WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The story follows the life of three men, all part of the same team: Sgt. Adam Schumann (Miles Teller), Tausolo Aieti (Beulah Koale) and Billy Waller (Joe Cole). Upon returning home from war, each one is left mentally damaged with images of the battlefield still lingering in their minds. They must fight to fit back in with regular society and make the long journey to physical and emotional rehabilitation.
Adam Schumann is the lead man of his team. He rides shotgun in the front Humvee, looking for bombs. He has a natural knack for being able to feel and tell when things don’t seem right. While patrolling an old and dusty street in the middle of the day deep in the midst of chaos, he tells the driver to stop - something is off. His team asks him what the hold up is. He makes the decision to turn left onto the next street, which later becomes a decision that he will soon regret.
Not long after making the turn - boom.
The Humvee is left impaired and now his team is a sitting duck. Schumann leads his team to the rooftops where they are suspecting enemy fire. But, after arriving, the enemies are nowhere in sight. However, the enemy has a clear visual on them. It turned out to be an ambush to get his team to the roof so that snipers could get their open shot.
Down goes Emory. Michael Emory, one of Schumann’s men, is shot in the head from about a half mile away. Schumann picks him up and carries him down the stairwell. But, while holding him across his back, the blood from Emory’s head is making its way to Schumann’s mouth. While choking on the blood of his fellow soldier, he accidentally drops Emory down the stairs, his head landing on the concrete floor. Emory stops breathing.
Sgt. Schumann never gets over it. Instead, he holds it in and keeps it bottled up inside. When getting back home, he seems happy and excited to be back with his family, like the past events had no effect on him. But, in reality, there is a storm brewing inside of his soul. He and Aieti do what they can to get approval to enter into a rehabilitation center that is taking much longer than it should.
Meanwhile, after surviving more than seven explosions, Billy Waller comes back to nothing. He opens the door to his home to find all of the furniture gone, his credit cards cancelled, and his girlfriend missing. She left him. Finally, after having a night out with Schumann and Aieti, he wakes up early the next morning to visit the workplace of his girlfriend. He confronts her about the situation and pulls out a gun. Waller commits suicide in the middle of the bank.
Schumann and Aieti are left devastated. The two must continue to face the hardship of what it really means to be a soldier: staying strong.
This story dives deep into the realms of what our soldiers really go through. Viewers have been known to feel grateful, humble and truly blessed. This film is highly recommended.
The best part: it’s based on true events.