This excellent documentary tells the harrowing tale of the Oklahoma National Guard who were deployed to Afghanistan.
The OK Guard gets way too little training, these brave men get only 39 days per year. In addition, these men are deployed to the front lines. This in and of itself is sad to me, under train a whole group of men and then send them to the front lines. Some of the people who live in this part of Afghanistan haven’t seen foreign troops since the Russians pulled out in the seventies.
I believe that documentaries should be interesting and educational, one gets the story of these men from their own mouths and from their ‘brothers.’ Unfortunately, some of those that are included in the documentary don’t live through their deployment. In scene after scene we are shown our heroes fighting their way up and down mountain sides. They are hit with bombs from what seems like an impossible distance. They fire back with automatic rifles and RPGs (rocket propelled grenades). They are attacked in kind yet again. However, our boys have someone they can call for help. Help comes in the form of some awesome flying machines that takes out the enemy.
In another scene we watch as the ‘Citizen Soldiers’ are trekking slowly along a desert road when one of the IEDs that are so plentiful in the area goes off and turns one of the trucks in the convoy upside down, more tragedy for the solders.
As I always say, documentaries can’t just look pretty. They must keep me interested, but they also need to teach me something. It wouldn’t hurt if they brought emotions that I didn’t expect to come up. “Citizen Soldier” did all the above and more. I was on the edge of my set wanted all of those brothers to get home safely. Of course, this isn’t a nice safe narrative, this is a doc and it gets real here.
Being the total package, this film gets 100%. These guys give way more than 100%, but my scale only goes that high. Thanks for protecting us and from my husband (Green Beret, Vietnam) to you, good job and sorry for your losses.
The families of all of these men are also heroes and my heart goes out to all of you.