Forty Military Intelligence and Signal Soldiers from Fort Huachuca had the unique opportunity to enjoy Hollywood-style glitz Monday during the Arizona premiere of the documentary "Brothers at War."
Cindy McCain, wife of Arizona Senator John McCain, hosted and organized the event to bring the movie here and honor service men and women and their family members. The reception featured lights, cameras and, of course, a red carpet. Senator McCain and Gary Sinise were swarmed by uniformed service members seeking autographs and photos.
In addition to the fort's Soldiers, members of the Arizona National Guard, Marines from Yuma, Ariz. and the Marine Corps Reserve in Phoenix and Airmen from Arizona's Luke and Davis-Monthan Air Force Bases were in attendance. Representing the Navy were newly commissioned ensigns John McCain and his classmate from the Naval Academy. Members of Blue Star Moms and Gold Star Widows along with veterans were also at the premiere.
It's unusual for a documentary film to play in a theater, but after Mrs. McCain saw Gary Sinise on MSNBC promoting the film, she knew she had to bring it to an Arizona audience. As Sinise was leaving the news studio, McCain managed to get him on the phone and plans for the premiere began.
"Brothers at Way" is subtitled, "Two brothers went to war. One went to find out why." The documentary is essentially the story of three brothers: Army Capt. Isaac Rademacher, Army Sgt. Joe Rademacher and Jake Rademacher, an actor. Jake embeds with Isaac's long-range reconnaissance battalion in Iraq in order to understand why Isaac and Joe leave their loved ones behind and risk their lives to serve. The film also highlights the impact their deployments have on the family. Jake comes back and then feels compelled to return to Iraq. He experiences combat firsthand on his second trip.
Before the movie began, executive producer Gary Sinise spoke to the audience of more than 600 people. "I got involved with this film a while back through a friend of mine. I believe you're gonna love it. When I saw it, I fell in love with it," he said.
Then Jake Rademacher asked for a round of applause for service members and then another round of applause for their family members. "I'm a family member too," Rademacher said. "It's an incredible honor to be surrounded by you. I hope you enjoy the film," he added.
At the end of the film, the audience gave it a standing ovation. Rademacher then answered questions and updated the audience on his brothers. Isaac has been promoted to major below the zone. Joe is now married and a staff sergeant. He's serving as an instructor at the Army's sniper school.
"Now I have been shot at and IEDd. I have watched men's blood wet the dirt and seen battle-hardened warriors break down in tears as they relate an experience or talk about those they love. I have come to know war in a more intimate and deep way," Rademacher says in a statement on the movie's Web site.
Cindy McCain spoke while clutching a cell phone she never lets go of in case her son calls, "I didn't really understand what family members go through until my son Lance Corporal Jimmy McCain boarded a plane and went into harm's way."
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Roberts, 111th MI Brigade enjoyed the film and felt it realistically portrayed what Soldiers experience. He served with Cpt. Isaac Rademacher in Iraq, and Roberts was also deployed to Iraq the same time his son, a military policeman, was deployed there. "This is a great film for Soldiers, but probably even more so for family members," he said. Several Soldiers echoed his thoughts and commented the film shows an experience they can't always explain.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16