Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Favorite Army Themed Movies

Has a movie ever moved you to tears?  Prompted you to take action?  Told a story you were certain was meant for you?  Movies have a way of touching our lives, sometimes in unexpected ways.  There are many movies made about Army Soldiers and war ... some more accurate than others.  All of them help tell the story that is being an Army Family.  Do any of these movies resonate with you?  Tell your story?  Make you proud to be a Soldier or Army Family?  Frustrate you with inaccuracies? 

We asked our Facebook friends and Twitter followers about their favorite Army-themed movies. We've compiled a list of these favorites from our Army Families. Here is what we gathered from our audience:

  1. We Were Soldiers
  2. Platoon
  3. Saving Private Ryan
  4. Apocalypse Now
  5. Home of the Brave
  6. Black Hawk Down
  7. The Patriot
  8. The Big Red One
  9. The Hurt Locker
  10. GT Bilko
  11. Band of Brothers (series)
  12. In the Army Now
  13. Patton
  14. Stripes
  15. The Longest Day
The first several responses we received told us that "We Were Soldiers" was a top favorite.  "We Were Soldiers" is a 2002 American war film that dramatized the Battle of Ia Drang in November 1965, the first major engagement of United States military forces in the Vietnam War. Directed by Randall Wallace and starring Mel Gibson, it is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway, both of whom were at the battle.  Here is a trailer for the movie:

What are your favorite movies?  We'd love to hear from you!

Join in our conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Are You Eligible for Stop-Loss Pay?

Are you eligible for Stop-Loss pay?
President Obama encourages all servicemembers to apply for Stop-Loss pay if eligible. How do you know if you're eligible or not? Check it out here:

Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

Veterans Administration

U.S. Army Veterans Resources

For more information, visit Army Well-Being: Troops are Encouraged to Apply for Stop-Loss Pay.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Why I Love this Army Life

Guest blogger Kristen Smith is an Army wife who blogs at "That Army Wife Life."  In this post, she shares a glimpse into the life of an Army Family and describes the joys of lifelong friendships forged in some of the most challenging of circumstances.

I have had a truly awful week for the last seven days. Soon, I'll sit down and type it all out but I don't have enough distance yet to do it justice.

Let's just go with I've been really stressed for the last 6 days or so.

I was just as stressed this morning as I attempted to get the house cleaned up, laundry done, start packing, and generally working down the checklist of things that needs to be done before a road trip.

Then, my Soldier called and told me that an old friend of ours was in town for the day and wanted to have lunch. I was planning to just swing through on my way to our baby's 12 month appointment to say, "Hi." But after getting there, I called the Doctor and told them we couldn't make it. Totally the right decision.

You see, the real reason that I love being a member of the Army Family is the people.

The friend we met for lunch was with my Solider at his first assignment and deployed with him on his first deployment. He is one of the people that my Soldier admires. We have some really funny alcohol-related stories about him. He is human and flawed.

But he is also a hero. In the truest, most honest sense of the word. He is an incredibly accomplished and decorated Soldier. In my husband's words, he is one "baaaaaaaad dude."

For four hours today, I watched my Soldier and this friend reminisce about mutual friends, shared battles, and experiences since they last saw each other. They laughed about getting old, recent injuries, and coworkers they didn't like. They speculated about retirement and various job prospects.

In the way that warriors do, they slipped into a shared language. For four hours, this battle-hardened hero played with my one-year-old, joked with me, and commiserated with my Soldier. While discussing a particularly hairy combat experience that occurred while they were deployed together, he casually helped my baby try to climb the restaurant booth.

This is why I love this life. This man is a warrior. A hero. A Soldier's Soldier. "One baaaaaaad dude."  And today, he tickled my son while telling me what his wife has been up to since the last time I saw her.

At it's most basic, this is why we are so strong.

For more information about Army Families, visit Army Well Being: Personal Life.