Reviewed by Jay Long
This film is based on the extraordinary true story of the Turner family and the struggle they endured to survive the chaos of war.
The story begins when the Turners are stationed at Fort Stewart after Chaplain Darren Turner (Justin Bruening) has completed his seminary education and Army training, and portrays a loving marriage highlighted by the couples’ deeply religious faith. When Darren is deployed, the story diverges into two nearly independent stories; one focusing on Darren’s deployment in war-torn Iraq, and another centering on his wife, Heather (Sarah Drew), and her struggles at home with their three young children.
The two stories begin to converge when Darren returns home, but he and Heather both have been deeply affected by events surrounding his deployment in Iraq. He struggles with losses as a soldier, which test his faith as a Christian and jeopardize his place as a husband and a father. Heather struggles with the burdens she faced as a mom, community leader and dedicated Army wife while Darren was away. Neither seems to be able to make the other understand their separate stories, or be able to find common ground to restart their combined storyline.
The filmmakers and actors do a fantastic job of telling this story, and made this audience member feel attached to the story despite some predictability that is obvious with war films — buddies die and survivors struggle. The portrayal of how this couple found their way back to each other through faith, hope and love is heartening. The dedication they have to each other and their children, as well as their calling to God’s service, is inspiring.
Jay Long is an entertainment and intellectual property attorney with Frascogna Courtney, PLLC in Jackson.