As promised although a little later than promised here's my take on The War Tapes. All in all I thought it was excellent and showed the guard in a very positive light. Yes these guys are not PC and they don't show the highest respect for the enemy but War is like that. It's hard to say nice things and not give rude names to people who are trying to kill you. The war tapes shows a very small slice of what these folks live through every single day over there and gives us a small and highly controlled glimpse into their world.
The movie show them doing convoy operations, town patrol, and escorting TCN's (Third Country Nationals) who do a lot of the work on the bases over there. It shows them getting hit w/ gun fire, having IED's blow up around them and at the gate of the base and shows mortar rounds impacting the base. From folks I have talked to who were over in the sandbox this is everyday life and the pucker factor is high. Imagine living for a year in close quarters w/ a bunch of other guys in a state of constant threat. The threat level ebbs and flows w/ the job at hand and certainly being outside of the walls of the base it's a whole lot higher but there is still the constant threat onbase of mortars etc. It certainly makes for a long year I am sure.
The other part I liked was it showed the home coming and the getting back to the life they left. The homecoming was great, the ladders trucks making an arch, the police escort, and the cops standing on the side of the road saluting the bus was great. It's nice to see them welcomed home w/ such a display. When Mike goes back to work there is a huge sign on the gate of the airport where he works which was really cool.
I would highly recommend this movie for everyone.