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My granddaddy and stepfather never talked about their time in the military. My granddaddy’s obituary doesn’t even mention it. My stepfather’s obituary mentions the year he enlisted and the year he was discharged, nothing more.

The benefit of time helps me recognize that while John Lewis was being bludgeoned crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge and fighting for civil and voting rights, my stepfather Robert Allen was serving a country that he wasn’t convinced served him back.

This movie brought back so many moments, one-off comments, and witnessing of an internal struggle for black men serving our country. I see it in the black men I respect and love of a certain age.

While fiction, the movie is an eye-opener on moments I witnessed but did not understood at a young age.