Author: Michael R. Strobl

Born in Grand Junction, Colorado, Michael R. Strobl (b. 1965) served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 2007. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 as part of Operation Desert Storm. In April 2004, while stationed in Quantico, Virginia, then-Lieutenant Colonel Strobl served as the officer who escorted home the remains of Private First Class Chance Phelps, a Marine killed in action on April 9, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq. Strobl kept a diary during the trip, recording his experiences and feelings; with the permission of Phelps’ father, he published the resulting essay, which was later used as the basis for the HBO movie Taking Chance (the screenplay for which Strobl also helped write). After retiring from the Marine Corps, he studied economics, earning his Ph.D. from George Mason University in 2011.

A Marine’s Journey Home

Michael R. Strobl

This selection, written during the recent Iraq War, addresses the crucial question of how we should treat the mortal remains of those who die in our nation’s service. Private First Class Chance Phelps of the United States Marine Corps was killed in action on April 9, 2004, in Baghdad.