I am not a film critic. I’m just a guy with a Netflix account and a lot of opinions. I also haven’t seen every film and television show about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from start to finish. For example, I only made it about a quarter of the way into Robert Redford’s tedious 2007 Iraq War drama Lions for Lambs before I decided to count my own farts instead. And while I did somehow manage to make it all the way through the first episode of Fox’s short-lived Enlisted, I had already erased every second of it from my memory by the time the credits started rolling.
A combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, elite recon Marine veteran, and international martial arts champion, we knew Rudy Reyes was pretty tough. Reyes enlisted in the Corps in 1998, where he spent seven years as a reconnaissance Marine and scout sniper. He even played himself in HBO’s “Generation Kill” when the producers couldn’t find an actor badass enough to portray him.
Combatcan be fun. As distasteful as that is, it’s also true. Surviving a battle without a scratch is exciting, profound, and invigorating, but what often follows is the sinking realization that you may never feel that alive again.
Many of us join the military in search of a calling or a purpose, but some aren’t searching. They know exactly what they’re after. As a lifelong athlete, martial artist, and the son of a Marine, Rudy Reyes enlisted in 1998 and spent seven years as a reconnaissance Marine and scout sniper. Reyes’ 2003 deployment with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the initial invasion of Iraq was intimately detailed in Evan Wright’s award winning book “Generation Kill.” He even played himself in the 2008 HBO miniseries based on the book.