Stop-Loss

April 3, 2008 at 9:53 pm | Posted in In the News, Issues, Military, Movies | 22 Comments
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My head hurts. I have one of those incessant, throbbing headaches. The kind of headache that is brought on by only one thing – uncontrollable crying.

About a week ago I asked Amz to go with me to see a movie. I told her I would need support. Of course she went.

I didn’t want to go with Hubby. It is not a movie he needs to see, but I did. I had to. I couldn’t not see it. Amz sat by me and we both cried. I sobbed so hard that I shook the chair I was sitting in. The scenes in the movie were so real and vivid to me.

It is no secret how I feel about war and my thoughts on a nation full of young veterans. As for the present day situation, I still feel like we have a ways to go.

Unfortunately, I could relate to so many things in this movie. I remembered putting my loved one on a bus to go to a war. I remembered having the dreaded, “this is what happened over there” discussion. I remembered thinking how long can the nightmares last? I remembered being that girl. That girl who just wanted to be with the man that she loved and who didn’t care if that meant moving to Canada or Mexico, or leaving everything behind.

I was disturbed. I was angered. I left questioning. Again.

I would highly recommend that you go and see the movie Stop Loss.

It is the story of a group of young soldiers and friends. They return home from a deployment to Iraq only to learn that the stop-loss policy, which keeps soldiers enlisted once their contracts have been fulfilled, was sending them back to the war in which they just left. It follows many different points of view.

One solider, the squad leader, is angered. He refuses his enlistment and proceeds to fight the government and the policies for which he fought for.

His friend, who is suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and trying to come to grips with another deployment for which he feels a responsibility to complete.

A wounded friend, whose life was saved by his comrades in the heat of battle. I am so glad they did not sugar coat his story. The wounds and results of war are sickening and they portrayed the loneliness and his attempt to continue in his life eloquently.

Another soldier, who suffered so greatly from the effects of battles, was left to deal with his demons with no aid, no help, and no support from the very people who placed him in the war which sickened his mind. His demise is heart breaking and statistically accurate. Do you know how many war veterans come home only to commit suicide when they cannot re-adapt and rejoin civilian life? The numbers are shocking.

From someone who was directly effected by the conditions of the stop-loss policy, I think they gave an accurate portrayal of the men and women who are fighting this war and the toll that the war and the policy took on the enlisted me and women and their families.

The one thing I felt that wasn’t portrayed accurately was the fact that they brought the main characters home for leave and then immediately stop-lossed their contracts. In real life, or at least with our experience with Hubby and with most of his comrades, they made sure that he received news of his stop-loss while he was in Iraq, only one month before his enlistment was up. He went on to serve for twelve more months in the sand due directly to stop-loss. We later learned this was done specifically to keep soldiers from going AWOL and refusing to return to the military.

The scenes of the men suffering with PTS were the hardest for me. We experienced it firsthand. I remember the first time that I realized Hubby was not dealing well with readjustment to civilian life. He had just returned home from Iraq and a friend of ours had given us tickets to the Monday Night Football game. I watched him as he watched the crowds warily. He seemed to be somewhere else. While on patrols he had been forced to be suspicious of crowds, of people, of everything. Then the fireworks and the celebratory cannons almost made him hit the deck. He went into sheer panic mode for about five seconds. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. For a few moments, he was gone. Transported to a time and a situation with mortars, sniper fire, and road-side bombs. They would do construction near our apartment and the rumblings from the explosives would send him into a moment all his own. He always dealt well with the episodes, but there was always the moments of fear and confusion that he just couldn’t snap out of.

Only about a year ago did the nightmares subside, but that is many years of traumatic stress. I am thankful that my husband came home to me. I am thankful for the people who prayed for him. I am convinced there were angels watching over him at many times. He was not treated fairly and he was not alone. There are many others like him.

I am just glad that their story is finally being told.

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22 Comments »

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  1. I’m going to see Stop Loss this weekend. I’m glad someone is telling its story, because honestly? I had no clue that it existed.

  2. I really want to see this movie now too, I had never even heard of that. I always learn something when I read your posts Tipp! Its so amazing to me that families all over the country are going through this, and it never even crosses my mind. You are both so strong, thank you!

    Also, I’m secretly in love with Channing Tatum.

  3. Ohmigosh, I don’t know how you could have watched that. I stared tearing up in the trailer. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that must have been, not to see the love of my life every morning. To have him for a couple of weeks before he left for a year or more. I’m so glad your husband is home. I’m so unbelievably happy you have each other.

  4. I work for a military organization and I hear these stories all the time. I am totally against the war and what it has done to our country, our people, and the things we don’t even know of yet.

    Just reading this made me want to cry so I know if I go see the movie it will be crazy water works.

    I’m so glad you had your loved one come back to you. What a blessing. My boyfriend’s cousin wasn’t so lucky.

  5. This was such an enlightening post- I know you opened my, and many other peoples’, eyes to what’s actually happening. I had no idea how this worked; I’ll definitely be seeing the movie. I’m also very happy that you have your husband home with you and he is moving on slowly from the nightmares.. hang in there!

  6. i haven’t made it to see this movie yet, and i don’t know if i could handle it. i’m so sorry for what you & your husband had to go through… i’ve been in a few relationships that were forever changed by the military and the government, it’s not easy.

    a movie like this needed to be made, the story of these men and women needs to be heard and this war… it’s has to stop.

    i’m glad your husband gradually returning to normal, i can’t imagine what he went through… but he has my gratitude and the gratitude of a whole country.

    xoxox

  7. I’m so glad I came by and read your post about Stop Loss. I just went and saw it with my mother and one of her friends, and the three of us came away with a very different feeling.

    Although I think there were a lot of things about the film that could have been done better, I definitely appreciate that there were some powerful scenes and it’s bringing to light a subject some people didn’t know existed, or didn’t think about. I was talking to a friend about the film, and he didn’t even know what a stop-loss was.

    Anyway, I’ll conclude this long comment. ^_^ I wanted to thank you – this was a very moving post, and made me slightly re-evaluate my initial position on the film.

  8. I hoping to see the film this weekend, but thank you for your first hand insight into this often forgot part of service.

  9. I am very glad you posted about this, I have been debating whether to see this movie or not.

    No one that is very close to me has been in this situation, but none the less, I do feel for those who are.

    Now that I know I will probably cry through most of the movie, I will bring my tissues.

  10. I have heard this movie is amazing and now I want to see it even more. Thanks for writing about this.

  11. I really want to see that film. I never knew that situations like that existed until they mentioned it on the radio the other day.

    Glad to hear your hubby has come back to you! 🙂

  12. I really want to see this movie too but I don’t know if I’d be able to make it through without crying the whole way through. I’ve definitely been affected by this war and the one before and this whole policy of sending troops back. It’s crazy and I’m glad that it’s being brought to the light of the public.

  13. Maxie- I don’t think your in the minority. They keep the policy underwraps because it is not a popular method.

    TTWAS- I am so glad I could inform, let me know what you think of it!

    Dolce- thanks so much, I am so glad he is home safe too!

    1218- I cannot imagine the stories you hear, that would be so hard to do everyday! I admire you. I am also sorry for your boyfriend’s family. There are so many, it is so sad.

    Thanks Sandy- make sure and let me know what you think of it!

    Rachel- Thanks so much! I know people know their own limitations so I respect that in you. It was very hard to watch for me.

    Becca- thanks so much.

    Jaclyn- make sure and let me know how you felt about the movie, I am all ears.

    BRR- Make sure you take tissues, and make sure you let me know what you thought too!

    Jess- of course girl, you give me your feedback too, OK?

    Anna- thanks, I think many people aren’t aware that it has been happening. It will open many people’s eyes!

    Katelin- I know you have have girl, and it is not fair. I had a hard time as you know, but I am glad that I had the experience. You are the best judgement of what you can handle and for you it will hit very close to home and that is a whole nother level of intensity.

  14. I’ve wanted to see this movie since I first heard about it/saw the trailer. Even though my firsthand experiences with young veterans and military guys is pretty limited, I started tearing up at the scenes they showed in the tv preview, so I can’t even imagine what it was like to know what it is like and watch that movie. That said, I think it’s important for many people who DON’T have that experience to see Stop-Loss, just to bring home the reality that exists for thousands and thousands of American families just like their own. I’m so sorry that it’s something that you’ve had to deal with, but glad that your husband is safe and back with you now.

  15. My sister was in the Marines and she almost had to go overseas after she had fulfilled her contract. I actually was thinking about blogging about my views on the military from her experiences soon.

  16. I’ve wanted to go see STOP LOSS… It looks like a great flick.. And with the review u gave it, now i REALLY want to go to the movies ASAP!!!

    hope ur having a good day!!

  17. I have wanted to see this movie since I saw the previews, but after your review I will see it for sure. That’s so sad what the men and women have to go through and then ask them to go back again. I’m glad you Hubby is doing better now, but it’s so scary to think that the one you love may never be the same again even if they were not physical injured. Great post.

  18. i wasn’t planning on it, but now i have to see the movie! thanks for the review 🙂

  19. Amen. I saw it last weekend with a friend and as we left the theater I just sobbed. My ex-boyfriend was an Army Ranger and I saw so much of what the soldiers went through in the movie in him. Also, my best guy friend was just deployed to Afghanistan…it was a good movie that brought to light some very sensitive subjects in an intelligent way, but it was hard to watch, wasn’t it?

  20. Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Beautiful writing, Tipp. I have wanted to see this movie ever since I heard about it, but I guess I didn’t know the back-story to it and the fact that this is happening to SO MANY of our soldiers.

    Your review has made me want to see it more. Your perspective on this is opening my eyes.

  22. Your post was wonderful. I have been wanting to see Stop Loss for months. I saw the preview when I went to see Juno, and it made me stop cold in my seat. After reading your amazing post, I can’t wait another day to see it. I’m going tomorrow.

    Thanks for sharing such a personal moment. ❤


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