Long has it been that when someone finds out about your service in the military they greet your with, “Thank you for your service.” Adam Schumann, a former US Army Sergeant and the basis of the new movie, Thank You for Your Service, equated the phrase to say hello. He is not wrong, and I am sure most veterans would also agree. I know I do.
You don’t know if the person served honorably. What if they were a total sh*t stick who was dishonorably discharged? What if you saw Bergdahl and did not recognize him and thanked him? Schumann recommended another phrase that actually moved him to tears, “welcome home.” It is a pretty general message and does not give any “praise” and feels less Hallmark and more personal. It really is just all preference. I know to me that thank you seems like such a cliché statement. It is almost as if it were required by law for someone to thank you. Sometimes I don’t know whether to also say thank you or say you’re welcome. It just makes things so awkward and uncomfortable.
The movie is an adaptation of the book and chronicles the lives of soldiers from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they adapt to their lives at home after they return from overseas. The film features Miles Teller as Schumann and many other notable actors as fellow soldiers. The film has received very mixed reviews and managed an average of 78% from 73 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. A hard feat that some bigger films could not muster. Some call the film “too timid” or “pedestrian” while others saying it was a “sobering reminder” of what our veterans go through when they come home from deployments. The film has garnered only $3.7 million on its opening weekend on a reported $20 million budget.
The book it was based on was not such a flop, however. It was written by American journalist David Finkel, who also wrote The Good Soldiers, also featured the 2-16 Infantry Battalion. The book was such a success it was a finalist for the Nation Book Critics Circle Award. It also received the Carla Furstenberg Cohen Literary Prize, Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, NPR Best Book of the Year (2013) and New York Times Notable Books of the Year (2013). So where did the movie go so wrong?
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