Based on real-life events, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort officer, accompanies the body of 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps back to his hometown of Dubois, Wyoming.

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(screenplay) (as LtCol Michael R. Strobl USMC [Ret.]), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nicholas Art ...
Nate Strobl (as Nicholas Reese Art)
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Henry Coy ...
Marine Driver (as GySgt Henry Coy)
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Ticketing Agent
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Ticketing Agent
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Army Sergeant
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama | War

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Release Date:

21 February 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A lélek útja  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

LTCol Mike Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran, says he decided against another combat tour largely because of his young family. But he was conflicted, and joined the many military personnel who volunteered for escort duty as Iraqi war deaths escalated. Strobl's week-long trip accompanying Phelps' body from a Delaware military mortuary to burial in Wyoming provides Taking Chance's poignant emotional context. Strobl shared his 20-page journal of the trip with friends and co-workers, and it eventually spread virally to military blogs and the media. It was quickly green-lit for filming after surfacing at HBO, which has become a major outlet for war-related programming both documentary and dramatized, with miniseries and films such as Generation Kill; Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq; Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery; and Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of Iraq. See more »

Goofs

The coffin is loaded into a Northwest Airlines DC-9 in Philadelphia, but the plane shown landing in Minneapolis is a Boeing 747. When it's time to unload the coffin in Minneapolis, the plane is again an DC-9. The next day, the coffin is loaded into an MD-80 for the flight to Billings, Montana, but the plane that lands in Billings is a NWA Airbus A319. Again, when the coffin is unloaded in the cargo area at the Billings airport for the trip by hearse to Wyoming, it is removed from an DC-9. NWA does operate all three aircraft types, but they were not shown consistently in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Rich Brewer: Nobody in my family's in the military and none of my friends. But I thought about joining up. Yeah, but I was too chickenshit.
[chuckles, then silence]
Rich Brewer: Sorry, I mean too chicken.
LtCol Mike Strobl: You can say shit.
Rich Brewer: Oh, cool. And plus the whole haircut thing. I'm in a band and, you know, you gotta keep it long to keep the ladies happy.
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Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #19.158 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

In My Own Way
Written by Toy Caldwell
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding tribute
21 February 2009 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

I saw this riveting film tonight when it premiered on HBO. Both my wife and I were totally into the film from the beginning to the end. We saw it nonstop although with a DVR we could have paused. There was not a single point in the film where we wanted to pause.

Like others, we were thankful there was no political bias. It was simply the true story of the respect that has been paid to everyone who died in defense of our freedom.

I served in the military on an aircraft carrier on station in the Mediteranean Sea in 1957. We lost 14 people in crashes and an on board fire during our 7 month cruise. About half of them were given burial at sea services. In addition, I have attended the military services of a number of others and even participated in the military service of one of our church members who died at Paris Island in a training accident.

In spite of all that exposure, I was totally unaware that KIAs were given the kind of personal respect and treatment depicted in the film. I was very impressed and moved, as I am sure most will be. Many have died, including one of my cousins, to preserve our freedom that has allowed me to live for 75 years so far. I relate more to Kevin Bacon's character as I was a supply officer. Had I the chance, I too would have volunteered for escort duty.

A must see movie. If you don't get HBO, look for the DVD sure to follow.


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