Friday, 27 November 2009

Taking Chance


My plans for yesterday didn't quite work out. I had intended to spend much of the day studying, but after a 12-hour shift on Wednesday at an observational placement, which was a complete waste of time; I couldn't seem to find the motivation to pick up my books. Instead, we ended up watching a very emotional film, which we have seen before.

Taking Chance is the true story of Lt. Col. Mike Strobl's narrative of his voluntary mission escorting the body of a fellow Marine Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, on his journey home. Mike volunteered for this duty when he realised that they were both born in the same home town in Colorado, but it was only once the mission had begun that he learned that Chance grew up in Wyoming and that it was his family's wish that he should be buried there.

I cannot find the words to describe the emotions that I experienced watching this film. In a way, it is about bearing witness to the fact that there are service personnel dying every day in conflicts around the world and especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The respect shown and the sense of sadness that total strangers experience when they discover that they are accompanying a deceased soldier on his journey home is remarkable.

Although some may be put off by the content of this film, if you have not seen it, I would encourage you to watch it. We owe so much to young men like Chance, who gave their lives in the service of their country.