Christmas in June

Here’s one of our favorite photos from the archives:

What can you tell us about this photo?

Unfortunately, we don’t have any record of where or when this was captured. It’s such a beautiful moment, and we would love to have more information about it. Please join the USO in a search for clues that might reveal something about who these men are and what brought them together to decorate an evergreen on this beach.

RESTREPO to Screen at AFI SilverDocs this Weekend

'Restrepo' film directors Sebastian Junger (left) and Tim Hetherington (right) at the Restrepo outpost in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Junger and Hetherington jointly directed, filmed and produced the movie 'Restrepo' from June 2007 to January 2010. Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, Kunar Province. 2007. (Photograph © Tim Hetherington)

In the DC area this weekend?  Then we hope you’ll check out RESTREPO, a film from Vanity Fair correspondents Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington being shown at AFI’s SilverDocs festival this Friday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 7:00pm.  Junger will be joined by Major Daniel Kearney at Friday’s screening; on Sunday Major Kearney will be joined by Sgt. Misha Pemble-Belkin.  Click here to purchase tickets!

RESTREPO is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo,” named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 94-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.

The directors have this to say about their experience: “The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs can be a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.”

Please join us at SilverDocs on Friday or Sunday and keep an eye on this blog for upcoming news on this powerful documentary!