Taking Chance

Jean Oshima
2 min readMar 7, 2018
Kevin Beacon as Lt. Col. Michael Strobl

“If the world had more people like Chance Phelps there would be no more need for the Marine Corps.” ~ Lt. Col. Michael Strobl

It takes a lot to make me cry at a movie. And I don’t recall ever crying all throughout a movie. Ever. Until Taking Chance, starring Kevin Beacon.

Taking Chance, along with the Oscar nominated movie, The Messenger, also a 5 Heart Rating, is a movie I wish every American would see.

This is the true-life story of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, a volunteer military escort and senior officer, whom accompanies the body of Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps to his hometown in Wyoming. (Phelps was promoted posthumously from Pvt. First Class to Lance Cpl.)

The circumstances of Phelps’s death are revealed throughout the movie. But this movie is as much about his journey back home to Wyoming as it is about his life and the story leading up to his death. And of course the movie is a lot about the officer accompanying Chance back to the town where he lived for burial.

There are some great lines in the movie and the cinematography especially toward the end is spectacular. I felt as though Chance was going back home and to heaven at the same time.

I won’t go into details of the movie because my hope is that you will see it. And see it the way I did, not knowing much about it. But here’s fair warning — if you are a mother, a father, a sister or brother, in the military, a Veteran, a son or daughter, this movie will likely move you. He was 19 years old.

“Without a witness they just disappear.” ~ from the movie. I don’t recall who said it. When I watch it again I will come back and tell you. Might be a while. Still recovering from the first time seeing it.

Chance Russell Phelps

“I didn’t know Chance Phelps before he died. But today I miss him.”

Me too, Colonel, me too.



Jean Oshima

See my blog, 5 Heart Rating at http://jeanoshima.com I am a Wellness & Wine and Special Events Producer