One of my favorite Bible verses is John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As a veteran I can certainly appreciate how this verse applies to the military, particularly those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in combat. I am a fan of war movies, but I recently saw a film that moved me like no Hollywood production ever has. “The Hornet’s Nest” is a documentary filmed in Afghanistan by journalist Mike Boettcher, and his son, Carlos. The movie provides a raw, unvarnished view into combat operations through the eyes of soldiers and Marines in several different units, including the famed 101st Airborne Division. What impacted me so much about this movie is it is not a ficticious movie about war or a dramatization based on military history but is instead a real-to-live documentary of actual combat in one of toughest theaters of operation in the world today. The film depicts real soldiers in real combat, and it offers a candid view of what modern military operations are like in the war in Afghanistan. And, it provides a glimpse into the pain that soldiers feel when some of their own are lost in combat.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus was referring to himself at one level in the 15:13 passage. But I have no doubt that Christ was also referring, in a prophetic way that only God himself can, to the countless number of soldiers who have given their lives in the service to our great nation over many, many years. What I found most poignant in “The Hornet’s Nest” was a statement made by the filmmaker regarding the soldiers who died during Operation Strong Eagle III: “They’re dying. And they’re fighting not for some war on terror. They’re fighting for their buddies.” Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
If you get the opportunity to watch “The Hornet’s Nest” I strongly encourage it. (Parents, take note this movie is rated “R” due to the strong, but realistic, language.)