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The Way We Get By (2009)

Unrated | | Documentary | 2009 (USA)
2:01 | Trailer
On call 24/7 for the past six years, three senior citizens have made history by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine. Filled with unexpected turns, their ... See full summary »


Aron Gaudet
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Joan Gaudet Joan Gaudet ... Herself
William Knight William Knight ... Himself
Gerald Mundy Gerald Mundy ... Himself


On call 24/7 for the past six years, three senior citizens have made history by greeting nearly one million U.S. troops at a tiny airport in Maine. Filled with unexpected turns, their uplifting and emotional journey demonstrates the meaning of community at a time when America needs it most. Written by Aron Gaudet

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes all it takes is a handshake to change a life.




Unrated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site | PBS





Release Date:

2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangor, Maine, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,149, 19 July 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Way We Get By See more »
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Technical Specs



Color (NTSC Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Maine Troop Greeters have greeted over 750,000 troops as of November 2008. See more »

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User Reviews

How do you get by?
13 December 2009 | by wellyouknow55See all my reviews

I was not prepared for this film. It is really hard to handle.

I'd like to say that this film is in-your-face, but without the usual vulgar connotation that comes with the label. Instead, the film is in-your-face in that it is relentless. It refuses to soften anything, or candy coat it. It's like an icy cold shot of truth into your bloodstream. This movie hands you your mortality on a platter and says, "Here ya go, deal with it." The film follows the stories of the Maine Bangor International Airport Troop Greeters. Bangor International Airport is the first major airport coming into the country and the last going out. The greeters focused on are elderly men and women, some of them veterans, who have dedicated their lives to thanking those who serve.

The two things I walked away from this movie with were an overwhelming pride of being American (i had a strong urge to run out there and hug a soldier myself), and a depressing fear of old age.

I cried a lot during this movie, toward the end. If you've never thought a lot about growing old, losing everything, losing everyone, then you should see this movie.

Really, it wasn't just about troops at all. It was about our own deaths here at home. It was about depression among the elderly. It was about how you deal with death. Hence the title The Way We Get By.

I think it's important too, because nowadays it seems there's so much negativity about America. What this movie made me realize is that even if you don't support the war, the least you can do is support a soldier. Even if you hate this country, love it for allowing you to hate it. I appreciate this country so much, I feel so blessed to live here, and this movie made me feel so much more patriotic than I think I ever have felt.

How do you deal with death? How do you deal with watching your brothers and sisters walk off into a battlefield? How do you deal with watching your body deteriorate, your friends and family and lovers disappearing, until all you're left with is a memory of a slowly crumbling past? How do you get by? I highly encourage you to see this movie.

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