Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Veterans Service Agency Director Christian Farrell will host a free showing of the new highly-acclaimed movie “12 Strong” for veterans at 4 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 24 at Monroe Cinema, located at 34 Millpond Parkway in Monroe. The County coordinated the event with new Town of Monroe Supervisor Tony Cardone and the Monroe Town Board.
“12 Strong,” which stars Chris Hemsworth, tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan immediately after the September 11th terrorist attacks. They joined with local Afghan warlords to conduct missions against the Taliban. The film is based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book, “Horse Soldiers,” and will be in theaters on Friday.
“The 9/11 terrorist attacks forever changed our lives and movies such as ’12 Strong’ are important because they portray the challenges and adversity that our service members faced overseas during combat,” said Neuhaus. “They also help us understand our veterans’ needs when they return home from the battlefield. We look forward to hosting this event, which provides Orange County veterans with an opportunity to come together, enjoy a great movie and share some of their experiences.”
Orange County Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services Alan Mack, a decorated U.S. Army veteran, will address guests before the movie. Chief Warrant Officer Five Mack enlisted in the Army in 1981 and became a helicopter pilot in 1989. Mack was one of the first pilots to fly into Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, bringing the same Special Forces unit depicted in 12 Strong to battle the Taliban during the start of the engagement.
“Alan Mack is a true public servant, serving with the Special Forces and other elite military units, including Delta Force and the U.S. Navy’s renowned Seal Team Six,” Neuhaus said. “Orange County is fortunate to have a man of his caliber working on behalf of our residents. He has been a tremendous asset to our talented Emergency Services team and I’m proud to call him a friend.”
Mack spent time with some members of the Special Forces he served with in Afghanistan, Hemsworth and producer Jerry Bruckheimer in New York City earlier this week. He has served as the County’s Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services since August, 2016.
“I’m proud to share my experiences with this group of veterans and listen to some of theirs,” Mack said. “I remember the sense of urgency that we all felt during Operation Enduring Freedom and the importance of the mission. I was honored to serve with the Special Forces during the war in Afghanistan and was glad to reconnect with some of these heroes this week.”
Veterans can reserve a spot to view ’12 Strong’ by calling 291-2470 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.