Documenting The War From The Soldiers Point Of View

December 4, 2007

When they deploy, many Soldiers bring their personal cameras and video recorders with them, to record their personal experiences, take photos of each other. Sometimes during their down time and other times, during particular situations that they might find themselves in. In years to come, they often look back on the photos and video clips as they reminisce about their experiences.

The Soldiers of the Oregon National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry did as many of their fellow Soldiers did, taking photos of each other shooting their weapons, footage of explosions and of course plenty of footage interlaced with their own brand of “Soldier humor.” They never expected that their footage would one day represent deployed National Guard Soldiers everywhere, by being preserved in a feature length documentary called “This is War: Memories of Iraq.”

The National Guard Combat History Archive and Lucky Forward Films has used the photos and videos shot by 9 different Soldiers of varying ranks and experiences to narrate events. The photos and video serve to illustrate what they experienced on their deployment.

“We wanted to make a very non-political film that took someone who’s never been to Iraq … to show what it means to go into combat,” said director Gary Mortensen. “We told it in a non-specific way so that it could represent soldiers everywhere – we wanted to tell a tale that anyone who has been over there can identify with.”

What makes the film unique according to Mortensen is the fact that each the Soldiers had their own personal cameras and video cameras, giving a more intimate view of what they saw and experienced on a daily basis for a year or more. The Soldier’s were not aware that any of their films and photos would be turned into a film, which allows for a more honest and raw portrayal of what they experienced.

“It’s very powerful,” said SFC Phillip Vince Jacques, who is one of the Soldier featured in the film. “It really represents the professionalism of these guys and shows exactly what Troops are going through over there. They’re the ones fighting the war. You might as well hear their story.”

SFC Jacques has attended various screenings of the film and has noticed that the audiences have reacted often in awe. Regardless of their support or non-support of the war, he feels that they have walked away after seeing the film with a whole new perspective on what Soldiers are doing in Iraq.

Currently the film has not been released to stores. Broadcast rights and distribution are currently being worked out. If you’d like to purchase a copy of the film, you may do so by calling (503) 579-7030 or visiting the website at

Proceeds from the movie will go to support the Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, The National Combat History Archive, the Iraq/Afghanistan Oregon Memorial Fund and the Wounded Warriors Project.


4 Responses to “Documenting The War From The Soldiers Point Of View”

  1. Gathering of Eagles: Colorado » Blog Archive » This is War - Memories of Iraq on December 4th, 2007 8:38 am

    [...] is War - Memories of Iraq Guest Author December 4th, 2007 Thanks to Terri for her post at a Soldiers [...]

  2. mtngrandpa on December 4th, 2007 8:54 am


    I was looking for movies about Iraq to get that “Redacted” taste boycott off of my mind and site, and you just happened to have a great one listed on your site. (So… I “borrowed it” for the Colorado Gathering of Eagles page). Thanks so much, you’re great!!!

    Merry Christmas! & Eagles UP!

  3. Twana Blevins on December 4th, 2007 5:24 pm

    Thank you for posting this. This is the first time I’ve heard of this film.

    Christmas Stockings are going to be full this year. Thanks again.

  4. war movie on December 7th, 2007 5:30 pm

    [...] Documenting The War From The Soldiers Point Of View [...]

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