Sunday, March 11, 2012

Act of Valor (R)


“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

If you haven’t seen Act of Valor yet, you should. I don’t care what your preferred genre is. Do it for no other reason than to show support of our Armed Forces. But! I wouldn’t take your kids. I think they should know about the sacrifices of the men and women serving our country but the violence and language are probably a tad much for them right now.

The following summary from IMDB pretty well sums it up:
“An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure. Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home. Each time they accomplish their mission, a new piece of intelligence reveals another shocking twist to the deadly terror plot, which stretches from Chechnya to the Philippines and from Ukraine to Somalia. The widening operation sends the SEALs across the globe as they track the terrorist ring to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they engage in an epic firefight with an outcome that has potentially unimaginable consequences for the future of America. Written by Relativity Media”

The acting isn’t the greatest in the world but if you take in to account that a good portion of the actors aren’t actors at all but Navy SEALS you let it go and just enjoy the movie. Enjoy is probably the wrong word but it’s the best I’ve got right now. There is a lot of action in this movie but it also shows some of their home life too. It’s a reminder of some of the things we take for granted. Things like having your husband beside you when you have your baby or having your spouse at home every evening after work. Not having to constantly worry about the danger your loved one is in and whether they will be coming home alive and in one piece at the end of their tour. I witnessed first-hand one of my co-workers getting the news that her son had been shot while on duty overseas. How helpless and scared she must have felt. And then what must the soldiers be going through? They are put in life-threatening situations. Do they complete their missions while worrying about making it back to their families or do they have to put these thoughts from their minds entirely in order to do what must be done?

I’m not going to break this movie down. I gave my opinion earlier regarding children watching this and I’ll let you take it from there. Act of Valor made me proud to be a US citizen while at the same time ashamed that my “service” wasn’t longer. I would go back in now if I could.

As mentioned at the very beginning, I think all adults and older teenagers should see this movie. Having said that, I am positive my mom wouldn’t make it through. I love that any kind of violence upsets her and that she hasn’t become numb to it. I know too that she has the utmost respect for our soldiers and would support them by going to the movie if she could. If you truly cannot stomach violence of any sort, don’t go see this. But! I do encourage you to find another way to support our Armed Forces. Check out organizations such as Blue Star Mothers of America. They were there for my co-worker when she went to visit her son in the hospital when he came back stateside and they sound like an amazing group. Care packages are always welcomed too. Just find a way. If these men and women can set aside years of their lives to protect us, would it really hurt us to set aside a few hours/days for them? I don’t think so.

Following are a few links that I know of that support our troops. You’ll also notice, in my sidebar, a picture link that directs you to a baking site. Operation Baking Gals is a group of women who encourage others to join in monthly mailings of cookies and treats to our men and women serving overseas. Every month. Not just once in a while. One group even sends the treats to soldiers who are stateside but are in a Veterans Hospital. It may seem like so little but imagine being the soldier who gets those boxes to share with the members of his or her platoon/company. It’s got to be nice knowing that you’re being thought of by more than your family and friends. That you’re not just another blurb on the nightly news, if even that.

Blue Star Mothers of America
Operation Baking Gals
Troops Support This is a list of different volunteer organizations that support our troops.
Adopt a Platoon Spouse Another list of organizations.

Finally, I want to send out my appreciation to these men and women making daily sacrifices so that I have the freedoms I enjoy each day. I also want to mention the families of these soldiers. I know their loved ones are fighting for this country but it’s their faces and memories and encouragement the soldiers take with them. “Thank you” just isn’t enough.

P.S. If you know of any other volunteer organizations that should be listed above please let me know so they can be added.

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