Monday, November 11, 2013

See Phillips and thank a vet

Sean and I saw Captain Phillips last week – if you have not seen it, put it on your very, very short list of things to do this week. Seriously, it is one of the best movies we’ve seen.

Tom Hanks is masterful as the real-life captain of the Maersk Alabama cargo ship, traveling in the pirate-filled waters off the coast of East Africa. When pirates board his ship, he and his crew work together to keep each other safe, but the pirates, who are angling for a big ransom from an American shipping company, will not be deterred and take Phillips hostage in one of the ships lifeboats. Do not picture a Titanic-type lifeboat; this thing had a motor, was fully-fueled and could run for days. When that boat left the cargo ship, hope for Phillips safe return seemed lost.
Hope for Phillips - the US Navy
Hope, though, came in a big way – the USS Bainbridge, USS Halyburton and a team of Navy SEALs. They did what only they can do. Since it’s a true story, I don’t feel like I’m ruining the ending by saying Phillips was rescued, but the way the Navy and SEALs took care of business was awe-inspiring. The audience clapped at the end of the showing, and I was in tears. Even though I knew Phillips was saved, I was so wrapped up in the mechanics of how the Navy was going to get him off that lifeboat that when the rescue finally happened and he was safe aboard the Navy ship, being attended to by caring, capable seamen and women, I just lost it. Who else could pull off that kind of rescue? Thank the Lord for the amazing United States military.

I left the theater so thankful for the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for us. A whole boat-full of military personnel were ready to risk their lives for the life of one American. It was awe-inspiring.

On this Veterans Day, I hope you’ll take the time to thank the veterans around you. I am thankful for my cousin, Dawn (Navy), aunt-in-law Suzie (Army) and cousin-in-law, Norm (active-duty Marines) as well as all my other family members who served. I'm especially for my father, who was in the Air Force and served in Viet Nam.

Thank a veteran. And go see Captain Phillips. The actions of the American civilians aboard the Maersk Alabama and the American military will remind you why American really is the greatest nation in the world, one worth defending.