Friday, 2 March 2012

Respect the Canadian Soldier: A look at the film Desert Lions

There are a large portion of Canadians who are against our involvement in the war in Afghanistan. It is fair to criticise our involvement in this war, but we should distinguish between the war itself and the soldiers.

The documentary Desert Lions shows the day to day struggles that a group of Canadian Soldiers face in Afghanistan. The film was by shot by Lt.-Col Mike Vernon in the summer of 2010. It follows Canadian soldiers while they work to professionalise the Afghan National Army. The Desert Lions are a nine-man team deployed at Combat Outpost Lion in Nakhonay, one of the deadliest places in Kandahar Province.

Lt. Col Mike Vernon

These soldiers live in one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan and are attacked in one portion of the film. They deal with heat that is typically over 40 degrees and they are in primitive living conditions. They wash their own clothes with a wash board and buy blocks of ice to keep their food refrigerated.They also deal with the frustration of training afghan soldiers, despite a language barrier and immense cultural differences.

This film goes so much farther than the sound bites and interviews you see in the news. It shows a real picture of life for these soldiers and also shows doses of humour and humility, despite their frustration.

Many Canadian soldiers put their lives on the line everyday. They do their jobs while the fear of death is all around them and they continue to work after witnessing their friends being injured or killed. People may be against the war but we should all respect the amazing and difficult work that Canadian soldiers do.

If you have not seen the movie, here it is. I strongly suggest people check it out.

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