"I thought that with the casts (of these films), at least a portion of America would go to see them," said Magruder, a 24-year-old who is taking premed classes at California State University Northridge.... snip...."America doesn't want to deal with Iraq, period," Magruder said. "There's just apathy. And that's what a lot of veterans, no matter what their position on the war, are finding when they come back home."
Magruder enlisted "out of a sense of duty and, because his family had limited financial means, to pay for college.
"The war doesn't end for us when we come home," said Geoff Millard... snip...Most hauntingly realistic to him was the soldier in "In the Valley of Elah" who was struggling after his return home. When that character was overseas, Millard said, he couldn't wait to come home. Now that he was back, he was so uncomfortable that all he could think about was returning. "If people saw (these films), then they wouldn't have an excuse not to do anything about it anymore."
There is a third quote attributed to Army Sgt. Selena Coppa, commenting on how accurate many of the films were on the difficulties returning Vets faced. Like Vietnam veterans, when one views such brutality, it forever affects the mentality. However Coppa's comments did not have the critical "whine" factor exhibited by Magruder and Millard.
Perhaps that's because the Chronicle went out of their way to get at least two of the four veteran quotes from the LA and DC chapter presidents of the Iraq Veterans Against the War. A fourth quote from Joe Wheeler of San Bruno, again emphasizing America's apathy, mentions no affiliation with the organization.
While I certainly respect any veteran's viewpoints on the GWOT after serving, it's a slanted portrayal by the Chronicle - building the article's entire thurst around the minority war veteran protester viewpoints. The majority of our veterans do little public complaining, with most expressing a quiet pride in their jobs well done... without demanding public nods of approval.
However I beg to disagree with these respected veterans. I don't believe the films' box office flop status can be attributed as much to apathy as to a national fatigue of non-stop America bashing. Unfortunately, these films portray our troops and their leadership with a high degree of emphasis on those few flawed apples. And if there is one thing Americans do have (unlike our media and pols), it's a healthy respect for our warriors, and a resistance to them being compared to terrorist thugs in the line of duty.