If you’re sick of being accused of racism, white privilege, toxic masculinity, insufficient attention to Climate Change, MeToo’ism and the LGB alphabet; if you’re exhausted by the long-winded House Managers’ vitriolic performances and if you’re depressed by the diminution of old-fashioned flag-waving, anthem-singing patriotism - run to see The Last Full Measure.
This is an old-fashioned movie written and directed by Todd Robinson, with big stars like Christopher Plummer, Diane Ladd, Ed Harris, Samuel Jackson, Peter Fonda and William Hurt who are all excellent. This is also a movie about heroes - dead and alive - and what they need and deserve. It concerns the failure of our government to award a posthumous Medal of Honor to a Vietnam war veteran who went above and beyond the call of duty to save lives, losing his own in this endeavor. It illustrates the long-term after effects on veterans who fought in an unpopular war and came home to a country that behaved disgracefully towards them. We have spent far more time worrying about the welfare of illegal immigrants than we did about rehabilitating our own veterans, and this movie illustrates their loneliness, isolation and continued dedication to each other. It also heralds their undaunted efforts, along with those of the government representative who worked so hard to get the medal issued.
When you see it, bring tissues and stay for the credits which feature some interviews with the real people represented in the film. In addition to all the emotional reactions you will have, you will be amazed to learn that only three members of the Air Force who were not officers have ever been awarded the Medal of Honor. If nothing else, it should serve to remind us about the importance of preserving and insisting on the merit system in many aspects of our lives.
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