Restrepo Pipped To The Gong By Inside Job

Alas Restrepo didn’t win the Oscar last night but they didn’t lose either. Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington have made a superb film documenting a harrowing deployment in Afghanistan. They brought a much greater awareness of the conflict to the world. Thank you to them for their sacrifice and commitment. But the war is not over for us, and as the Oscar bus party bus packs up for another year, the families and serving are still on the conveyor belt of war – the battle continues on.

Inside Job won it – a film about the most recent economic crash.

On the Restrepo facebook page they ask for us to write three words which illustrate how the film made you feel:

Make It Stop

Peace And Love

Can’t Take Anymore

Find A Solution

Daddy Is Sad

Stop The Killing

Please Help Us

Enough Is Enough

I need the war to end. The burden is too heavy. I am very tired and I am not alone. I would like to get off the bus please but alas for us that is not to be because the bus leaves again this year and we will be firmly on it…

http://restrepothemovie.com/

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Toy-Tastic Still 3 Days To Go!!

Hagar is back. He’s been away for 3 weeks in the USA doing his PDT (Pre-Deployment Training) as he prepares to deploy to Afghanistan in the new year. Good news is he got all the boxes ticked and he’s raring to go. This little three week taster of separation showed me that I need to be more organised for the forthcoming longer one. It was all tickety-boo until the yoof drove into the back of me and then everything span a little bit out of control. Plus, The Menace is being a handful and causing havoc when you take your eye off her for a second. Smearing toothpaste all over the french windows was her latest gig.

It’s all about balance; keeping my business ticking over, keeping the house ticking over and have some room for contingency planning in the event of it all going tits up. The plan that is brewing is that Aunty Pat may have to be deployed in situe as an extra pair of hands. Does anyone know when the one day-ers for the Ashes are being played? This could scupper my plans – Aunty Pat is a cricket fanatic.

As we live in tri-service quarters, I will be surrounded by standby husbands so I won’t be living on a street of solo wives. (Just as an aside by some weird logistical quirk of fate a few doors up from us is actually William of Wales’ CO – yes, I know he’s at RAF Valley. Just take my word for it. Wager on – will he get an invite to the wedding. They are thinking ‘non’ but I am thinking that if any family is bound by tradition and etiquette then it’s The Windsors so I vote ‘yay’. I hope so – it would be so exciting to be living in the vicinity of an invitee to the Wedding of the Year!! What do you think? Should Wills invite his direct RO (Reporting Officer?)

This is one of the advantages of living in a mixed community, all of the service folk who live around us are based at various different postings so at any one time there always some men folk around to fix the lawnmower, re-wire the audio and video equipment, and sort out the IT.

Talking of IT, Hagar has come back with an Ipad – which we both love.

It’s such a Gucci bit of kit. We are an Apple household. Alas I am not sponsored by them. I wish! Although they do give an 8% military discount on all new products. Anyway Hagar bought two Ipads and he’s selling the other one for £499. He’s not here right now, as I type this so if you want to know the spec – drop me an email: amodernmilitarymother@gmail.com

Closing date for this giveaway is the 1st December!

http://amodernmilitarymother.com/2010/11/15/a-bumper-pre-christmas-giveaway/

Scalectric Start Grand Prix Set (£69.99)
This great Scaletric Grand Prix Set allows you to design and decorate your own cars and then race against your opponent to become Grand Prix champion on the 1:32 track. the new simple fit track and skill level hand controllers let you control the speed making this set perfect for beginners and professionals.

Lego Creator Jet Set (£44.99)
Fantastic construction fun with Lego creator Jet models! Build up to 3 high-speed vehicles: supersonic jet, dual prop plane or high-speed boat with this awesome set.

KNex Construction Case (£9.99)
The original KNex parts, connectors and the micro and brick KNex parts help create the ultimate building experience. Includes construction ideas to create 10 different vehicles ranging from simple to more difficult builds to satisfy builders of all levels.

Blast Lab Messy Mess (£14.99)
This Blast Lab Mess Mess Science set has lots of messy, gloopy experiments to try out using items found in most homes. Make slime, mouldy soap and stink bombs.

Blast Lab It’s Possi-Bubble (£16.99)
This ‘It’s Possi-bubble’ science kit has lots of bubble based experiments to try out, blow a bubble inside a bubble, catch a bubble in a jar, or freeze a bubble are just a few of the ideas!

(Prize value a WHOPPING £156.95!!!!)

To enter into the competition this is your mission:

1.) Subscribe to my blog
2.) Like the Facebook Toys R Us page – click here and write on the wall saying that AMMM sent you

Once you have done that send me an email to:
amodernmilitarymother@gmail.com

and you will be entered into the draw.

However, the day that bumper giveaway closes I am starting another whopper giveaway worth £128.99 – this time a mixture of girls and boys toys so definitely stop by on the 1st December! The next giveaway will be a five day special so that I can post it out in good time for Christmas.

A bit of Restrepo news – we were in the paper this week post our Farnham screening.

Also, if you want read a toe curling article you can find me squatting (not literally) on page 71 of December Prima Baby & Pregnancy.

Don’t forget I am announcing the winner of the Bumper Giveaway on the 1st of December and then giving away another £128.99 worth of toys!

Juiced Up Large

Ribena said they would send me some free stuff. I love free stuff and as it happens, I like Ribena so for that reason I was in. They sent me a couple of handy sized cartons of Ribena Juiced Up Raspberry and Apple & Blackcurrant in a brown paper package tied up with string.

I used to be called Moistie III at school. There was also a Moistie I and a Moistie II – we used to shout obnoxiously, “we’re so moist it’s unbelievable’ so I had no problem with being Juiced Up. At my age, you need all the moisture you can get. I liked the Raspberry because I am a bit tart – but Hagar was not so keen. He said it was too tart for him. He then decided it was probably because it actually tasted of raspberries and pears, wasn’t overloaded with sugar and this was the reason why he didn’t like it. This is a man who was brought up on his dad’s, homemade Scottish tablet, (Tablet is a traditional Scottish sweet made from sugar, condensed milk and butter.) which actually dissolves your teeth as it bubbles in the pot – that’s how much sugar is in it.

The Menace liked it; but then she eats fruit, and The Grenade, like Hagar, thought it was too tart. Cartons are not good for my kids because they squeeze and squirt, so I prefer bottled drinks, or, drinks that I can mix and put into my own receptacles. The carton is pretty and looks nice but I am not sure I would actually reach out to the shelf and buy it. I just know that it would be squirted and we would be stained up large – which doesn’t work for me and so for that reason I am out.

Talking of drinkie-poos – I heard this rumour that Christmas has been canceled for the military.

In a notice issued by the Deputy Head Financial Management Policy and Development, it stated.

” I would like to remind you that Chapter 20 of JSP 462 contains instructions on the propriety of public funding for seasonal festivities, such as Christmas particularly in relation to the acceptability of staging teambuilding or unit cohesiveness events in seasonal festivity periods. (Some blah, blah, blah)It is improper to spend taxpayers’ funds on Christmas trees, decorations, carol concerts or parties. Teambuilding or unit cohesiveness events during the Christmas season would be viewed by taxpayers as partying at their expense and must be avoided.”

In a flurry of subsequent email dialogue the orders were issued that any Christmas lunches coming out of the Commanding Officer’s Personal Fund were to be canceled forewith.

The MOD are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t really. On the one hand, I can see in these frugal times organising festivities can be seen as extravagant and then on the other hand, the armed forces give a lot so they deserve this seasonal thank you. Hagar’s not here to ask and I don’t know if it impacts him. I haven’t been issued my Christmas functions schedule yet – apart from the Christmas Draw, with Tigger and Mr Naval Architect. Watch this space – I have already booked the pamperthon in preparation. Although I am wearing the same outfit as the as I wore here. Personally, I am not on the outrage bus but then I don’t really understand the significance of it. I’ve heard that a lot of people are getting their knickers in a twist. I wouldn’t begrudge the military a turkey roast and a cracker out of the taxpayers purse at Christmas though – what do you think?

This weekend, I had a little foray into the country, to stay with The Lish and Mr Apple (See here – for our post Summer Ball drunken yoga) as they have just moved into this amazing, old ramshackled 6 bedroom estate house, in deepest, darkest, Hampshire. The Lish is with child, which is brilliant news as it’s been a long road to conception for our beautiful friends. However, this did mean that she was unable to imbibe that vast quantities of liquor that we normally partake in, resulting in some crazing, debauched, toe-curling looning around. So to provide some alternative entertainment I shared with her this truly incredible book that the Lovely Licky, from the city that never sleeps, New York itself, very kindly sent me.

It’s called ‘Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People’ by Amy Sedaris.

“According to Amy Sedaris, it’s often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. But in her new book SIMPLE TIMES she sets the record straight, doing for crafting what she did so brilliantly and successfully for entertaining in her bestseller I Like You. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life’s more pleasurable and constructive leisure activities, Sedaris shows us that anyone with a couple of hours to kill and access to pipe cleaners can join the elite society of crafters. Readers will discover how to make popular crafts such as crab claw roach clips, tinfoil balls and crepe paper moccasins; where to look for inspiration (buy fruit and let it get old, what shapes does it turn into?); instructions for creating your very own craft room; and ways to avoid the most common crafting accidents (sawdust fires, feather asphyxia, pine cone lodged in throat); plus whole chapters full of crafting ideas (pompom ringworms!) that will inspire you to create your own hastily constructed obscure d’arts; and more of the brilliant recipes and ingenious ideas for hostessing and entertaining that she gave us in I Like You.”

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The Lish has been known to compile the odd autumn leaf canvas montage so I thought this would be just her cup of tea and now they are living in the Maison de Manoir but have no carpets and barely any curtains because they are skint due to the new rent (Mr Apple has it all in hand – he is rich really – panicus notus) – I thought a book entitled crafts for poor people would be the perfect accoutrement for their new ram shackled country living. I had a quick flick through but hadn’t really looked at it properly. But with a few vino tintos coarsing through my veins I had the opportunity to indulge in it’s delights. Our favourite section is the pre-craft warm up exercises!!

As the one star reviewer on Amazon.com said:

“Warning – NOT a craft book – Teen self abuse and Sexual content
I picked this book up out of the library’s NEW section. I did not know that it was listed as Parody in the Dewey Decimal section. It is done so because if you are looking for CRAFTS, you might be shocked. The Teen Self Abuse section should not be viewed by teens. The Making Love section should not be viewed by children.”

This would actually make a great Christmas gift for anyone with a great sense of humour, craft ambitions and good intentions but poor delivery skills.

(In fact Licky – I only realised that myself when you mentioned it by email upon my return – doh!! I was just about to go, find me some shells and gather some pine cones!!)

Then just as an aside Restrepo is definitely in the running for an Oscar nomination now – 15 Documentary Features Advance In 2010 Oscar® Race. Show your support by visiting their Facebook page and clicking Like. You can find the Facebook page here. It’s a tough race – I am keeping everything crossed for them.

It’s the RAF Odiham Shopping Evening on Tuesday 23rd November (tomorrow) from 7pm – 10pm at the Church Centre, RAF Odiham. I shall be there pimping my blog so please pop over and have a wee chatola. It cost £2 to get in and you get a free glass of wine.

Medal of Honor and A Royal Wedding

16th November 2010 was a big day for history in the western world. I do like a bit of history LIVE! A where were you when moment……so two significant moments were heralded.

The first occurred in Washington DC where Specialist Salvatore Giunta was awarded by President Barack Obama, Commander-in-Chief of the US Military, the medal of honor, the HIGHEST decoration for bravery, for his courageous actions in Operation Rock Avalanche in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan 2007.

To watch the award being presented – click here

This is the first time the Medal of Honor has been awarded to a US soldier, who is still alive from either the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts, in decades.

Cornered in an L shape ambush by the insurgents, Giunta saw two of the enemy carrying the injured body of his best friend. They wanted a trophy. His friend was to be that trophy – a trophy that would have displayed, destroyed and disrespected in a medieval manner amongst their own community. (I am not going to write of insurgent attrocities – but if you want to know an example of what the insurgency does to it’s captured troops – click here)

Enraged and full of adrenaline, Giunta ran forward firing, killed one of the insurgents and injured the other. They were able to rescue the body of his best friend Sgt Brennan and bring him back to his brethren. Tragically, Brennan died. But he did not die alone and he was not a mascot of insurgent success.

Talking to Tim Hetherington, he said, ‘this is bullshit’

(See interview on http://www.restrepothemovie.com)

(For Tim Hetherington’s Vanity Fair interview – click here)

Talking to CBS, he said, ‘this is not what I want.’

(For the CBS interview click here)

(NB: The interviewers fake British accent is very off putting – it’s almost as bad as Dick van Dyke’s in Mary Poppins – sorry to be glib on this very solemn subject. The link is only half the interview so you won’t have to go through the aural adjustment that I did. It’s a British thing – we use accents to identify origins so we can then judge people.)

I want to know what does Giunta want? I can’t bear to watch anymore interviews where he is welling up with emotion. Poor guy – to re-live this trauma live on the centre stage. I want to know what does he want? He has a voice now – maybe he can speak for soldiers and we can learn if the mission is worth it through their eyes? Would Giunta go back to the Korengal Valley? Do the troops want another shot at it? Is that what they want? Or do they want us to withdraw and come home? Maybe Giunta could get his job back at Subway – is that what he wants? Brendan O’Byrne told me that he had the best and worst times of his life in the Korengal Valley, but part of him wants to go back. The worst year of his life was the next year, when he came back and he was home; alone, without his brothers-in-arms.

Operation Rock Avalanche is documented in Restrepo.

The second momentous occasion was the engagement of William, aka Wills, and Catherine, aka Kate. David Cameron was delighted. I bet, he bloody was!! Ireland is on the brink of economic collapse, everyone is skint – it’s cuts, cuts, cuts. It’s going to be the decade of discontent. This is just what the nation needs, a Royal Wedding to keep everyone thinking about dresses and drinking. Keeping their eye off the fact that we are paupers. Perfect distraction to keep the masses happy. William couldn’t have timed it better! We love a Royal Wedding. We can all have a little rally. It will bring lots of tourists in – target Australia (they are not in recession) and Asia, they aren’t as skint as us – drag some of that capital over here and we roll out the carriages for you! Let’s face it – we don’t have to hire them, as we already funding them with the taxpayers purse. How’s that for a good ROI (return-on-investment)? I do like it when the royal family give back. They are actually doing their bit for the recession.

To be honest, I am pro Royal family, especially when they sing for their supper at times like these. But he’s given her Diana’s ring.

“Beware the ides of March!!” The soothsayer within me shrieks.

I feel very uncomfortable about the ring. No good will come of that ring. It represents a loveless union. The ring is not a good omen at all. My mother died tragically when I was two. I have her single diamond engagement ring. She had tiny fingers and it has been re-sized to fit on my sausages in comparison to her chipolatas. I have worn it a few times but nothing good has ever come whenever I have worn it. I love the ring. I love owning it. I cherish it but I know I can’t wear it. Too much tragedy surrounds it, and it brings me no luck, I am afraid to say.

AND she wore a blue dress. But hey ho – we’ll see. Not that it matters anyway. I was gripped by it and I will join the nation in watching the wedding, and reading about it’s preparation – I can’t help it. I will be sucked in – it’s the oestregon in my blood. It’s not my fault – it makes me like this.

Kate and William are classic rags to riches Cinderella tale. (Today, is not the day to talk about how I feel about Cinder’fucking’rella!) As it happens, it’s not dissimilar to what’s going on with Prince Arthur and Guinevere over on BBC 1 Merlin.

I love Merlin – I have made no secret of my love for Bradley James – click here (who in my sleep deprived addled brain I keep mixing up with Bradley Walsh – big mistake – huge!!)

I can confirm that Steve, from Bloggertropolis – see his Morgasma post here and me are down on the list to visit the Merlin set, when they start filming next year. I am so excited. I get to meet my one true love (apart from Hagar, of course, oh and now, Tim Hetherington and also, while we here, Matt Damon!). What I really want to know is – does he wax his chest?

Decision Points & Realisation Day

Yesterday, was mental, mental, chicken oriental! I was up at 4.30am and I dropped my poor little Menace at her childminders at 5.45am (I dropped her in jimmie jammers, you’ll pleased to know that she went straight back to sleep as soon as I handed her over) so that I could nip up to London town to join Gaby Roslin and Paul Ross in the BBC London Breakfast studio to be part of their regular morning slot and go through the day’s papers with them at 7am!!

Just as an aside, I was so pissed off, when I joined the M3 and discovered that I was actually driving away from London and drove a whole junction in the wrong direction at 6am, with only an hour to spare. I needed to be there to prepare and read the stories in advance! Aaaarggh!! It was fairly stressful.

I have uploaded the segment onto You Tube – so you can listen if you like. It’s only 8 minutes.

In summary, just in case you can’t be arsed to listen. I was invited because it was Remembrance Day and they wanted a military connection on the show. I decided that I was thinking of re-naming the day Realisation Day because I hoped a few people may realise that we are a nation at war. There is a war raging in Afghanistan and the people of Great Britain need to get behind it. I don’t think the nation as a whole really understands why we are there, what the military are trying to achieve and what does success look like.

I hear this a lot – I support the soldiers but I don’t support the war. The soldiers are the war. The Armed Forces want to achieve the mission. The Armed Forces want victory in Afghanistan. The people of Britain need to pick a team and it should be Team ISAF.

I did an interview with Heather at NotefromLapland and I am going to copy some of that across so you can get the gist.

[H] I guess most people, myself included, don’t know what they should be doing though. Reading reports about soldiers dying in the press isn’t going to change the fact that they are dead and there seems little else we can do.

As a nation we have responsibility to support our serviceman and look at the conflicts our democratically elected Government sends them too and say is this what we want as a nation. If it is what we want as a country then we need to get behind them and support a victorious campaign. Death is a loss to an organisation that bases success on gains, yet we only look at the conflict when someone dies. What about all the successes of the campaign? The British people need to demand to know about our victories in Afghanistan because there are many.

[H] You said earlier that we don’t know what success looks like, that’s true, us civilian bystanders hardly understand what it is exactly we are supposed to be acheiving in Afghanistan except the woolly concept of peace. What does success look like?

For example, one Tribal Elder wrote in English to the family of a serviceman who had died serving his country in his village. In his letter, he mourned the loss of their son but said he had brought many great things to his village and they would be forever in debt to him. The Elder wanted his family to know that the soldier had not died in vain. These are the stories that the British public should be reading not just watching an attrition meter and hang their head in mourning for another soldier who has given his life.

[H]What is the one most important thing about that Afghanistan conflict you have come away with, the one thing you would like everyone to understand?

We are there now and regardless of whether that is right or wrong we can’t turn back the clock. If we don’t support the campaign then every loss of life of an ISAF soldier would have been lost in vain. I think that we can resolve this conflict and stabilise Afghanistan. If we as a nation don’t believe in the campaign then we should state that as a whole, but if we do believe in the campaign then we have to get behind it, pull our heads out of the sand and unite as a country to support our armed forces. The time for apathy is over – it is time as country take responsibility for our choices and start using our voices.

[H]Start using out voices for what? Exactly what can we be doing other than to support them in our minds?

We the community of Britain can ask questions about the campaign and actually be interested in what is going on. We can ask ‘what does success look like?. We can demand that our troops are adequately equipped to engage in the conflicts our Governments send them so that they can be victorious on behalf. We can want them to achieve success and believe in that success – maybe even cheer when we achieve it. Can you imagine a crowd at a football match with their heads down, their mouths shut, thinking they want their team to win. This is where the majority are sitting at the moment. Do you think in the Second World War nobody cared if we won or lost? The nation rallied – we need to rally again.

For the full interview click here

So, Decision Points by George ‘Water Torturer’ Bush. I was offered a copy by Ebury to review it. I hesitated at first and then decided, ‘ok. I’ll take the book.’ Then I felt a bit sick. On Wednesday it arrived. Now, it’s in the house, I feel sick just having it inside my home. It’s very difficult to put into words what I think of George W Bush. I have read some of what those who have read it have said. I was hoping that the book might be an honest account of his time in orifice. I thought that it might say the following:

1.) It’s true I fixed the Florida ballot and I robbed Al Gore of his presidency
2.) I used Sept 11th as an excuse to bully Saddam Hussein out of power so that I could have his oil, finish my Daddy’s unfinished business and incite further rage about American Imperialism amongst the Muslim community.
3.) I knew all along there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
4.) I am Christian Fundamentalist and I am raging a personal war with Islam
5.) Tony Blair is part of my Christian Fundamentalist cult and he thinks he is the Messiah born again and he said he would be my brother in arms in raging war against Islam
6.) Even though most of the 9/11 bombers come from Saudi Arabia and were trained in Pakistan, I decided not to get into it with the Saudi’s because we have a shared love of oil, and also, Pakistan has nukes so I decided not to get into it with them either.
7.) I am a compulsive, pathological and shameless liar
8.) I genuinely believe that tying jumpers loosely around my shoulders over my shirt makes me look like a knobhead but it’s good look for the club and it goes down well with my fellow WASPs (white anglo saxon protestants) that keep my ego oiled.
9.) My love of oil, money and power goes beyond rational behaviour
10.) I didn’t write this book myself, Babs did it for me.
11.) I am actually a Bonobo Monkey

Having flicked through it and read some of the talk of to ‘water torture’ or ‘not to water torture’ that is the question I am pretty confident that all of the above is not likely to appear in the book I agreed to read, so I have come to a decision point of my own which is that I can’t be bothered to read this book.

I once watched a recording of George Bush addressing a ship full of sailors (One of those big mother fuckers, you know like the SS Harry Truman that is manned by over 5000 folk – an aircraft carrier thingy) and where he said that Saddam Hussein was responsible for September 11th.

I have therefore decided to run a competition to giveaway my copy of the book and purge my body of the sickness that it has brought upon me.

To win a copy of the book all you have to do is answer this question:

What does the ‘W’ in George W Bush stand for?

Clue: The answer is NOT Walker.

email: amodernmilitarymother@gmail.com

NB:
– Jane Trueman won all the toys!

– Staff Sgt Sal Giunta on Tuesday will receive the Medal of Honor from President Obama

“On October 25, 2007, taking part in a company wide combat operation named “Rock Avalanche,” then Specialist Giunta set in with First Platoon, Battle Company, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, on a rugged mountain ridge in the Korengal Valley of northeastern Afghanistan. Everyone knew the enemy was tenacious—a couple of days earlier, they had overrun U.S. lines manned by Second Platoon and the Scouts, killing Staff Sergeant Larry Rougle and injuring two others. Giunta’s platoon had been near enough to hear the battle but too far away to help. On the 25th, as night fell, they withdrew from their position and walked into a deadly L-shaped ambush. “There were more bullets in the air than stars in the sky” is how Giunta describes the moment he knew they were being attacked at close range. “A wall of bullets at everyone, at the same time, with one crack and then a million other cracks afterwards.”

For Tim Hetherington’s full Vanity Fair article click here

To watch a spectacular, chilling and allegorical interview with Staff Sgt Giunta click here

Sebastian Junger Talking To Hollywood

Today, was definitely the highlight of my blogging life. In fact, maybe my literary life. I got to hang out for 40 minutes in my cupboard, with Sebastian Junger. It was brilliant. I am still buzzing. He’s such a top bloke. He wasn’t actually in my cupboard, I managed to hook him up on Skype, and we did a live video interview. The sound quality and picture quality is a hardly HD but what the hell, I got to chat with him in person.

In the build up, I had been digging pretty deep into his bio. I had watched lots of interviews. He was a fairly steely faced guy and he didn’t really relax much. Now, I am not a political journalist, who is cutting her teeth in Fleet St. I am a military wife (ahem – military spice is what I accidentally referred to myself in one of the segments instead of spouse – but actually I have no problem being a military spice – I like to think of myself as nutmeg and cloves with a dash of chilli) who is writing about what it’s like being betrothed to the military, therefore all of my Restrepo interviews have really focused on the soldiers and not the geo-politics of Afghanistan. This interview was no exception. I basically bungle through it. Look, I don’t think The One Show will be calling me anytime soon. There are a few toe curling moments but what can I say he does release a fair amount pheremone, even over VOIP!!

In part 4 – I manage to nail an exclusive – Sebastian is in discussions over the film rights to War. He is fairly confident it will happen.

I knew from the minute that I saw the documentary that Hollywood would get their hands on it and then it would really catapult into the conscience of the world.

On the 18th October 2010 I wrote:

In The Times, on 3rd October, the Afghanistan correspondent, Tom Coghlan wrote an article on the film, and in The Sunday Times, journalist doyen, Christina Lamb interviewed the legend that is Sebastian Junger, whilst The Observer, celebrated the artistic perspective of the British born director, Tim Hetherington. Meanwhile, in the backwater of the British military swamp of rural Hampshire, blogger and wife of Chinook pilot, A Modern Military Mother aka Clare Macnaughton, interviewed from her cupboard for an office in her military quarter, one of the real stars of the film Major Dan Kearney.

Restrepo, is to some extent pre-hype and once the ball starts rolling and it wins the predicted Oscar, Hetherington and Junger will be heralded as journalistic literati greats by those who themselves hanker for the same legendary status and notoriety.

Eventually, Restrepo will be made into an Hollywood blockbuster, just like The Perfect Storm and soon over paid actors will immortalise the underpaid soldiers that appeared in the documentary. Undoubtedly, the actors will be applauded and awarded for their execution of realism.

Junger and Hetherington have created a brave and iconic piece of filmic history and they absolutely should be celebrated but whilst they flew in and out of the outpost, in the heart of bandit country, in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, Maj Dan Kearney was there for the whole 18 months, isolated by his rank and battling an aggressive brutal enemy, trying to achieve a nigh on impossible task. He and the men of Restrepo are the true stalwarts of the film and whilst the literati celebrate the work of their own, it is these men who are the ones that had their feelings stripped from their souls, who continue to work in their underpaid roles and continue their normal lives.

Yes, folks you heard it here first. War is going to be turned into a Hollywood movie!!

Here’s my dream cast so far:

Maj Dan Kearney – Matt Damon
Sgt Brendan O’Byrne – Jason Statham
Sebastian Junger – George Clooney
Tim Hetherington – Daniel Craig

Just as an aside – Sebastian Junger is hot but in my humble opinion Tim Hetherington is hotter but maybe I just don’t go for that older guy.

All of you Restrepo fans – what’s your dream cast?

(Also I just wanted to say thank you to my new BFF Licky who made this interview happen. That hottie Tim Hetherington was rubbish and didn’t set me up as he promised, plus he didn’t give me any insider questions. Fortunately, I was able to lure Brendan O’Byrne into my lair and after some ferocious tugging on his little back hair tuft he sang like a canary. Proving it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Thanks guys, and also to Lord Junger, himself, it was an honour and a privilege. I am still flushed!)

The Restrepo Trilogy – the ultimate gift for him this Christmas. Boys and men will love it. It’s not a girl film really but you do get to see fit blokes pumping iron and men being men in a male way, which is not unpleasant. AND it raises awareness of a conflict that should no longer be ignored.

DVD – released 29th November

War by Sebastian Junger

Infidel by Tim Hetherington

Three Milly Mums Restrepo Screening

14 days ago, Steph, Faith and I decided f*ck it we were going to become Dogwoof Film Ambassadors because we wanted to see if we could make a success of bringing the film Restrepo to the military and local community. We liked the idea of being involved in a franchise business that was about film. Steph had a media background in a previous life, I studied film as part of my BA hons at university, and Faith, had just successfully grown, and deployed into full time education, two children and was up for something to do other than cleaning her pots and pans. All three of us love film. In fact, it has always been a huge part of my life since I was child. I was an avid watcher of the black and white films on a Saturday morning on BBC 2. I fell in, school girl, love with Dirk Bogarde – one of my biggest life disappointments was when I learned that he was gay. Why are the best looking men always gay?

In the 10 days to promote the screening:

1.) We plugged it mercilessly on The Army Rumour Service

2.) We dropped 500 flyers into the letterboxes of military homes

3.) I did an interview with BBC Sussex

4.) I did an interview with Garrison FM

5.) Bad CO very generously donated an advertising linky on the top page that had over 800 click throughs

6.) We put posters up at as many garrisons and messes that we could get into

7.) We advertised in some of the internal newsletters

8.) We texted and emailed people we knew

9.) It was promoted on the ARRSE newsletter

10.) We even managed to get it on the Defence Intranet

11.) We sent a press release to over 400 media, defence, news and local.

12.) we put posters up everywhere

We needed a 100 to break even.

In the end we sold 91 tickets. I think we were down a couple of quid each but we all agreed it was worth it for the experience. If Restrepo gets nominated for an Oscar, or even wins an Oscar, I would love to do another Ambassador screening at the Farnham Maltings. Even though the DVD will have been released it still really needs to be seen on the big screen to be appreciated.

The screening was last night at the Farnham Maltings and I am delighted to say it was a success. The live skype link up with Tim Hetherington, the co-director was a bit sketchy, but it was a genuine and authentic introduction from the big man himself. Thank you to Tim for taking the time out of his day to link up with our screening.

This is what the audience thought:

Here is my Restrepo journey so far:

Sometime in July I reviewed War by Sebastian Junger for the ARRSE Book Club

August 10th – I was invited to a preview of Restrepo

August 18th – I reviewed the film in my blog post Men and War

September 25th – I was in the midst of chaos working out how to interview Maj Dan Kearney

October 3rd – I somehow, with a lot of Red Bull inside me, at 2am, interviewed the straight talking and super cool, Maj Dan Kearney and then worked out how to edit and upload the interview

October 6th – I went to meet and interview the delicious Mr Tim Hetherington esquire with a snipsy hangover.

October 8th – I attended the launch of Indfidel by Tim Hetherington and blogged very emotionally about whether women watch war films or not?

October 18th – I played a very cheesy 80s video (please watch – so awful!!) and punted our screening!!

November 1st – I talked to the utterly gorgeous and bouncy Brendan O’Byrne.

Last stop – now is Sebastian Junger and my journey will be complete. I can’t wait to speak to him.

I have heard he can fell a women with just a smile – or is it tree? He used to be a lumberjack. Marlboro’ man-tastic. He’s definitely a hottie. Will he be hotter than Hetherington though, now that is the question?