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Two military-themed docs to screen at Rialto Saturday

Post by Craig Sailor / The News Tribune on June 2, 2011 at 6:19 am |
June 2, 2011 7:14 am

Two documentary films exploring military service in Iraq from the in-country and survivors’ perspectives will show at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma Saturday.

The main feature begins with a church (and I use that term loosely) in Kansas that has become notorious for picketing the funerals of service members killed in action.

The logic of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church is so twisted that it would seem to be the ravings of a mad man.

That man is named Fred Phelps.

Phelps and his followers, most of which are family members, have been disrupting the solemnity of the military funerals of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

In response to those disruptions a group of motorcycle enthusiasts formed the Patriot Guard Riders. They provide security for the bereaved families of fallen service members at funerals.

The documentary film about those motorcyclists, “Patriot Guard Riders”, was directed by Ellen Frick and includes several PGR members who live here in the South Sound.

Bereaved families nationwide now invite PGR members to escort fallen soldiers from the airport to the burial grounds. Riders stand in flag lines whether protesters show up or not.

Saturday’s screening will be attended by an estimated 200 Patriot Guard Riders in a flag line in front of the Rialto.

Jonathan Santos
The short film “The Corporal’s Diary: 38 Days in Iraq” tells the true story of two American soldiers in Iraq. The documentary film takes a journey into the life of Cpl. Jonathan Santos, 22, through his written and video diaries. The Bellingham resident recorded his reflections and musings on a life he would never live to see. His 38th day in Iraq was his last. His buddy, Matthew, did make it home alive but was forever changed.

Doris Santos, the mother of Cpl. Santos, will attend Saturday’s screening.

‘Patriot Guard Riders’ and ‘The Corporal’s Diary’
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Rialto Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma
Tickets: $10.50,

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