By Mike Smith
I have a confession to make here. During my entire time in the U.S. Army I feared for my life for exactly 5 hours. I was very fortunate to serve in a time where the world was relatively peaceful. Thirty years later, sadly, things have changed.
Made with the cooperation of the Department of Defense, and purporting to feature real active duty Navy Seals in its cast, “Act Of Valor” gives an unprecedented look into the lives, both in uniform and out, of the bravest of the brave. The story concerns a terrorist plot to smuggle undetectable suicide vests into America. Assigned to foil the plot is a tight knit group of men and women just like you or I. If you passed them on the street or saw them in the grocery store with their families you wouldn’t blink twice. But unlike you or I, when the time comes to go to work they do it with the knowledge that they may never see those families again. They’ve made the ultimate sacrifice so, if necessary, they can make the ultimate sacrifice.
The story is pretty standard as military films go. Bad guy wants to hurt us. We do our best to stop him. But here the camera takes you into the middle of the battles. Almost silent in their movements, the Seals move with the efficiency of a well oiled machine. Yes, the film is action packed…if you’ve ever played “Call of Duty” you’ve seen it…but somehow seeing these Seals react to each situation is sobering. The exhilaration of playing a game is gone and you’re hit with the fact that war has consequences.
On October 6, 1981 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. My unit in Germany was put on alert and at 1030 in the morning we headed out to what I was sure was certain war. Five hours later they told us to come home. The scariest five hours of my life. “Act of Valor” is a film dedicated to those who face their fears twenty four hours a day.