How To Fold a Flag
“[Laying a soldier to rest] That is a soldier’s last ceremony. We want to make sure it’s perfect.” As the soldiers in the burial service remove the American flag from a fallen soldier’s coffin, they fold it meticulously to present it to the soldier’s family. Each of the twelve folds is said to represent a virtue: liberty, unity, justice, perseverance, hardiness, valor, purity, innocence, sacrifice, honor, independence, and truth. Take a look inside the lives of four men who went off to war in 2003 (accompanied by director Michael Tucker), only to return home...different. They went off to war together, but they came home alone. They each come from completely different backgrounds and entered the army for totally different reasons. What they all have in common is the fact that each has a story worth telling, but none of them feels like America or the war stand for the same virtues today that they claim to represent.
The separate lives, homes, and families of these four men highlight the diverse group of people fighting for this country and the struggles they face in their everyday lives when they come home from war. They don’t always receive the credit they deserve; in fact, they rarely receive more than lip service. Their lives are not necessarily any easier or any better post military service. On the contrary, certain individuals face their own crippling struggles consequence of their service and experiences in Iraq, and we really get to see how they must deal with these struggles on their own, without the help or support of those expected—like the Army itself.
Following why these men chose this path, who they left behind in Iraq, who they are since returning home, and who they are still trying to become provides interesting perspective into the reality behind the curtain of hope the army seems to provide with its slogan: “Be all you can be.” For those interested in unsung heroes, untold stories, and real characters, this is an enlightening documentary into the thankless lives of a few American soldiers.