Veterans for Peace NYC Chapter 34 presents “The Good Soldier”

Screening Date: Friday April 9th at 7:00 PM

The Good Soldier” is a powerful, outstanding 87-minute documentary by film-makers Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys, that received rave reviews at film festivals, and the NY Premiere on Veterans Day November 11, 2009.
Location: All Saints Episcopal Church at 43-12 46 St, Sunnyside, Queens. One-half block North of Queens Blvd., # 7 local subway train to 46 St/Bliss St station, 15 minutes from Times Square.
There is street parking available, and a Municipal Parking area on Queens Blvd., directly under the #7 train line.

Admission: Free”The Good Soldier” combines war footage and interviews with five combat Veterans, of different generations, from WW II to the current Iraq War, as they sign up, go into battle, and eventually change their minds about what it means to be a good soldier. There are in-depth interviews with WW II Army veteran Ed Wood, Vietnam Veteran helicopter pilot Perry Parks, Vietnam Vet Army Staff Sergeant Will Williams, Gulf War Army Captain Michael McPhearson, and Iraq War Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey

Contemplating what it means to be a “good soldier,” each is haunted by what he’s seen and done. Each joined the military for his own reasons, though all believed they would fulfill the usual expectations of soldiers, that they would fight for freedom and defend their nation. Their experiences abroad changed them, changed their self-images as well as their understandings of the world around them, especially their trust in structures they once felt committed to preserve.

The film opens with a quotation from Dwight Eisenhower, asserting that he hates war “as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” Despite conventional celebrations of war as a means to ideals like “independence” or “justice,” it is essentially traumatic. Veterans bring their experiences home. As Army Staff Sergeant Will Williams says, “Vietnam is something that’s constant with me. I think of it every day. It keeps me from sleeping at night.” He recalls “I joined the military for the same reasons that young people join now, because it is poor people, the people at the lower end of the economic scale, that fight these wars.”

Amid these conflicts, the film asserts a fundamental respect for its veterans, because they have endured and fought back. Michael McPhearson, an Army Captain during the Gulf War, believes that as troops are expected to do their duty, they are also owed something in return. “I’m giving you my body, I’m giving you my mind,” he says. “What I do ask in exchange is you don’t waste my life. So don’t send me somewhere to do anything wrong, don’t have any hidden agendas.”


-Jennifer Merin,


-Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States


Endorsed by: West Queens Greens and Sunnyside-Woodside Peace