7 life lessons we learned from the grunts in 'Platoon'
With so many war movies out there to choose from, not many come from the direct perspective of a man who personally lived through the hell that was Vietnam.
Critically acclaimed writer-director Oliver Stone (retired Army) took audiences into the highly political time in American history where the war efforts of our service men and women were predominantly overlooked as they returned home.
The son of a successful stockbroker, Stone dropped out of Yale in the 60s and joined the Army, becoming one of the first American troops to arrive in Vietnam.
Here’s what he taught us:
1. Respect is only earned, never issued.
Chris Taylor, played by Charlie Sheen, just landed in the “Nam” with a fresh shave and a stainless uniform. Before saying a word to anyone, he was automatically picked apart by war-harden soldiers passing by.
In war and in life, it doesn’t matter how you start the game — it’s how you finish it.
2. You have to keep up
Being in the infantry is one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs ever. You don’t have to be the strongest or the fastest, but you need to pull your own weight…literally.
3. Staying positive
In the eyes of a “newbie,” the world can seem and feel like one big sh*t show — especially if you’re burning a barrel of sh*t with diesel fuel.
Finding new ways to approach a bad situation can boost morale — especially when you have a lot of time left in the bush.
4. We’re all the same
Regardless of what your race, religion, or education level — when it comes down to being a soldier in a dangerous combat zone, none of those aspects means a thing.
5. Never quit
Sgt. Elias, by played Willem Dafoe, was intentionally left behind by Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) with the hope the V.C. would kill him off.
Although Elias struggled to stay in the fight, after taking several AK-47’s rounds, he showed the world he’s truly a warrior.
6. War changes a man
The bright-eyed bushy-tailed boy that showed up in the beginning isn’t the thousand yard staring man who stands in front of you now.
When you break into the circle of brotherhood, there’s no better feeling.
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These are the best military photos for the week of September 23
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The US just sent 2,200 of these Fort Bragg paratroopers to Afghanistan
Approximately 2,200 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers began quietly deploying this month, part of a long-discussed troop surge to Afghanistan.
The Marines just took a look at this Civil War battlefield to learn military lessons for the future
The battle, which involved 18,456 mounted troops and was the largest cavalry clash in North America, also remains largely unknown by today's students of military history.
The Air Force is finally getting with the program and planning for urban fights
Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein has added urban warfare to his list of top focus areas, predicting that much of the world will live in megacities.
How we found out it's not so easy to fly a Reaper drone
Let's just say computer flight simulator games don't provide enough experience to make a good landing.
Here's what the Marines of 'Full Metal Jacket' are doing today
The Marines killed the enemy together, laughed together, and shared a Da Nang hooker together. But what happened to them after the war? You're about to find out.
Army ditches search for 7.62 battle rifle — for now
Less than two months after the Army issued a request from industry to provide up to 50,000 7.62 battle rifles, sources say the service has pulled the plug on the program.
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