Taking Chance

Synopsis: In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Michael Strobl crunches numbers. Stung by his superior's rejection of his recommendation because he lacks recent combat experience, Strobl volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. From Dover to Philadelphia by hearse, from there to Minneapolis and on to Billings by plane, and then by car to Phelps' Wyoming home - person after person pays respects. Kind words, small gifts, and gratitude are given Strobl to deliver to the family on this soul-searching journey. What are his own discoveries?
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Ross Katz
Production: HBO Films
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 27 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
77 min

Blue one to blue two, checkpoint

alpha bravo has been reached.

Copy, leader one.

Blue two, we have a suspicious

vehicle on the right,

moving pretty fast.


Army corps four, is he slowing down?

Blue one,

why are you driving so slow?

- You worried about a ticket? Over.

- Sorry, guys. Just rubbing one out.

Phelps is down!

- Good morning, sir.

- Good morning.

Once we're quartered,

we'll give you a rundown on battalion

and squadron-level readiness and

today's brief will focus

on first marine division.

The slide indicates that

personnel readiness 1st mardiv

is not as bad as they are reporting.

However, sir, as you are aware,

last Friday they made a request

for 300 additional augments.

Given the insurgency in Al-Anbar

and the recent spike in casualties,

it's not surprising that

they made this request.

Sir, it's my recommendation to just

send enough augments

to cover their casualties

of last month.

How many of you have

been in Iraq since 9 /11?

I know you've spent a lot of time

on these reports, but I cannot have

a bunch of analysts contradict

the commanders on the ground.

I don't know. With all

this administrative crap,

it makes you wonder if we're losing

focus on what really matters.

Sometimes I wish I was over there.

I don't know, sir.

Be careful what you wish for, right?

Hey, dad.

- Hello, everybody.

- Hi.

Guess who came in first

in her swim meet.

Let me guess.

You? High-five. That's great!

Listen, guys, how about we get some

homework done before dinner?

I think that sounds

like a great idea.

What are you cooking here?

White chicken chili

with a balsamic reduction.

- You're getting creative.

- Shut up.

Let us pray.

Ready. Down.

- Ready, two.

- Present arms!

Forward march.

Bearers, halt.

That is not nice.

Dad, I think I got all of

the words right, but I'm not sure.

I'll throw a quick one

at you right now. ''Tortellini.''


I don't know.

Sir, last night I read the DOD

Announcement about PFC Phelps.

He is from my home town,

Clifton, Colorado.

I don't know if this falls to us

or to the Pentagon, but,

sir, if the duty does fall to us.

I would be honored

to escort him home.

It's a little unusual

for an officer to escort a PFC.

Yes, sir, I know that, but...

I would very much

like to do it, sir.

I'm going out of town for a few days.

I'm being picked up at 6:00.

- Tomorrow morning?

- Yeah.

I volunteered for escort duty.

There was this private first class,

killed in Iraq. Young kid.

He's from Clifton.

I volunteered to take him home.

What is this about, Mike?

It's not about anything.

He's from Clifton, that's all.

It's gonna be a quick trip, Stace.

I'll be back next week.

Please tell the family I'm so

sorry for their loss.

I will.

I love you.

The remains are to travel feet first

when being transported

from one point to another.

At every stop,

you must ensure that the remains

have been correctly loaded.

At each transfer point,

regardless of the mode of transport,

you will render honors.

Your duty, is not complete

until you have delivered

the remains to the funeral director.

Escorts are not required

to stay for the funeral.

However, should you decide to stay,

there are specific guidelines

for meeting the family.

At no point are you to discuss

the nature of the deceased's death,

no are you to speculate

on the activities surrounding the death.

You may deliver the personal effects

directly to the next of kin.

These effects must stay

on your person

at all times until delivery.

Gentlemen, we have

our first departure of the day.

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Michael Strobl

Michael R. Strobl (born c. 1966) is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer from Stafford, Virginia.Michael joined the service when he was 17 years old as told in the movie Taking Chance (2009). After serving in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Strobl was assigned a desk job at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Feeling guilty that Marines he served with in the Gulf War were serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom while he wasn't, Strobl volunteered to escort the remains of a fallen Marine to his home in the United States. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Taking Chance" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/taking_chance_19335>.

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