It’s Friday night, 2230 hours Central Time (OK, 10:30 p.m.) here in Dallas, Texas and I just got home from watching the movie, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” The movie is, without a doubt, a true testimony to courage, honor, valor and that which defines the Warrior ethos. At a time when we’re subjected to watching U.S. Sailors kneeling with their hands over their heads in a position of surrender, this movie is necessary. It is amazing, my oldest daughter Aubrey and I went over some of the movie’s reviews and some were inane, others absolutely absurd. This is a film every American should see because it depicts a trait to our American spirit — bravery.
I remember some of the reviews and reactions to the film, “American Sniper,” and there was a famous response from a person who hadn’t even seen the film, one Howard Dean. I can’t think of any reason for an American to attack this film, from any perspective. OK, someone might take an artistic shot at director Michael Bay — sure, but it would emanate from pure jealousy. There was nothing “over the top,” and it truly reflected the tension of the 21st Century battlefield, close quarters combat. The audience is right there in the action and it’s gripping. The actors found a way to fully take on their respective characters and gave a real portrayal of the intensity of combat, night combat, with all its uncertainty and moments of humor.
But what you leave the movie with is an incredible sense of pride knowing we produce such a high caliber of person in this country. We see so much that causes us to believe our greatest days may be coming to an end. Watching “13 Hours” renews your belief in our nation’s exceptionalism. The modern-day security contractor has been vehemently demonized, but this shows the oath of service to our U.S. Constitution and dedication to duty doesn’t end.
I want to see the person who could watch this movie and come away with a negative reaction. These Shadow Warriors operate in dark spaces many of us don’t even know exist — funny, it seems that’s what happened at the CIA Annex in Benghazi. However, when danger came and threatened the lives of Americans, those men were willing to go into hell with a gas can — and they did.
Tragically, four Americans lost their lives in those 13 hours; just know that it absolutely could’ve been worse. Those men made a stand, it was an Alamo moment that could’ve had the same result.
Strikingly, you realize in seeing “13 Hours” that the entire episode was being broadcast by a drone above, an unarmed drone. You realize that for some odd reason, Americans were in contact for 13 hours, and never did the Stars and Stripes come to the rescue.
I will never forget sitting there in a House Armed Services Committee hearing, with the SecDef and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, being told there was nothing that could’ve been done. Let me explain what that statement says. The greatest nation in the world, with what we are constantly told — and I believe — is the greatest military in the world… did not and could not do anything. That is unacceptable.
There will be political criticism of this film. Why? Because for some, their love of a person is greater than their love of country and all we stand for in America. And just as in the book, the politicians involved are not named; that’s not the focus. But you must ask yourself, what were they doing for those 13 hours?
This movie is not fiction, it’s not political hyperbole. If you think so, well, go up and say so, face-to-face to the men who were there — now THAT would be courageous. Every American should see this movie. The only reason you wouldn’t want to see this movie is because you prefer not to see truth. You prefer to live in your own world of false narratives. If you don’t want to see this movie, it’s because you embrace the belief, “what difference at this point does it make?”
I’m proud of those men and what they did for those 13 hours. I’m honored to have been blessed to shake their hands. I left the movie “13 Hours” not angry, but sad — sad for the people who believe a deserter serves with honor and distinction. I’m sad for those who can’t embrace the level of heroism and valor displayed in the movie “13 Hours,” who criticize — and worse — abandoned those men. The reason being an abject jealousy of not being able to “Man Up.”
This was a powerful movie experience!