The FENX and Acts of Valor: Sometimes Movies Teach Us How Little We Know

Posted: February 25, 2012 in FENX 4.0
Tags: , , , , , ,

My long-time friend and teacher, Ken Rudolph, often talks of his love for reading about military special forces when he speaks to kids in the United States and Europe.   More often than not, in the context of talking about David’s Mighty Men from II Samuel 23.  On the various occasions that I’ve heard him preach that message over the years, I drift back in the stream of my memory to the first Reborn Rangers experience at Lake Ann Camp  in 1999, where the “Alpha” group of Rangers met Tom Hemmingway.  Tom was a retired Green Beret who had served though some of the worst conflict during Vietnam and as a result had some of the most unforgettable and amazing stories I’ve ever heard (it’s no mistake that a great story requires great conflict).  In one recounting, Tom told us how he shredded a parachute so he could use it to mark his way across a mine field to successfully rescue injured South Vietnamese soldiers and these soldiers couldn’t fathom that an American would risk his own life to remove them from danger.  Within a few years of meeting him I found out that he had passed away, and I along with some of the other Alpha Rangers mourned the loss of a great man; much of what he did in those stories would be considered “Acts of Valor”.

Earlier today, I drove the FENX to a movie theatre and saw a movie bearing that name.  “Act of Valor” has no big name celebrities acting in it because the shining stars are actual Navy SEALS, the elite operators within the United States Navy that killed Osama Bin Laden during a raid in May 2011.  Since that time much has been written about those events and light shed on the SEALS and how they operate as they do.  This film is one of those avenues, and one that is breaking new ground by creating a story based on actual SEAL Team operations and having actual SEALs use their training and tactics in the film.  In the narrative, a SEAL team is dispatched to retrieve an intelligence operative who has fallen into enemy hands and that mission leads to further operations against a network of terrorists planning to attack the United States.  Conversely, the movie also bears out a thread dealing with the families of these men, much like the television show “The Unit” did.

I know that what I saw today is about as real as it will ever get on the silver screen and it is something I could never do.  I makes me thankful that there are men out there willing to endure in that way and take those risks to defend Freedom and Liberty, and that their families are willing as well.  There are consequences to these risks and the film bears this out, as it also makes clear the reality of evil present in the world and that good men will do something to stem the tide.

To my friends and family who have walked that path, I thank you; your vigilance allows our nation to remain a beacon of Liberty and enables those of us on the other side of the coin to do what we do in trying to govern a nation in a time of hardship.  To Tom, your stories will be remembered and the Rangers will see you again one day in the Northwest Corner.

Riding Towards Eternity,


(This blog post brought to you by the film Act of Valor and the soundtrack for ‘The Rock”)

  1. Austin Krohn says:

    I was able to see a pre-showing of this movie. It was (from my limited experience and opinion) likely the most realistic, gut-wrenching, and powerful military movie I have seen. I sat in silence for a long while after the credits rolled.

    Glad you were moved. Thanks for sharing this.


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