"Learning to Live Structured in an Unstructured World"
Today, I watched a movie title Mudbound on “Netflix”. The movie starred Carey Mulligan, James Clarke & Mary J. Blige. Directed by Dee Rees. On the IMDb, it received 7.5/10 and a 97% rating on the Tomatometer.
The movie depicts 2-Mississippi families; one-black and one-white, confronted by the harsh reality of prejudice, during the divided World War II era, 1941. However, a commonality forms a friendship, in-spite of non-acceptance, during the Jim Crow South.
Now, anyone that knows me know that I love war movies (and Marvel Comics), especially the ones where the good guys win. Theres nothing like a war movie where MY guys “kick ass and take names”. When I watch them, I can feel levels of sadness, pride and honor just knowing that I too served with members of that caliber. I too know some who whooped the bad guys and came out on top. Theres no feeling like it. I’ll be the first to admit, when the good guys are KIA (killed in action), I cry. Sometimes I cry softer, then there are times when I feel a big ole lump of something in my throat. Yes, Im that person. Call me a sentimentalist.
To not give the movie away or be a spoiler alert for those who hadn’t seen it, Ill just say this: Movies like this truly confirm it for me the power of the military uniforms. There is something that no matter what is happening in the world, the sheer commonality of the service uniform, regardless of what branch, brings people together. In this movie, Jamie McAllan, a white veteran officer, played by Garrett Hedlund, was willing to sacrifice his life to save the life of Ronsel Jackson, a black veteran non-commissioned officer, played by Jason Mitchell.
During my tenure in the military, I served with people who never talked or interacted with blacks prior to joining. Now granted this was during the 1990’s but Im sure that somewhere in the world there are those who’ve stayed in their town and aside from the townspeople they hadn’t interacted with others; especially ones of different nationalities and origins.
On the contrary I recall a job I had post-miliary whereas there was only one other person who worked there, who was too a veteran. During the time I called in by the manager, the other veteran was present to the deliver the message of my termination. I can tell you, I was mortified by actions of the assistant manager(AM). Their job title was of that of an assistant manger but I felt that our bound as prior service members(SM) should’ve ran deeper then the jobs as an A.M.
Back to the movie. I believe that it depicts what it means to be a veteran, a service-member and proof that sometime just those titles can change a persons outlook on life. No, I don’t believe that everyone views will change. In fact some people will be the same but managed to mask who they are while they are serving.
This isn’t a blog about racism or overcoming racism, this is about a family, or forming of a brother(sister)hood because of the uniform in-spite of the prejudices that were taught, This blog is about the power of the uniform. This blog is about the kind of love and respect we should have for one another in the world regardless of the prejudices or racism we were taught or adopted as normalcy throughout life. We all make a choice, when we become adults and no longer live under our parents rules we have choices.
You never know who will be the person in the red-nose B52 that comes along and save your life in the face of death.
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