OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) - The Oklahoma National Guard Office of Public Affairs is releasing a four-part short video series about the making of the film Citizen Soldier.
The Oklahoma Army National Guard's historical Thunderbird patch is widely recognized because of the thousands of brave men of the 45th Infantry Division who wore it during World War II and the Korean War.
Citizen Soldier is a wartime documentary about a small group of Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, who served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, known II as the "Thunderbirds," who served in Afghanistan from 2011-2012. It tells the true story of a group of young Soldiers and their life-changing tour of duty, offering an excruciatingly personal look into modern warfare, brotherhood, and patriotism. Using real footage from multiple cameras, including helmet cams, these Citizen-Soldiers give the audience an intimate view into the heart-pounding chaos and horrors of combat and, in the process, display their bravery and valor under the most hellish of conditions.
"That's the focus -- to tell a bigger picture of brotherhood and about what the National Guard does during a deployment. Just going from the Citizen Soldier aspect -- from an everyday working citizen in Oklahoma to being on the side of a mountain fighting in one of America's longest wars," said Staff Sgt. Eran Harrill of Oklahoma City, who created the film and served in the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment based in Stillwater.
In the era of cell phones and helmet cameras, the movie titled Citizen Soldier is told through the eyes of those whose boots were on the ground when the raw and intense footage was captured. Scattered throughout the film are interviews taken more than four years after the Soldiers returned, talking about their experience, their unbreakable brotherhood and most importantly, their fellow Soldiers who didn't make it home.
Over a period of 93 days beginning in late July 2011, the Oklahoma National Guard lost 14 Soldiers and dozens more were seriously injured. The deployment of more than 3,200 Soldiers was the largest since the Korean War and was the first time members of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard deployed together.
"We believe this movie will help the American public better understand what the National Guard does for our Nation during times of war… This is a story that needed to be told, not only for those that have fallen and their families but for everyone who has seen combat and continues to deal with the scars inflicted by war, seen or unseen," said Col. Max Moss, an Oklahoma National Guard spokesman.
The video series can be found on http://ok.ng.mil/Pages/citizen-soldier showing the background behind the making of the movie. The remaining segments will be released at 8 a.m. each day through Friday.