The Way We Get By (2009)
Aron Gaudet wrote and directed this documentary film about three senior citizens in Maine who are part of the "Maine Troop Greeters." It turns out that Bangor International Airport is the main exit and entry point for US troops leaving for and returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their web site says it best: "Day or night, rain or shine, it is our commitment to welcome each troop home from war and give a proper send off to each of the young men and women heading overseas. We accomplish this by being here to offer free cell phones to call a loved one, a snack to keep them going, and handshakes to let them know we care. Since we began greeting flights in May of 2003, the Maine Troop Greeters have greeted over 6400 flights with more than 1,300,000 service members and 313+ military dogs. And it is our pledge that as long as there are U.S. armed forces serving overseas we will be here to greet them." The film focuses on the stories of Bill, a veteran of thirty-two years; Jerry, an iron worker; and Joan, the mother of writer-producer Aron Gaudet. Says Joan, whose two grand children, Amy and Troy, passed through their airport gates, "Everyone says be safe, but they're in the middle of a war. How can it be safe? So I love greeting the soldiers who return, but it's too difficult for me to watch them leave." The cover of the DVD case indicates that The Way We Get By has been a selection at sixteen film festivals. I watched it on Netflix Streaming.