Black Hawk Down Movie Poster

A panel discussion composed of military veterans and a star celebrity will highlight the screening of a popular war movie to be shown as part of the area’s Veterans Day commemoration.

“Black Hawk Down,” the 2002 film based on events that took place after the fall of the Somalian government in 1993, will be shown on Nov. 10 at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst at 5 and 8 p.m. followed by the panel discussion. Admission will be $10.

Members of the panel will include Lt. Gen Mike Ferriter, who participated in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, Maj. Larry Moores, a lieutenant platoon leader with the 3rd Ranger battalion, which was involved in the actual battle in Mogadishu, and actor Tom Sizemore, who portrayed Lt. Col Danny McKnight in the film.

Sizemore will be in the area both for the panel discussion and to take part in a documentary titled “Operation Double Eagle,” which examines how competitive golf is helping soldiers recover from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Joshua C. Peyton, president and CEO of the Veteran Golfers Association and a retired Army Captain and Army Ranger who established the organization in 2014, said the VGA offers one such venue for recovery.

“Veterans are also coming here to accomplish a mission, that of becoming the VGA champion,” he said. “That’s their common goal.”

Peyton said Black Hawk Down was chosen for two reasons.

“The film is being shown because it gives a really good lesson in combat operations in deadly circumstances, and is also about how teams are formed,” he said.

Moores said he thought the film was a “good portrayal” of what actually took place when Somalian forces attacked the Black Hawk helicopters from which the movie derived its name. The film accurately “showed the intensity of the battle” that subsequently took place, he said.

“I try not to be a film critic, but I went to see how the filmmakers portrayed the events, and I thought they did a decent job,” Moores said.

Asked how the public would benefit from the screening and panel discussion, Moores said that hearing the story from someone directly involved often enriches the experience for the listener.

“It is always good to get firsthand knowledge,” he said. “No matter what the situation, hearing it from someone who actually participated adds to the discussion.”

Fifty percent of the proceeds from the film screening will go toward the Veterans Golf Association, which will will host 80 of the country’s top military veteran golfers at the 2015 VGA National Championship over the Veterans Day weekend at Pinehurst No. 2. Wounded veterans make up nearly half the field, with more than a dozen competitors having received Purple Hearts.

The VGA was created to encourage veterans “to not only improve their games, but to also heal through camaraderie and competition. After recovering from their injuries, these friends relocated around the country, and missed the opportunity to compete against one another regularly.”

Black Hawk Down is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden, which chronicled the events of a 1993 raid in Mogadishu by the U.S. military aimed at capturing faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid and the ensuing Battle of Mogadishu.

In addition to Sizemore, the film features a large ensemble cast including Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor and Sam Shepard. The film won two Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the 74th Academy Awards.

Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or at jlentz@thepilot.com

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