tonight

February 21st, 2009 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Dear Gang
Tonight there is a movie on HBO called “Taking Chance” about the return of a young warrior killed in Iraq. Kevin Bacon plays LtCol Michael Strobl, who on a personal note, floated during the Gulf War with my best friend and fellow Marine, Parker Perkins, and this is his story of bringing home Lcpl Chance Phelps. I remember reading this before I went to Iraq and it’s one of those emails that you never forget. It moves you in a way that I can’t describe and yes, as I type this email, tears are welling into my eyes. Marines pride themselves on never leaving a Marine behind and when it comes to completing their final journey, it’s an emotional time we all help with. Having been the guy to notify the next of kin (NOK) of a Marines death, I know that this movie will fill my eyes with tears but will swell my heart with pride. The synopsis of the movie is included below. I highly suggest taking tonight off and watching this powerful movie on HBO and if you don’t have it, call your friend and ask them to Tivo it.

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. His first-person account, which began as an official trip report, gives an insight into the military’s policy of providing a uniformed escort for all casualties. The story became an Internet phenomenon when it was widely circulated throughout the military community and eventually reached the mainstream media.

‘Taking Chance’ chronicles one of the silent, virtually unseen journeys that takes place every day across the country, bearing witness to the fallen and all those who, literally and figuratively, carry them home. A uniquely non-political film about the war in Iraq, the film pays tribute to all of the men and women who have given their lives in military service as well as their families.

An HBO Films presentation of a Motion Picture Corporation of America and Civil Dawn Pictures production, Taking Chance marks the directorial debut of two-time Oscar®-nominated producer Ross Katz (‘Lost in Translation’). The screenplay is by Lt. Col Michael R. Strobl, USMC (Ret.) and Ross Katz, based on the journal of the same name by Strobl, who also serves as military consultant. Strobl, who recently retired after serving 24 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, developed the original story with the strong support of Phelps’ parents, John Phelps and Gretchen Mack. The executive producers are Brad Krevoy (‘A Love Song for Bobby Long’), Cathy Wischner-Sola and Ross Katz; the co-executive producer is William Teitler (HBO’s ‘Empire Falls’); and the producer is Lori Keith Douglas (‘The Notorious Bettie Page’). HBO Films vice president Jenni Sherwood is the executive in charge of the production.