Over a year ago, I volunteered to escort the remains of Marines killed in Iraq should the need arise. The military provides a uniformed escort for all casualties to ensure they are delivered safely to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and respect along the way.
Thankfully, I hadnâ€™t been called on to be an escort since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The first few weeks of April, however, had been a tough month for the Marines. On the Monday after Easter I was reviewing Department of Defense press releases when I saw that a Private First Class Chance Phelps was killed in action outside of Baghdad. The press release listed his hometownâ€”the same town Iâ€™m from. I notified our Battalion adjutant and told him that, should the duty to escort PFC Phelps fall to our Battalion, I would take him.
Four years ago, Blackfive posted Marine Lt. Colonel Strobl’s accountof his accompanying the remains of a Marine Lance Corporal, LCpl. Chance Phelps, from Dover AFB to Phelps’ home town. It’s an incredibly moving account of the final honor accorded to our bravest and finest that die in service of our country and I found myself getting choked up at several points in reading Lt. Col. Strobl’s story.
Well, HBO has decided to make a film about Strobl and Phelps entitled Taking Chance. It stars Kevin Bacon as Strobl and is due to air February 21st. Here’s the trailer:
Looks like a must-watch. I get choked up watching the trailer too. God bless our men and women in uniform.