Rallying the troops as only Pvt. John Winger can pull off.
I know I'm losing credibility with ya'll on this one (do I have any left?), but hear me out. On its surface, Stripes is the anti-patriotic movie. It mocks almost all that is patriotic. You might argue its satire: Murray and company are shining a light on the shadow side of nationalism. Maybe, but that's not why its here.
It is here because of a 30 year old memory.. I graduated high school in 1982 and decided to join the military. I left for basic training in late June and so my first Fourth of July away from home was at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After a couple weeks of shaved head, screaming seargents and SC sand everywhere imaginable, I was homesick, tired and wondering what fool thing I had done. On July 4th, we were marched to a large building and listened to Vice President George Bush (Ok, my memory puts the VP there, but I'm worried my recollection is wrong. In my mind, I may have promoted the Second Undersecretary in charge of paper clips to second in command of the US government.) thank us for our service. We were then served fried chicken and ice cream and taken to see ... Stripes! The movie has fused with that moment and my desire to serve. Public service (acting in the public's good) is central to the patriotic act and that memory is why Stripes is on the list.
Up next: When the plumber goes rogue...