When I first saw the promo for Alive Day Memories on HBO, I cringed. HBO doesn't exactly have a great track record of showing a non-partisan view of the war. Since James Gandolfini was involved, I figured it would at least be balanced so I made a point of watching it.
All I can say is WOW! This was one of the most moving documentaries I have seen in ages. It wasn't all sugary sweet with injured soldiers saying "life is beautiful". These are the heroes who left a piece of themselves in the desert in Iraq because they volunteered to serve our country.
There were times when it was really difficult to watch - they showed insurgent video of some of the explosions that injured the troops they were interviewing. It was heartbreaking - seeing pre-injury videos of the veterans, especially Sgt. Eddie Ryan dancing the "crazy leg" dance. It was uplifting - makes you feel like a fool for complaining about having so much laundry to do or the heavy rush hour traffic.
But most of all it was a testament to the next greatest generation and why our military deserves every ounce of support we that sit behind the safety of a computer screen can provide.
Kudos to HBO and James Gandolfini for avoiding politics completely in this documentary. It would have been easy to throw in some judgmental opinions but they steered clear of making it a soapbox. I highly recommend watching this documentary. But keep lots of tissues handy.
God Bless our Military!