“TAKING CHANCE HOME” – I remember the night that Pete Rose collected his record-breaking 4,192nd base hit – back on 11 September 1985. I remember later hearing the TV announcer say as Rose just moments before he got that hit in the first inning. The words went something like this: “If you’re watching this game right now, and you have a lump in your throat, you’re only human.”
Well, this isn’t about Pete Rose, or baseball, or so-called heroes in sports, politics or matters of faith. In all of those, the only one Hero to me that bears mentioning more than this subject, of course, is Jesus Christ (See John 3:16, and more in the Bible). Other than Him, the others pale in comparsion to this subject.
This subject concerns a DVD movie on a special event (a true story – back in April 2004). I saw this last night, and I highly recommend it to you, though I suspect many who watch it will have more than a lump in their throat before it’s conclusion. I certainly was touched by it, and I’m a Veteran of War and praying and speaking over Memorial Ceremonies and Funerals of far too many Soldiers – Heroes – who have died in defending our way of life. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been a great honor for me to minister to those families, though I wish the heroes we mourn were still all alive today.
The HBO DVD is based on Marine Lieutenant Colonel Strobl’s account of escorting the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who is killed during a firefight in Iraq – it’s called “Taking Chance.” The movie starred Kevin Bacon as LTC Strobl – he volunteered to escort the body of a Lance Corporal Lance R. Phelps, USMC. Tom Wopat of Dukes of Hazard fame plays an important, but small role towards the end of the movie, and Kevin Bacon stars as LTC Strobl; he gives, in my opinion, his very best performance by far.
Actually, the “Star” is LCPL Chance Phelps USMC. Chance was a Private First Class at the time of his death, later to be posthumously promoted to Lance Corporal. To me, the stars continue, as I think of SPC Isaac Nieves, SGT Christopher Webb, and 1SG Christopher Rafferty. They are “My Heroes,” as they died serving their Country as well.
You can find a very moving account of LTC Strobl’s mission here: http://www.blackfive.net/main/2004/04/taking_chance.html
– May God bless the all the families of the many who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice in defending the Freedoms we take way too much for granted.
LCPL CHANCE R. PHELPS, USMC (14 JULY 1984 – 09 APRIL 2004)
SPECIALIST ISSAC M. NIEVES, USA (05 OCTOBER 1983 – 08 APRIL 2004)
SGT CHARLES J. WEBB, USA (17 NOVEMBER 1981 – 04 NOVEMBER 2004)
1SG CHRISTOPHER C. RAFFERTY, USA (18 NOVEMBER 1968 – 21 JULY 2006)
* And for ALL Our Heroes who have paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for Freedoms at
home…and around the world.
* Semper Fidelis!
NEVER FORGET! May that ALWAYS be True – God bless you, and may God always bless the United States of America.
PRO DEO ET PATRIA,
JOHN C. CAREY / CHAPLAIN (MAJOR), U.S. ARMY