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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Anti-war movie “Stop-loss” offers no solution, one-sided

It has been several years since the American occupation of Iraq. With each coming year, more protestors gather in the streets to decry the evils of the war. Due to the amorphous nature of this particular war against an elusive enemy, the American military has had to adapt and evolve. With this adaptation comes the implementation of various military policies, such as the stop-loss policy.
Sergeant Brandon King (Ryan Phillipe) is a decorated war hero. Having just returned from the Iraqi war with his comrades, Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum), Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Isaac Butler (Rob Brown) in arms, King prepares to return to his normal life. Upon reporting for his last day of duty and honorable discharge, King discovers that he has been stop-lossed; a process by which the military can extend a soldier’s tour beyond the intended date of termination. Feeling unjustly treated, King goes AWOL in an attempt to flee his circumstances. But his family, friends, and country need him.
“Stop-Loss” is an interesting piece. As a film, the movie is well made. It’s not superlative, but it’s very much a solid piece. Each of the actors has excellent onscreen chemistry with one another, allowing the audience to appreciate their troubles. While several of the principle characters may have needed a few more dialogue lessons in regards to their poorly spoken Texas accents, the story, nonetheless, manages to hold together fairly well.
The big buzz around the film of course is its anti-war theme. Proudly joining the ranks of several other Hollywood anti-war diatribes, “Stop-Loss” is most decidedly an anti-war film. As such, it ends up being a film that leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. “Stop-Loss” depicts the principle characters as all suffering from extreme symptoms of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). While PTSD is very real and something that many soldiers struggle with, not every soldier returning home from combat is doomed to flashbacks and endanger themselves or those around them. Nor do they all have severely increased risks of suicide. But by depicting only these conditions in returning soldiers, the film implies that all soldiers returning home from war suffer from these extreme symptoms.
Also, the stop-loss policy is also nothing new. And what the film fails to depict is the fact that each and every soldier who signs on the dotted line is made well aware of the stop-loss policy as well as the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) policy — a period of usually two to four years after discharge in which the military can call a soldier back to service.
The problem with the film is that its facts are incomplete. The movie shows only one side of the issue and in the end offers no real solution. The movie is so concerned with making its statements, it leaves its characters in the dust. As such, it’s not a very good movie. Beyond that, it’s not even a very strong anti-war discourse.

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