Sunday, June 17, 2012

Act of Valor

The Real Deal

Act of Valor is a full throttle high-octane celebration of American warrior spirit as exemplified by today's US Navy Seals.  What a revelation to see the American fighting man unabashedly celebrated in a high budget film with all the Hollywood technical bells and whistles!  This is an action-packed movie that utilizes all the real-world infiltration and combat skills of the Navy seals.

The complete villainy of this films' villains is established early (a la Bond) with a brutal bombing of an international school in Manila. Act of Valor contains favorable allusions to warrior leaders such as Winston Churchill (see earlier post, Winston Churchill Quotes, 6/3/12) and Tecumseh.  Act of Valor ultimately reminds us of the brilliant Orwell quote, "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Let's make no mistake about it -- the "warrior spirit" that this film celebrates is firmly in the American tradition of  the minutemen at Lexington and Concord, the Marines with Eaton at the battle of Derne (see earlier post, The Pirate Coast, 5/9/12) in Tripoli, the rough riders with TR on San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American war (see earlier post, Remember the Maine but Forget the War Lovers, 2/20/12), the Millionaire's unit of World War I (earlier post, The Millionaire's Unit, 6/17/12) and many more.

All of the seal team actors are played by real active duty Navy seals.  This is the real deal.  These men have all put their lives on the line for their comrades and their country.  They are truly the sharp point of the spear.  Nor was any of the films' action pure invention -- every action sequence in Act of Valor that happens on screen has actually taken place in the real world in the past ten years.  Nor is the scroll of US Navy dead that ends the film or so invented.  These are some of the real casualties from the past twelve years in the global war on terror.  For every name we see on screen of an individual who gave his life there are also other wounded and maimed soldiers. For every name we see on screen there is a grieving family that will never forget.

We also see a volunteer military service that represents all segments of contemporary American society.  A rainbow coalition of white, black and hispanic personnel all celebrate together, fight together and grieve together as brothers in arms. Even Harvard and Yale have re-established a naval ROTC program (see earlier post, The Millionaire's Unit, 6/17/12).  We may now look forward to ivy league seals in the near future ( Could it be that patriotism is making a comeback?

Act of Valor, in addition to the well-choreographed action sequences, deftly portrays the anguish of the home front for military families as well.  Eleven month deployments away from family are routine in these men's lives and wrenching for their loved ones.  In a world caught up in a struggle for economic survival and advancement, a small group of self-selecting warriors, many of whom have a multi-generational connection to military service, hold themselves aloof from worldly self-interest.  They deserve our eternal gratitude and respect.  These veterans of the shadow wars of the past decade are finally receiving some overdue recognition with Act of Valor.

This film posits the existential reality of evil in the world.  Act of Valor is an old-fashioned movie which asserts that the personal valor and sacrifices of "damned few" can and do make a difference in this world.  Commander Kelly says, "Check it Out and Go Navy!"

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's first book, America Invades or on

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