In 2003, the Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza began working with John Phelps, a Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, to design their Honoree of the Year Award. One year later John’s son Chance, a Marine Corps Lance Corporal, was tragically killed in action while conducting combat operations west of Baghdad.
From HBO’s website:
In April 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl, USMC, came across the name of 19-year-old Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, a young Marine who had been killed by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran with 17 years of military service, requested that he be assigned for military escort duty to accompany Chance’s remains to his family in Dubois, Wyoming.
Witnessing the spontaneous outpouring of support and respect for the fallen Marine – from the groundskeepers he passed along the road to the cargo handlers at the airport – Lieutenant Colonel Strobl was moved to capture the experience in his personal journal. His first-person account, which began as an official trip report, gives an insight into the military’s policy of providing a uniformed escort for all casualties. The story became an Internet phenomenon when it was widely circulated throughout the military community and eventually reached the mainstream media.
Taking Chance chronicles one of the silent, virtually unseen journeys that takes place every day across the country, bearing witness to the fallen and all those who, literally and figuratively, carry them home. A uniquely non-political film about the war in Iraq pays tribute to all of the men and women who have given their lives in military service as well as their families.
The DVD may be purchased at amazon.com.