The Messenger This is by far the WORST representation of Casualty Affairs and the Notification Process

This is by far the WORST representation of Casualty Affairs and the Notification Process. And I should know. Not only did I go through the training myself at Fort Rucker, AL, I also am a U.S. Army Veteran and an Iraqi War Widow. (The picture included is of my son and I visiting our hero's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.)

I have had the heartbreaking experience of hearing "The Knock" and having two men in Class A uniforms come to my home at 7:00 in the morning to inform me that my beloved husband was killed in action just outside Kirkuk, Iraq. There is so much wrong with this movie, to include the involvement these soldiers had after notification. That isn't how it works, at least not on the Active Duty side of the house. The CNO and a Chaplain notify the family and then they leave. It is set up that the original notification team members do not stay, because they are the ones the family now associates with bringing them the horrific news of their soldier's death. Shortly after notification, the newly assigned CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer) makes contact with the family and they are the ones that will be available 24/7 to help the family through the paperwork, the funeral and entitlements process. Also, a soldier doesn't get assigned this job as a permanent duty. They attend the class and get put on a roster. If, God forbid, a soldier falls, then Casualty Affairs will choose someone from the roster that is the same rank or higher of the fallen soldier to act as CAO. They are then pulled from their unit and regular job and temporarily assigned to the family. Once they have completed everything necessary (in my case it took six months), they return to their unit and regular job. If they are on the notification team, then they perform the task of notifying the next of kin, but do not leave their unit or regular job as notification usually only takes 24-hours.

I can't even get into the relationship between the new widow and her notification soldier! I am not saying that some widows haven't gotten involved with their CAOs. I am sure it happens. It's is a very traumatic time and this soldier is constantly helping and offering support. But I think it is incredibly rare. And it made me cringe to see how this woman was portrayed.

I had such great hopes that this movie would show what it really is like for not only our brave men and women who have to go up to the door of a family and change their lives forever with one knock, and also show what it is like for those of us on the receiving side of this devastating news. Instead I just felt angry and betrayed at how this was all portrayed!

If you want to watch a movie that really will touch you and open your eyes to what it means to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon. [...]
The Messenger This is by far the WORST representation of Casualty Affairs and the Notification Process

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