Taking Chance: Movie Review
“I felt that, as long as he was still moving, he was somehow still alive. Then they put him down above his grave. He had stopped moving.” –Lt. Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, portrayed by Kevin Bacon in the HBO movie, Taking Chance, based on a true story about Chance Phelps’ final journey home.
Nineteen-year-old, Chance Phelps was an eight ribbon decorated Marine who died in combat in Iraq on Good Friday in 2004. Marines have a custom that when one of their soldiers dies another escorts him home. In this movie, the escort Lt. Col. Michael Strobl watches as people across the country morn with him and the Phelps family as he escorts the desisted Marine home. “Chance Phelps was wearing his Saint Christopher medal when he was killed on Good Friday. Eight days later, I handed the medallion to his mother,” said Lt. Col. Strobl.
The story unfolds as we see an average day outside of Ar Ramadi, Iraq for Chance and his convoy. They are doing their rounds when they become under unfriendly fire from the Taliban. Drawing all the attention to himself, Chance is killed in action by putting himself in the line of fire so the rest of his squadron can get to safety. It is said in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” and Chance’s bravery demonstrates this verse well.
During Strobl’s escort duty of Chance, he experiences America’s great love and respect for those who have died defending our freedoms. This moving picture shows the love and bond our troops have for one another, and the love our civilians have for our troops. This extraordinary movie also shows that our soldiers fight for a single reason; to defend our country and its citizens. “I didn’t know Chance before he died. Today, I miss him,” said Lt. Col. Strobl.