Flying up to Anchorage last Friday, I had plenty of time to flip through the Northwest Airlines magazine. I found myself drawn to the article on the fact based HBO movie “Taking Chance.” Northwest has a special interest in the program since so many of their employees’ actions and reactions to the Marine Corps officer escorting Private Chance Phelps’ casket significantly contributed to the story. I was lucky to catch the movie as I flipped channels during my last night in Alaska. It is just a great story, masterfully told. There is so little dialogue! They let the images do most of the talking: eyes, a bike in the front yard, hands, Chance’s few personal effects, car headlights, and the ever so slow casket salute that is a regular refrain throughout the movie.
And the story of the story is an interesting story in itself. The cubicle bound Lieutenant Colonel who volunteered for this particular escort duty emailed his 20 page trip log to 8 friends. It spread virally through the Internet and he soon had HBO and Kevin Bacon knocking at his door. I heartily recommend this movie as a great exercise in visual storytelling and a fitting tribute to those who have fallen in combat.