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An Afghanistan valley steeped in insurgency is the eponymous setting for this gallant portrait of a group of U.S. soldiers fighting in the face of certain defeat. Why the Kamdesh base came to be known as “Camp Custer” will soon become all too apparent. Scott Eastwood stars in this adaptation of Jake Tapper’s exhaustively researched book, and not unlike Papa Clint’s Tightrope, when viewed at home, several of the inkier nocturnal sequences may require the use of night vision goggles. (In a note to critics, director Rod Lurie asks that viewers “try and replicate the theater experience as much as possible...as there are a few night scenes that may get lost otherwise.”) Names printed on screen introduce each character, no matter the size of their role. Undoubtedly a fine way to honor the heroes, but mighty damn confusing for an audience, particularly when it’s so dark one can barely discern facial features. Unquestionably grim, but an exquisitely executed long take on a suspension bridge held more thrills than anything in the gimmicky 1917. Just make sure the lights are low and the brightness level cranked. With Caleb Landry Jones surpassing all past performances as a real-life hero Ty Michael Carter, a specialist in saving lives. (2020) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 2 hours, 3 minutes
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I was at Blessing with TF and some dudes from Regiment, along with a few tiered assets when this went down. Some of the worst shit I've ever seen in almost 20 years. Pilots wouldn't fly in to provide CCA because the area was to hot, sustained fire for hours, no way out or in. Basically a fishbowl with a two way gun range. The dudes that defended this place not only repelled the initial insider attack but continued to fight for hours after ward. I'll never forget the faces of the men we picked up when they finally let additional assets in to the area. Most of the guys we checked for IDs and dog tags had been shot in the back, the worst situation I've seen, and I'll never forget it. The COP was retrograded afterwards, all ordnance expended, etc; A10s flying low over the valley dropping ordnance as a deterrance to counter attack and to eliminate resistance.

The best way to honor these men is to remember them, remember their families when you think of your loved ones, they had wives and children that will never see their husbands/fathers again. That's the reality of war, it's not something to cherish, you experience incredible highs and lows, tremendous joy and pain, there's nothing like it, and you will never ever forget it. I would never take back the time I had, and I know most guys say the same, but it won't change the pain I feel when I think of those dudes and so many others you get to know along the way.

Watch the movie, and if you have your own story, pass it on to others if you can, the real story is always passed down by the warriors that saw it, just like the old skaldic traditions.

"Give strong drink to those who are perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart." Proverbs 31:6

"We fought with swords, before Boring-holmi. We held bloody shields: we stained our spears. Showers of arrows break the shield in pieces. The bow sent forth the glittering steel. Volnir fell in the conflict, than who there was not a greater king. Wide on the shores lay the scattered dead: the wolves rejoiced over their prey."

July 4, 2020

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