My favorite American movie veterans


Thank you to our veterans who are changed forever to preserve our freedoms. They go when they would rather stay home, they bear the marks of war on their bodies and their psyches. They are our friends and neighbors and our heroes. Here’s a list of my favorite veterans from some of our major wars.  Who are yours?

Benjamin Martin (The Patriot) – Revolutionary War. Brings not only his experience, but his wisdom and regrets to his second war. He won’t fight until it’s personal, leads reluctantly as a citizen soldier standing with his neighbors. It’s not about power.

54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.(Glory.) Civil War. A black regiment led by an idealistic white captain learn to put aside distractions and disagreements and focus on the cause. When one fell another took up the flag, a symbol of their determination to win freedom.

Sergeant York – World War I. Kinda hokey but I love this guy. He resists violence but he fights when his default setting is peace and love for his fellow man.

Easy Company (Band of Brothers) – WWII.  Striking journey from duty to a true sense of the historical and ethical significance of their mission. I think my favorite part of the Band of Brothers series are the testimonials by the real veterans from Easy Company.

Walt Kowalski (Gran Torino) – Korea. Personal baggage is often a mark of a veteran but no baggage is so heavy that redemption cannot unload it. Beautiful picture of sacrifice and reconciliation.

Forrest Gump – Vietnam. Never forgets his experiences but doesn’t let his experiences as a veteran define him. He helps his friend Lieutenant Dan move on. Oddly, whenever I read the description of love in I Corinthians 13 I think of Forrest Gump.



President Thomas J. Whitmore and Russell Casse  (Independence Day) – Undetermined probably fictional war. Loved the president’s “we shall not go quietly” speech and the fact that this veteran president knew he belonged in the air with the rest of the airmen. Russell Casse I loved for being such a hilarious, damaged hero. I just had to put them in.




Matt Eversmann (Black Hawk Down) – Somalia. Smart, noble, and determined soldier who protected his outnumbered fellow soldiers until he was the last man standing, then suvived the onslaught. He’s a picture of doing what has to be done in impossible circumstances.

Michael Stroebl and Chance Phelps (Taking Chance) – Iraq. Counts the cost. Powerful reminders that human beings, children, parents, friends, and lovers fight and fall to advance the causes for which wars are fought.

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