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Monday, November 11, 2013

Best Veterans Day War Movies

I see where CBS "News" posted a list of their "Best Films to Watch on Veterans Day", which is a list designed, I think to show veterans as damaged, broken people, or as CBS put it
In honor of those who have served in the military, we've compiled a list of films to commemorate Veterans Day. These movies aren't necessarily about war per se, but rather focus on the hardships and sacrifices servicemen and women face, be it on the battlefield or back home in civilian life.
So, all you broken, near (or soon-to-be ) crazed veterans will enjoy knowing that your family and friends will learn about your hardships, etc through this list:
  1. "Coming Home" with Jane Fonda as an unfaithful military wife;
  2. "Born on the Fourth of July";
  3. "The Best Years of Our Lives";
  4. "The Deer Hunter";
  5. "The Messenger" featuring yet another unfaithful military wife;
  6. "Flags of Our Fathers";
  7. "The Hurt Locker";
  8. "Legends of the Fall"
  9. "Saving Private Ryan";
  10. and, of course, "Forrest Gump" because it " emphasize[s] the camaraderie among those who serve."
What? No "Apocalypse Now?" No "Rambo?" Why not more crazy, inarticulate social outcasts? That is, to my mind, a horrible selection of films. On Veterans Day we do honor the wounded and shattered vets, but we also should honor all the other vets who served and returned home to become leaders in our towns and cities.

Of all of the CBS choices, for Veterans Day I would recommend only "The Best Years of Our Lives" because it is a great movie as it works through the confusion  and frustration of the returning veterans attempting to readjust to "normal" life after having lived on the edge for years.

My personal Veterans Day flick selections would include:
  • "Patton";
  • "The Great Escape";
  • "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon";
  • "We Were Soldiers"
  • "Restrepo";
  • "In Harms Way";
  • "The Longest Day";
  • "They Were Expendable";
  • "Black Hawk Down";
  • "Sergeant York" 
  • "Twelve O'Clock High";
  • "The Dawn Patrol";
  •  "MASH" and
  • "Mister Roberts"
Whether in the front lines or in the backwaters, our veterans served this country. The vast majority returned with honor and without cases of the "crazy" too often depicted by our media. Depicted that way, I might add, because "crazy" is a better story than reporting on a vet who came back and built a successful career and family. So we give attention to the "homeless veteran" while ignoring the insurance salesman or plumber who fought in the same fights. 

Is war hell? Is it madness? Does it bring out the best in some of us? I think my selection of movies helps answer those questions.

Feel free to suggest others in the comments.


  1. Anonymous6:54 AM

    Apologize for being late but -
    Mister Roberts – +1 -To make a long story short, because of my Grandfather’s WWII experience’s.
    Band of Brothers – Another long story, but had a great uncle in the 101st
    Midway – Made a big impression on me as a kid.


  2. Anonymous7:07 AM

    The Cruel Sea, The Dam Busters, Rough Riders, What Price Glory?, Run Silent, Run Deep.


  3. CAPT Mongo11:26 AM

    Agree your list--would perhaps substitute Sink the Bismark and Pursuit of the Graf Spee for MASH and Black Hawk down.