Review: ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ worth seeing again

By Shannon Sweet


Just in time for Memorial Day observances across the country, “The Hornet’s Nest” is being re-released in select theaters. The DVD’s already at area Walmarts.

The first time around, “The Hornet’s Nest”pumped more adrenaline than the latest big-budget action movie and produced more tears than even the most dramatic of dramas.
The film itself, a documentary that goes beyond the typical style of war films, takes the viewers into the frontlines of warfare in Afghanistan. The film follows Emmy-award winners Mike and Carlos Boettcher, father-and-son war correspondents for ABC News, into the brutality of what U.S. soldiers face in Afghanistan on a daily basis. The Boettchers and some of the soldiers were equipped with handheld video cameras and more importantly, their courage.

Devotion to one another and courage are some of the major themes that can be found in the movie. The comradery between brotherhood and sisterhood in crisis is unmatched and awe-inspiring.

The aftermath of the nine-day siege against the Taliban in one of the most dangerous valleys in Afghanistan, also known as the Hornet’s Nest, is devastating. Six American soldiers lost their lives during the assault, and the effect it has on the viewer is haunting. Its staying power transcends long after the credits roll. It’s the kind of poignancy that lasts a lifetime.
After the medals and honors were given for valor, the fallen soldiers were remembered for their efforts. During this ceremony, a hardened, high-ranking military officer broke down after the names of the deceased were announced. Like the officer, there was not a dry eye in the audience.

Above all, “The Hornet’s Nest” at a screening gave me and many others a renewed respect for not just the heroes of America, but for the champions of freedom.

After dedicating more than three decades of his life to reporting and teaching, Mike Boettcher is a man truly dedicated to his cause, to educate America on what is going on in the world. He is so devoted to the war on terrorism he will stay on the frontlines as a war correspondent, risking his own life until all our troops are pulled out, because it is his duty to his country and to the men and women fighting for freedom.

Asked what inspired his decision to become a journalist, Boettcher said, “When I was growing up in Oklahoma, I had a brother who was 10 years older than me serving in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. Every night I would watch CBS News with Walter Cronkite to try to get a glimpse of my brother. I never saw my brother, but I saw a great war correspondent, and I decided as a kid that was what I wanted to do with my life.”

Asked how returning American troops in Afghanistan were being received compared to those returning from Vietnam, Boettcher said, “the American people have stood up and honored the men and women in uniform they would encounter and say ‘Thank you for your service.’ I think America is determined to not repeat the same mistake they made in Vietnam.

“I will say that Americans don’t understand what happened in this war we have been fighting for the last 13 years. What the sacrifices were, what it looked like there and what our troops were enduring in that period. And that’s why we made the movie. What I want to do is connect the 99 percent of America that does not feel the pain of war with the less than 1 percent of Americans who go out there to protect our nation.”

As Americans, we need to feel for our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers fighting for freedom. “The Hornet’s Nest” does its duty to not only make the majority of Americans enlightened about the war in Afghanistan, but to also care about our fellow men and women heroically risking their precious lives for justice.


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