Monday, May 08, 2006

Jarhead and Afghanistan

Friday evening I was a bit restless, since I didn't want to study anymore, but I also couldn't go out, since I needed to be up in the morning for the exam. So I decided to rent a DVD. When I got to the DVD store, they were a bit cleared out, which seems to happen on the weekends...but they still had a copy of Jarhead. I had heard a lot about the movie, mostly criticism, since I read a lot of military sites, and many thought the film was anti-military.

So I watched the film, ready to get ticked off. But I didn't. All that happened was I got bored. I can't believe they actually made a movie out of Swafford's sob story. Oh, poor you, you joined the Marines, and you didn't like it. Oh, poor you, you joined the Marines and were sent to the desert to sit around waiting for a war to happen for 6 months, and you got bored out of your mind. Oh, poor you, that finally when war happened, it was so anti-climatic for you, and such a let-down for your sniper buddy, because you didn't even get to shoot your gun. Poor you.

Really, Swafford was lucky that he got his book manuscript published before OIF started. Perhaps his story was interesting for some, but his book is literally equivalent to someone sitting in Kuwait writing a book, moaning about how boring it was, how hot, how he got into trouble and was punished, how his girlfriend left him, etc.

I am sure that most people watching the film nowadays just wonders, what was he complaining about? I guess, perhaps I am so used reading blogs from soldiers telling more graphic and moving stories than that, but the film seemed like a complete waste of time...except perhaps for Jake dancing in his thong...and the soundtrack from the early 90s.

However, one line rang true. At the end of the movie, he said: “We are still in the desert.” And I very much understood what he meant, because part of me still feels like my boyfriend is still deployed. That the deployment has become a part of who I am.

Saturday morning I woke up, made some coffee and turned on the computer. And there in the headlines something took me right back to the deployment: “Chinook crash in Afghanistan.”
So many thoughts ran through my mind: The families of those in the helicopter unit hoping that their love ones are alright, the families who will get the worse news. The families of the passengers, hoping and praying that their soldier wasn't on that helicopter. I wondered about a soldier I know in the 10th Mountain Division who is based very near to where the crash was. I wondered if my boyfriend had heard about the crash yet.

Yesterday I got a short note from my friend serving in Afghanistan, that he was okay. The families are still being notified, so the names of those fallen haven't been released yet. As the Chinook community is so small, it will surely be familiar names to some guys in our unit. I feel very much for the families going through the notification process right now, and I once again, feel like half my heart is in Afghanistan. And I guess a part of it will always be there.


Blogger erika said...

It's funny how the deployment never really leaves you. When I heard the news yesterday of the Chinook crash, my first thought was, Oh God, Matt. It took me a second - he's here, at home, and he's okay - but something still feels dislodged in me when I hear those stories. Someone's lost someone, and someone's praying to God that their loved one is okay because they've still heard nothing.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

After all the reviews I read, I had no wish to see Jarhead at all. You've got a stronger stomach than I have. *grin*

As for the crash, I think for all of us, it was a flashback moment. The heart clutches, the stomach sinks, you feel slightly sick. The words No! It can't be! Shoot through your head. *sigh*

6:51 AM  
Blogger Homefront Six said...

The closeness of the Chinook community is a blessing and a curse. I dread hearing the names. I dread this upcoming deployment. And yes, there is the flashback to last year and BW25. It's just all too close.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Household6 said...

The hubby and I were just talking about this subject too. A few months back when he was deployed a chinook went down with people we knew (I really didn't but they were soldiers he worked with). It broke my heart then and this does now. They are someone's family, someone's son, someon's father or husband.

And yes just like Erika, I sort of had that feeling in the back of my mind and called the hubby to make sure he was alright. I probably will until the day he retires.

8:49 AM  
Blogger kbug said...

I too was disappointed by the movie. The parts I enjoyed were the parts where they were so Marine-like...I've heard stories from my dad. But all in all I had very mixed feelings about the movie and won't watch it opposed to Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers, which I own and have already watched several times..... :)

6:44 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Jarhead...I just watched that movie a few weeks ago with my husband. We hadn't heard good things but I's not that bad. I, too, was afraid that it would negatively portray Marines but I think it was pretty fair. As far as military movies go, my favorite is always, "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson. Great show.

1:26 AM  

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