Monday, May 16, 2011

365 Movies Day #48 "Restrepo"

From 2006 to 2007 I spent 6 months in Afghanistan as a logistics officer with the Air Force helping out the Army with some accountability issues. I was based out of Salerno and while living in a tent, we had a BX, a gym and a coffee shop with a bazaar open 6 days a week. I spent time in some more austere locations like FB Shkin, Warrior, JBad, and Sharana. I even hung at the metropolis which is Bagram...or at Kandahar (which until a rocket attack killed several troops) had a Canadian street hockey rink where you could eat doughnuts and watch the Canadians rip it up. I also got some great training out of the deal in Oklahoma just prior learning convoy ops and combat lifesaver skills from the Army. I did 2 10 minute convoys in theater and was never shot at while cruising in my convoy. I did a lot of chopper rides in Blackhawks and Chinooks...took some small arms fire. Also, my base was rocketed a lot, but you learn quickly to deal with it...and the enemy was a HORRIBLE shot.

I never experienced ANYTHING like the folks at Restrepo. I know a lot of people who did. I still found it hard to watch. It's a beautifully respectful and affectionate view of our troops in combat. It's REAL. It gives you such a feeling of being there in a way I never was.

In closing, I want to say thank you to Tim Hetherington for being the ultimate badass and making this movie. For those of you who don't know, Tim was killed recently while filming the conflict in Libya. While I saw all sorts of RIP for every manner of actor and such, not a word was mentioned on my facebook wall about his passing. He was a true hero of filmmaking.


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