When one falls, another brings him home.
Anyone who has ever attended a military funeral is well aware that ceremony and honor saturate the sorrowful occasion–and rightly so. But many have no knowledge of the tender ministrations shown those KIA, and sacred duty of accompanying the fallen to their home and final resting place. Taking Chance tells the amazing story of one such journey.
One night USMC Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl (masterfully played by Kevin Bacon) saw the name of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps amongst those killed in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Having served in Desert Storm, and subsequently being assigned a desk job stateside, Strobl’s guilt-tinged empathy prompts him to request escort duty for L CPL Phelps.
The escort trip begins as a penance of sorts for Strobl; a means of assuaging his guilt over choosing a safe and tidy desk position which allows him to return home nightly to his wife and children when other Marines and troops are in harm’s way. But what starts as a duty, evolves into a transformative passage: the deep emotion and honor shown Chance by perfect strangers and closest family and friends alike, move Lieutenant Colonel Strobl profoundly.
This movie is at once informative and heart-wrenching: one of the finest films depicting the greatly deserved honor shown those who have given the last full measure of devotion. Taking Chance is a visual portrait of the final journey of one Marine; representative of many thousands of like journeys taken by our fallen warriors over our nation’s storied history. Watching this film can’t help but impress and renew upon the viewer what true debt of gratitude we owe our troops. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”