‘Stop-Loss’ brings to light effects of the war

Carole Ann Kinnaw

Of the American troops that have been deployed to Iraq throughout the duration of the war there, 60,000 of them have been stop lossed. A number of Quinnipiac students may not even know what that means.

On March 28 a film starring Ryan Phillippe and Channing Tatum hit the big screen and will hopefully be successful in educating Quinnipiac students and the public as a whole about the policy of stop-loss.

The film tells the story of Sergeant Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe), a purple-heart recipient who has just returned home to Texas after a tour of duty in Iraq. King, however, faces the real problem of the stop-loss policy which allows the army to force term-limited soldiers back to fight in Iraq.

Considering the fact that there are still many American troops deployed in Iraq and that America as a whole is still deeply entrenched in the conflict in Iraq, there are a number of views on campus about whether or not it is too early to portray the war on the big screen.

Sophomore Catie Grossane, who admitted to not knowing what the stop-loss policy was said, “I think it is too soon [to make a movie about the war in Iraq] simply because we are obviously still involved in the war right now, and this is really happening to people’s sons and daughters. But I guess at the same time it could bring awareness about the issue of stop-loss.”

Director of “Stop-Loss,” Kimberly Pierce actually created the movie in response to her brother’s experience in Iraq and to bring to light the truth about the stop-loss policy, and the heart ache that it causes thousands of soldiers.

Sophomore Steve Buckley did not know what the term stop-loss meant either. According to Buckley, “A lot of people think we should not be in the war in the first place and it probably just fuels their anger even more about us being there since more US soldiers are dying every day.”

The movie does portray death; death at the hands of war and death at the hands of suicide when one soldier cannot take the pain that he feels from the war on his return home.

According to freshman Eve Efron this is exactly what the film does.

“I think that it is important that realistic movies are made on the war in Iraq,” Efron said. “Because some politicians today try to portray the war in a more positive light than is accurate.”

Efron did know what the term stop-loss meant before she saw the movie but she said that the movie was a great way to educate the public about the term and what American soldiers are really experiencing.

Pierce also shows in her film how the war in Iraq has affected the soldiers mentally.

One scene in the movie depicts Steve Shriper (Channing Tatum), a soldier who has now returned home from his tour of duty in Iraq under Sergeant King, digging a hole in his girlfriend’s front yard, a gun held tight in his right hand, drunk and believing that he is on a combat mission in Iraq.

Mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder plague real American soldiers returning home from Iraq as Pierce has displayed in her film.

“Stop-Loss” has taken a true story and turned it into a film that brings awareness about not only the war but about the term stop-loss.

It takes real life soldiers and portrays on the big screen their life of sacrifice to our country.