My compliments to Lee Wheatley (letter, Aug. 1) and Kendall Wingrove (letter, Aug. 4) for their excellent comments in The Chronicle concerning the movie Saving Private Ryan. (The film) illustrates the actual violence and brutality faced by thousands of American servicemen who, during World War II, sacrificed their bodies and lives for our democracy and freedom.
Another movie, Johnny Got His Gun, 1971, starring Timothy Bottoms and Jason Robards Jr., equally depicts the horrors of war. It shockingly narrates the "life" of an American World War I soldier in a veterans' hospital after the war -- the war which was supposed to make the world safe for democracy. It was also a war in which "Johnny" lost his legs, arms, mouth, nose, eyes and ears from an explosion of a German shell, but he never lost his desire to live nor his incessant attempts to communicate with his physicians and nurses. Johnny Got His Gun is a commanding sequel to Saving Private Ryan. Unfortunately, this movie is unavailable in our area video sales or rental stores; they aren't even permitted to order it! ...
The Chronicle's editor ("Ryan's statement," Aug. 3) and others who share his opinion about women in combat should view the movie G.I. Jane. As her male teammates gradually learn and enthusiastically proclaim at the end of the movie, if a woman has the physical-intellectual ability and receives the proper training, they will eagerly follow her leadership into combat or any other mission.
Accordingly, I suggest the editor's final statement be reworded as follows: the film is "the strongest statement ever made against putting women and men in combat..."
... There are no atheists in foxholes and war is no respecter of gender, whether they are in combat or not.
Roy E. Brinkley, Clearwater