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Bloviating Zeppelin: Taking Chance

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Taking Chance

On April 9th of 2004, Marine PFC Chance Phelps (3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California) was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom by a gunshot wound received in combat west of Baghdad.

Lt. Col. Mike Strobl, USMC, volunteered to escort the remains of PFC Phelps from Dover AFB in Delaware to his home in Dubois, Wyoming -- where Chance Phelps was buried on April 17th of 2004.

HBO Films has released a new movie entitled "Taking Chance," and I saw it on HBO this past Wednesday. It was wonderful, solemn, moving, respectful. You need to see this film.

Until I saw the end, I did not realize that it was based upon a real incident and portrayed a real American warrior. HBO is to be commended for its release.

I submit that you're just not an American if some tears don't course down your cheeks watching "Taking Chance." It does something that few films have done in years for America: it sheds hope, holds up courage and honor, and portrays normal, regular people. For a few hours I was able to remember what America, true America, is really about. And true Americans just don't seem to live in big cities any more.

What an amazing film. What an amazing soldier. Where do we find these fine young men? And more importantly, where can we continue to find them in our future?

Please, watch "Taking Chance" on HBO. When it comes to DVD, it will reside in my personal collection. I will never forget this film. You won't either.



And finally, please see Average American's wonderful post here, about The Sack Lunch.


Blogger Average American said...

BZ, you've really outdone yourself here man. I've been here and visiting your links for at least 2 hours, and I have hardly stopped crying all that time. The original text at blackfive is a definite must-read! Well done Marine!

Fri Mar 06, 01:48:00 AM PST  
Blogger dons_mind said...

it is indeed a great movie!

Fri Mar 06, 04:42:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

I learned of this movie on the local news.

The stewardess that gave the cross pin to the colonel lives in the Memphis area.

I'll have to wait for the DVD, though.

Fri Mar 06, 04:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

I could say so much but you BZ have said it all.

It is a great movie.

Fri Mar 06, 05:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger cary said...

I'm going to have to wait for the DVD also. The dish is going away this month, in another budget decision, and I haven't had HBO since the dish was first installed.

Everything I have read has indicated, to me, that this is a must-see. Thanks for the review, BZ.

Fri Mar 06, 07:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Truth be told, I don't have HBO at my cabin; I watched it at the wife's house. But this is the kind of movie I'll watch again if for no other reason than to remind myself, in tough times, that there are still Americans who believe in honoring our warriors simply because of who they are. I need to believe that. I need to believe the bulk of Americans believe this -- though sometimes I think I'm deluding myself.

And AA, everyone needs to see your post I linked. Everyone.


Fri Mar 06, 07:46:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

My husband loved that movie.
I haven't seen it yet. I said it looked too sad. He laughed and said, "This from the woman who watches "Sands of Iwo Jima" two times a year." (On Memorial Day and Veteran's Day)
Thanks for the links BZ.

Fri Mar 06, 08:32:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

JM: check out my comment to you on my last post; I would be curious. Also, I'm gonna order one of your books for my wife, the newest about the coast guardsman and Dutch Harbor; I just have to figure out which bookreader she uses -- or I'll order a hard copy.


Fri Mar 06, 08:37:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

Oh, thanks BZ. I did read your comment on that post. I really appreciate the compliments.
And I hope your wife doesn't mind a little bit of erotic literature.

For a little background (since you asked), I registered as a Democrat at 18. I've always been more of a moderate who would lean right or left depending on the topic.
As a younger voter, I was a bit of a sheep.
Clinton was my wake up call. I was fooled by him, as were many others.
Waco, Ruby Ridge, attrition in the local fishing industry, the destruction of logging in my area all combined to drive me to the GOP party.
I'm not a conservative, however.
I don't like big government, but I'm pro-choice and I've been on welfare at times.
I'm pro military and pro Israel. I voted for McCain because he's the only one who told the truth about the War in Iraq. Once we took on the task, we have to finish
the job.
Obama scares me because it seems like no one will check him because he's so popular.
I mistrusted the message immediately and nothing I've seen disproves my reservations.
I don't get to be a sheep anymore.
I don't like the United Nations and I'm convinced the World Bank is going to own this country some day. With everything going global and our country free falling into massive debt, we'll be in hot water very soon.
But that's a whole other rant. LOL.

Fri Mar 06, 12:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger Z said...

That video I have at my place makes me cry, too....I hope you can see it, it gave me hope...Sometimes, you see young men showing love for this country and you can't help but cry!

I'll definitely try to see this..thanks BZ!!

Fri Mar 06, 03:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Jennifer: if you have the time, can you send me an e-mail? I have a question for you.

Z: if you watch "Taking Chance" you will NOT be disappointed; you will be lifted and affirmed.


Fri Mar 06, 04:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

I'll have to wait for the DVD as I currently don't have HBO. I'll see it thought.

Fri Mar 06, 08:25:00 PM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I only have basic cable and didn't get to see this. But I did blog the story here.

Fri Mar 06, 09:55:00 PM PST  
Blogger RGROLAND said...

Watched it last night. Very emotional!! Very well made and a great story.

Sun Mar 08, 06:33:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I have watched "Taking Chance" three times. It is an incredibly special story that every American should watch. It is a beautiful, heart wrenching reminder of the respect that is owed to each and every fallen Marine and Soldier...and their most honorable escorts. Watch it when you can and pass the word along. Kevin Bacon must be incredibly proud to have been so honored to perform as Lt. Col. Michael R. Strobl.

Tue Mar 31, 12:09:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am British and watched this tonight, it is one the most powerful stories I have ever seen or heard. PFC Chance Phelps is a name I shall never forget.
I often wonder where has all human nature and compassion gone even more so when it comes to the limited support of our men and women in harms way. The film left me wanting to do something and I now feel like I need to know all the names of the fallen ....or at least say them out loud.
This truly moved me.
God Bless & God Speed to all of our Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Son's, Daughters, Grandson's and Grandaughters

Sun Apr 12, 06:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger An American First said...

As a defector from the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I do have to make a few clarifications regarding the movie "Taking Chance".

Contrary to what others may think (and what I have read from them), this movie is not "right-wing propaganda to glorify death in the military", or intended as "a military recruiting tool". It is none of that, and shame on anyone who dares make that accusation. The truly amazing thing is that this is an HBO production that is so untypically apolitical. It does not take a stance on the war one way or another. The only reason Iraq is even mentioned is because that's where he was killed.

Director Ross Katz and HBO are to be highly commended for telling this true tale for exactly what it was.....the final journey home of a young man who joined the Marine Corps knowing exactly what may (and probably would) lay ahead during his service.

This is also a story about how average Americans, regardless of political affiliation, put aside their opinions to pay whatever homage they can when they encounter one of our fallen heroes. Rest assured that all those who pay their respects to our service people come from all political affiliations and belief systems.

That is what makes this true story so heartwarming at it's core. It shows that we can put aside our petty differences when we come in contact with something of a much greater importance.....such as the coffin containing a service person who made the ultimate sacrifice for every single one of us. When we see that flag-draped casket, I doubt a single person wonders if the person inside was a Liberal, a Conservative, or a Communist. We simply see an it should be.

There aren't many people in the political landscape who would truly put their own lives on the line for their specific belief systems. However, these heroes sacrificed their lives for every belief system, especially those contrary to their own.

It should also be noted that PFC Chance Phelps' actions in the battle which took his life were actually far more heroic than portrayed in the movie and some may wonder why this wasn't told.

This omission was done intentionally to inform us that it is not only combat heroes who are afforded these honors, but any service person who dies while serving his or her country....whether it be a Sgt who has a heart attack while working KP, or a motor pool Pvt killed by an exploding tire, or a A/F Reserve Cpt killed in a helicopter crash during routine training.

The fact is that each and every person who dies in service of our country is treated as a hero and no differentiation is made between the nature of their passing or in the way they are treated during that final process.

"Taking Chance" is a rare movie that transcends politics or religion. It reminds us that Americans, when not faced with political peer pressure, will generally do the "human" thing and openly mourn for people we never knew, and mourn even more that we will never have the opportunity to know them. The emotions portrayed are not contrived or embellished, they are very subtle, solemn, yet extremely powerful. There was no need for added dialogue as the faces of those citizens spoke volumes about their feelings toward this young hero.

In closing, this movie should be required viewing by every citizen who has exercised any right which was preserved through the sacrifice of our heroes in uniform.

I will go one step further than BZ. If you watch this movie and do not shed a single tear, you are not "unamerican", you are inhuman.

Fri Nov 13, 09:16:00 AM PST  

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