In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Michael 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 Lieutenant Colonel Strobl and Private First Class 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
In the parking lot where the funeral is to take place, Lt. Col. Strobl is driving a vehicle with a Montana "57 county" license plate. There are no 57 county plates in Montana as the state only has 56 counties. See more
LtCol Mike Strobl
I stayed home. I was trained to fight. If I'm not over there, what am I? Those guys, guys like Chance... they're Marines.
And you think you're not? Want to be with your family every night - you think you have to justify that? You'd better stop right there, sir. You've brought Chance home. You're his witness now. Without a witness, they just disappear.
In My Own Way
Written by Toy Caldwell
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
By Arrangement with Natural Energy Lab See more