Saturday, June 12, 2010

Heartbreak Ridge

My son and I enjoyed a Clint Eastwood double-header last night.  We watched Gran Torino and Heartbreak Ridge.

Gran Torino was, I think, Eastwood's crowning achievement.  Subtle, politically incorrect, yet ultimately celebrating humanity.

Heartbreak Ridge, one of my all time favorites, is a blast from the past.  It reminds us of the bad old days of the post-Vietnam Carter years, when we were supposed to be in decline.  The military was a joke, and many of the leaders coming up were REMFs trying to grab some glory the easy way.

Gunny Sergeant Highway was a war hero who rocked it old school, and he wasn't appreciated by peacetime desk jockeys.  Many despised  our military back then.  Hard to imagine in this post-9/11 world.

Remember Grenada?
We had a president with balls who was not afraid to make a stand.  We sent the Cubans (the ones who survived) packing back to their gulag on the Caribbean, and put some starch back in our step.

The US Military I retired from was much improved over the one I entered in the early 80's.  Some whine about the billions spend and that we have dissipated our power over the past 9 years, but that's bull.   Our military is leaps and bound over what it was in 2000.  Yes, we have spent a ton of money, but we still possess the most powerful  economic engine in the world and the greatest workforce on the planet.

America is great because her people are great.


Endo_2011 said...

two of my all time favorites, glad to see you are sharing with your son!

Although I agree or Military is better today, I worry that this will not be the case much longer.

Changes in funding, leadership, policy(don't ask don't tell) are all going to have a negative impact

I sleep at night knowing this military is keeping me safe....Hope I don't start loosing sleep!

Silverfiddle said...

The potential you see for returning to the Carter years is there. Even then, when our military appeared inept, it really wasn't.

It was a deficiency in American leadership, and a post-Vietnam loss of confidence.

DADT repeal, if done right, will not have the negative impact many worry it will. It's how it's implemented that worries me.

There's also a deeper agenda there. Here's my take on it:

Fredd said...

Heartbreak Ridge is also one of my favorites, and was my era of service (Army). As an ex-service guy myself, I always nitpick the Hollywood versions of how things were while donning the uniform, down to wear the ribbons are placed on the Class A's.

The depiction of life in a Marine barracks was slightly exaggerated (but highly entertaining), of undisciplined Marines such as 'Swede'. Guys like that ended up in the stockage for the duration of their service during my days (1974 - 1984). I can't imagine a PFC swinging on a gunnery sergeant, even today, and not get some kind of lengthy incarceration out of the deal.

Silverfiddle said...

Yeah Fred, and the major going up against Gunny in the pit; that would never happen either. But the invasion scenes were good, and it was just great entertainment and a great patriotic movie that celebrated heroism. Outside of Hurt Locker, where are the movies today.

Leticia said...

I am sad to say that I have never seen either film, may have to put on my "must watch list" so I can see what you all are talking about.

I am proud of our military and even though they are under a weak and gutless commander-in-chief, they are still a power to contend with.

America the beautiful, indeed.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Hey Silver,
Great movies,like both of them. I find so little time for movies lately but just viewed Gran Torino for the first time the other week, helluva story.

Slightly off target but what is your take on the movie Hambuger Hill?

Silverfiddle said...

According to the vets who were there, it is the most accurate movie about the war. We Were Soldiers probably falls in that category as well.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Thanks for your reply. I have seen Hamburger Hill numerous times but do not recall 'We Were Soldiers' but I will be sure to follow-up on that. Thanks again.

Proof said...

For all you bargain hunters (or guys that haven't gotten their Dad anything for Father's Day yet, Target is selling DVDs of Heartbreak Ridge for five bucks this week!

Just don't let him read this blog! Heh.

Will said...

"Shut your face, hippie!" "This doesn't mean we're gonna swap spit in the shower." And of course, the best Eastwood axiom since "make my day," "get off my lawn!" There are a few movies I have to see once a year. I like to make it a mini film festival at my house, and these two are on the list.

If I have one regret in life, it is the fact that I did one tour of duty, rather than stay for twenty or thirty. But the military I was in was much different than today. Main difference was that radicals were ubiquitous because the draft was still in force. Rather than be among patriots who loved their country, I was surrounded by the hate America first crowd. This of course ended when the great Milton Friedman managed to convince bone head in chief Dick Nixon to abolish the draft. This act turned our fighting men closer to the generation of my father, or at least as much as the infiltrated PC set allowed.

Silverfiddle said...

I salute your generation, Will. We have Burger Kings and hard billets in Baghdad and Bagram.

Grateful people see us off in Philadelphia and cheer us on our return.

You guys never got any of that...

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