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A Battle Of Dunkirk Veteran Gives The New Film An Emotional Review
Dressed in a suit adorned with military medals and awards, Ken Sturdy, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, sat in a crowded movie theater in Calgary, Alberta, on July 21 and watched Dunkirk — a war drama about a real-life battle he survived.
The harrowing film, by Inception and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, centers on a desperate, civilian-aided plan to evacuate hundreds of thousands of Allied troops across the English Channel after they were cut off and trapped by advancing Germans in the French city of Dunkirk in 1940. Sturdy, a 20-year-old signalman with the Royal Navy at the time, helped evacuate soldiers stranded on the beach, where they were strafed by German aircraft.
“I had the privilege of seeing that film tonight and I am saddened by it because of what happened on that beach,” Sturdy told Calgary Global News. “I never thought I would see that again. It was just like I was there again.”
Over the course of nine days, more than 300,000 British soldiers were rescued by the Royal Navy and a fleet of civilian and merchant vessels, dubbed “little ships.” However, thousands of British soldiers were captured or killed in the battle, one of the most shocking opening salvos of World War II.
Sturdy, who lost friends at Dunkirk, said he hopes the film highlights the tragic nature of war for viewers.
“Tonight I cried because it’s never the end,” Sturdy said. “It won’t happen. We, the human species, are so intelligent, and we do such astonishing things. We can fly to the moon but we still do stupid things. So when I see the film tonight, I see it with a certain kind of sadness. Because what happened back then in 1940, it’s not the end.”
“Don’t just go to the movie for entertainment,” Sturdy added. “Think about it. And when you become adults, keep thinking.”
New trailer for 'Bloodshot' gives us Vin Diesel as a super soldier who can literally get shot in the face and just walk it off
(Reuters) - In the summer of 2004, U.S. soldier Greg Walker drove to a checkpoint just outside of Baghdad's Green Zone with his Kurdish bodyguard, Azaz. When he stepped out of his SUV, three Iraqi guards turned him around at gunpoint.
As he walked back to the vehicle, he heard an AK-47 being racked and a hail of cursing in Arabic and Kurdish. He turned to see Azaz facing off with the Iraqis.
"Let us through or I'll kill you all," Walker recalled his Kurdish bodyguard telling the Iraqi soldiers, who he described as "terrified."
He thought to himself: "This is the kind of ally and friend I want."
The US military quietly pulled 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan over the past year without a peace deal
The U.S. military has pulled about 2,000 troops from Afghanistan over the past year, the top U.S. and coalition military commander said Monday.
"As we work in Afghanistan with our partners, we're always looking to optimize the force," Army Gen. Austin Miller said at a news conference in Kabul. "Unbeknownst to the public, as part of our optimization … we reduced our authorized strength by 2,000 here."
"I'm confident that we have the right capabilities to: 1. Reach our objectives as well as continue train, advise, and assist throughout the country," Miller continued.
The New York Times was first to report that the U.S. military had reduced its troop strength in Afghanistan even though peace talks with the Taliban are on hiatus. The number of troops in the country has gone from about 15,000 to 13,000, a U.S. official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.
Separately, the U.S. military is considering drawing down further to 8,600 troops in Afghanistan as part of a broader political agreement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Oct. 19.
"We've always said, that it'll be conditions based, but we're confident that we can go down to 8,600 without affecting our [counterterrorism] operations, if you will," Esper said while enroute to Afghanistan.
So far, no order has been given to draw down to 8,600 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. official said.
After President Donald Trump cancelled peace talks with the Taliban, which had been expected to take place at Camp David around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. military has increased both air and ground attacks.
In September, U.S. military aircraft dropped more ordnance in Afghanistan than they have since October 2010, according to Air Force statistics.
However, the president has also repeatedly vowed to bring U.S. troops home from the post 9/11 wars. Most recently, he approved withdrawing most U.S. troops from Syria.
On Monday, Esper said the situations in Syria and Afghanistan are very different, so the Afghans and other U.S. allies "should not misinterpret our actions in the recent week or so with regard to Syria."