Taking Chance - A Reminder to Never Forget Our Fallen Soldiers

I know my blog normally covers topics related to my profession, but I was moved by watching a movie and felt I wanted to express my thoughts on my blog. I hope you continue reading even though this is off topic for my blog.
My wife and I have been avid Netflix customers for quite some time (probably some of the first customers!). While adding some movies to our queue a movie caught my eye in the recommended movies section. The title was *Taking Chance*, and according to the summary it starred Kevin Bacon and covered the true story of a Marine escorting a fallen Marine back home. Interesting I thought, and added it to the queue. I am so glad I did.
The movie itself was based on an article written by Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, which covered his journey in escorting PFC Chance Phelps back home. Phelps was killed while serving in combat in Iraq. I do not want to tell his entire story, as I could not do it justice, so I would recommend watching the movie. You can read the article written by [Lt. Col. Michael Strobl here](http://www.nea.gov/national/homecoming/submissions/strobl.html). The movie is based on this account of the journey.
Personally, I have always held a special place in my heart for those whom have served our nation and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I have many family members who are active military and have served tours of combat in Iraq. My father is retired from the Army Reserves after serving well over 20 years of service to our country. I have always admired my dad for his service to this country.
I believe that many people do not realize the great sacrifices that our service members and their families have endured in the past and will endure in the future. The next time you are doing something you love to do, take a second to remember those who gave their lives so you could do that. The next time you are watching or enjoying your favorite sport, remember what made that possible. We cannot and will not forgot those who have paid the ultimate price for protecting the freedoms of this country. From the shores of Normandy to the sand of Iraq all of our fallen soldiers are heroes.
In closing I will leave you with the letter that was read in the movie *Saving Private Ryan* by General George C. Marshall to the mother of five sons, all killed in battle:
*Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln.* Below are a few video clips, the first from a PBS show where you will hear the last few paragraphs of the Lt. Col. Strobl’s article. The second and third are from the movie.


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