Tag Archives: Army

Fort Bliss Movie

New Film: Fort Bliss, Your Chance To Review!

FB_Opening-DayWe need films. They’re a narrative that can show the world what we’ve experienced, and how we feel, as we sometimes struggle for words.

Isn’t it difficult?  Going off to war?  Leaving hearth and home, leaving the children, the spouse, all those things that are essential to who you are?

I haven’t seen the film, “Fort Bliss,” but this story about the Mother-Soldier or Soldier-Mother is one that deserves to be told.  How many of us have known a female Marine, Soldier, Airman, or Sailor who hasn’t struggled upon coming home?

The film was shot in El Paso and on Ft Bliss with the full cooperation of the U.S. Army Motion Picture & Television Liaison Office. This means they did everything from read the script and make suggestions for accuracy, to help arrange the filming schedule on post. What it doesn’t mean is that they edited the film, or used undue influence to shape the film.

So here’s your chance to write a review for us. Go see Fort Bliss, and let us know what you thought about the film by hitting the “contact us” button.  While it is in a few theaters, the film is streaming online, via On Demand, and Digital formats. Check their website for more info.

  • Who were the main characters?
  • What strength did the characters have?
  • What vulnerabilities did they have?
  • Did you relate to them?
  • Why or Why Not?
  • Did the film remind you of something that happened to you or a friend?
  • How was your own, or your friend’s circumstances worked through?
  • Did you feel the film captured the problem that female soldiers with families face?
  • Did you feel the depiction was clear, and fair?

SYNOPSIS:

A decorated Army medic and single mother (Michelle Monaghan) returns home from an extended tour in Afghanistan to discover that the bond with her five-year-old son has been shattered.  In her absence, the boy has attached to his father  (Ron Livingston) and his new girlfriend (Emmanuelle Chriqui).  As she struggles to reclaim her son’s affection and reintegrate into civilian life, she meets a mechanic (Manolo Cardona) with whom she becomes romantically involved.  Just as her life begins to stabilize and the bond with her son shows signs of healing, she gets news of another deployment. She must now find a way to reconcile her duties as a mother and her obligations as a soldier.

Al Rasheed 1

How Yoga Helps Vets – A Response from a 23yr Air Force Veteran & Yogi

Dear Mystery Veteran,

My name is MSgt Chris Eder…and I’m just shy of 23 years active duty service to THE United States of America as a Combat Correspondent in the Air Force.  Since 9/11, I have found myself in some interesting places.  Sometimes by myself, sometimes with people I had never met, and sometimes with people who I love(d) as a brother or a sister.  I want to make it perfectly clear that anything I say is not meant to “one-up you,” try to be better than you, or try to compare to you.  Rather, I want to provide perspective and insight as we both wear combat boots and serve as warriors & protectors of the USA!

I know exactly how it feels not to sleep.  For many years, I just told people I was a “morning” person.  That was maybe less than half true…as I really do enjoy being up before anyone else.  Hot showers, fresh coffee, etc.  But the truth was…I couldn’t sleep.  I used to spend as many hours as possible working.  People thought it was because I was a hard worker.  OK…they were right!  However, as I have learned over the years…working hard is also an unhealthy coping mechanism.  Avoidance!  It is hard to tell something is wrong when you continue to out-perform everyone!

Al Rasheed 1In 2003, I found myself traveling throughout Iraq by any means possible.  I was equipped with a 9mm, no ammunition, a flak vest I think my dad wore in Vietnam, and my camera gear. For a short period of time, I called the Al Rasheed Hotel home.  That is until Oct 26, 2003 when insurgents attacked it with 68mm and 88mm rockets.  Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was in the hotel that night. Check the story out, Sec Wolfowitz is wearing my flak vest! Things got worse after my second deployment to Baghdad during the “Surge of Operations.”  Damn…the insurgents had our location dialed in!  20+ attacks a day seemed “normal” for so long.

So…why yoga?  Hell…why not?  What is the worst thing that can happen?  I started yoga back in 1999 because of a pinched sciatic nerve and a diagnosis of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.  I instantly was hooked! During my 2007 deployment to Iraq, I was actually teaching 5-6 classes a week.  Anyone…and I mean anyone… can do yoga.  I introduce to you Lieutenant Colonel Tom Bryant.

Lieutenant Colonel Bryant, US Army is my friend/mentor and hands down the best person to ever come from Alabama. LTC Bryant is the last person I thought would try yoga.  He is a typical Southern conservative, “Roll Tide!”-preaching, family loving, church going, hunting/fishing military kind of guy.  He would often poke fun of me when we worked together about how I taught and practiced yoga.  Tom recently sent me a Facebook message:

“Are you sitting down? You should.

Last night I did yoga. And since I’m deployed, you know I wasn’t drunk or high. It lasted 20 minutes, was cal

yoga-meme-300x187led relaxation yoga or something like that. Really just seemed like a lot of stretching to me, but this Japanese guy with a ponytail on the video kept talking about “seeing your breathing” and “step mindfully downward on your heels” and a bunch of other platitudinal crap I didn’t understand. But the stretching stuff was cool.”

Even this staunch yoga antagonist found yoga to be at the very least, “cool!”  There is a good chance what you think Yoga is…is not at all what it really is.  Yoga can be whatever you want it to be…killer workout, awesome stretch, or a time to reset and restore your batteries.  For me, I *try* to start every day with 15-30 minutes of meditation and yoga.  I also end each day with some grounding breath work to help clear and prepare my mind for sleep.  Trust me…I know it sounds fruity, crazy, or even esoteric…but IT WORKS!  I’ve been practicing yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007.  I often wonder where I would be today without yoga.  I see my brothers and sisters-in-arms who share *our* nightmares, panic attacks, alertness, relationship issues, memory problems…the list can go on forever.  I know just how tough my life is…and wonder how much tougher and often debilitating it would be without yoga in my life.

Lastly, I’d like for you to stop breathing for 20 minutes. What…you can’t?  You think you might die.  I agree!  So…public math here…if I can increase both the quality and quantity of your breath…would that not increase the quality and quantity of your life?  Check out this free sample from Suzanne Manafort: