Military Propaganda? My Thoughts on Lone Survivor
It isn’t often that my husband and I get to actually go to a movie – actually see a movie in the theatre. Our life is a bit hectic; he works (like nearly all military members) a lot. But it was important for both of us to see the movie “Lone Survivor” and we made a point to go together.
It hasn’t been hailed with any great award nominations. No one is talking about great symbolism or progressive thinking or how it motivates you or any of the things critics always say about the types of movies that are always nominated. Nothing about it was progressive or symbolic or motivating.
I have never in my life been in a packed movie theatre that, upon completion, left its viewers silent. I have never been in a theatre where everyone sat in their seats a bit longer and when they did get up, no one was trying to step over anyone else. No one was laughing or slurping up the last of their Icee. No one was pulling out their phone and texting or checking in with the babysitter. Everyone took a moment, stood to exit, and silently walked towards the doors.
No one spoke.
It wasn’t “propaganda”, it most certainly wasn’t “pro-war”.
It was bone-chilling and heart-wrenching and pride-swelling and sorrow-filling. It was the very core of military service.
I think that shows an ultimate divide in our country – whether one believes dying for a nation is honorable or not. Whether one believes choosing to serve is selfish or selfless.
I am an emotional writer. I write my passions, sadness, joy and my anger. As I read more and more into the criticisms of “Lone Survivor” being “military- war propaganda” I was reminded how greatly divided this nation is on our military – on how we view it. I am reminded that my mind frame was once very different than it is now.
Nothing about that movie glorified war. I don’t think it even glorified the American Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airman. It showed the horrors of combat. The gruesome, gory, barbaric misery of battle. It showed the reality our service members face – what they choose.
It saddens me that we live in a nation that sees anything that tells the stories of our dead and of our living – the stories of those who choose to fight – as “war-porn”.
I will not apologize for being proud of my nation and of its military. I will not apologize for serving this community. I will not apologize for honoring the fallen, for remembering their names, for teaching my children to respect the flag, to love their nation, to serve beyond self.
I will not apologize for loving my country.
Nothing about that makes me “pro-war”.
No one knows the despair of war more than a nation’s soldiers. No one knows the horror of a battle more than those who willingly entered into a conflict they did not choose.
People from every walk of life gave two hours of their lives to get a glimpse, paused their lives to understand.
I did not leave that theatre hungry for war. I left that theatre aching for peace.
“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”