Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hollywood and Fallujah

Mighty Thor

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A John J. Miller post at the NRO Corner discussing Hollywood, war movies, and best-sellers. He gives Hollywood a helpful hint: make a Blackhawk Down style movie concerning Marines in Fallujah 2004.

If I were to recommend one Fallujah book as the basis of a movie it would have to be David Bellavia and John R. Bunning's House to House

It's Army, but still a heck of a Fallujah story.


Working at an educational institution that is also a military institution, there is a comforting cyclical rhythm to life, much more so than you find in other schools.

July heat brings with it beginnings, as a new class of Plebes enter USNA. Over the balance of the summer, we watch as these young civilians, dressed in traditional, standard issue “whiteworks” are transformed into Midshipmen.

Late August, they earn and don their midshipman uniforms- toss the Plebe whites.

September: The school year brings routine; classes, morning and noon formation, athletics, ECA s, study hour, sleep ( a midshipman’s most valuable resource) weekends (another most valuable resource, if only as the much needed short-term goal that gets you through that week,) the great fall rituals of college football, Thanksgiving, and then you arrive at Christmas break.

Spring Semester January; starts an epicycle grafted upon the larger orbit.

February/March brings basketball, baseball, lacrosse and anticipation: First class mids begin to plan and worry about service selection, graduation looms, as do commissioning, goodbyes and moving on.

April brings hurried study and exams.

May comes. Plebes pass their sea-trials, climb Herndon, and the academy has no fourth class for a time.

Graduation week: Blue Angels, a bright stadium, academic regalia, pomp and circumstance, celebration, and a poignant parting of ways.

Then comes June; a quiet descends upon the Yard, but only for a time.

As if to take up empty space, sports camps descend.

Emails as military folks move to their next duty stations.

July, and the cycle begins again. New staff and faculty come in.

A cycling of generations move, some leave for good, some come back, and the place is still here, reliable, familiar and comfortable.

Then, the Plebes arrive again, a bright day of promise, and a new orbit. They cycle begins again, as it has for over 160 years.

I feel a bit sorry for those that do not have the opportunity to experience this. Like natives of tropical climes, who never witness winters cold grip, burgeoning spring, oppressive summer, cooling chromatic fall, devoured by winter wind and storm, only to see it all begin again.

So too, those outside the yard.

Pity really.

Watch the 'beginning': swearing in of the class of 2013 Plebes here: