Wednesday, August 19, 2009

War Tales

War captures the imagination. The possibility of death, the spectacle of heroism rivets attention. There is no secret why people want to pose with the son of Alvin York, the most famous American WWI vet, as he tours them through his Tennessee home.

York was famously played by Gary Cooper in the film of the hero's life. And a film is also probably in the works as well for another vet with a compelling story, Rudy Contreras Jr., who recently returned from his time in Iraq to his daughters as well as his father. Contreras Sr. took a wrong turn in life and ended up a veteran of California gang wars, missing out on being the good father but trying desperately to make up for it as the good grandfather.

An unlikely film, but a book with a compelling story of how-it-came-to-be is Last Journey: A Father and Son in Wartime, by Darrell Griffin Sr. and Jr. [Earlier: Tear-Stained Pages] The Griffins began their work together while the son was a staff sergeant on his second tour of Iraq dury and before a sniper's bullet cut the collaboration short. It has been completed following his death and highlights the ongoing connection forged by war between father and son.

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