In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Mike Strobl crunches numbers. Stung by his superior's rejection of his recommendation because he lacks recent combat experience, Strobl volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. From Dover to Philadelphia by hearse, from there to Minneapolis and on to Billings by plane, and then by car to Phelps' Wyoming home - person after person pays respects. Kind words, small gifts, and gratitude are given Strobl to deliver to the family on this soul-searching journey. What are his own discoveries? Written by
Did You Know?
When Lt. Col. Strobl and Pfc. Phelps leave the hangar in Minneapolis there is a large Kalitta Air Charter airplane in the background. In 2007 Congress passed a law that military members were no longer to be returned to their families as cargo in the cargo hold of airliners as with Chance Phelps. The remains are now flown by Kalitta on their fleet of small jets. See more
Towards the beginning of the film, when the bodies are being unloaded from the plane in Dover, DE it's raining. But it's only raining on the tail end of the plane, the rest of the plane is bone dry because the sprinklers didn't reach that far forward. See more
1st Lt. Dan Robertson (Chance Phelp's platoon commander)
[voiceover, from his 09 April 2004 letter to the Phelps family
It's ironic, but I am certain that if the world had more men like Chance Phelps, there wouldn't be a need for a Marine Corps.
In My Own Way
Written by Toy Caldwell
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab See more