News: Hollywood executives get a taste of Army life
Story by Staff Sgt. Antwaun Parrish
FORT IRWIN, Calif. – As Mark Scoon picked up his Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) he seemed hesitant as he slowly opened the bag and began to explore the contents it contained.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Scoon, the executive vice president of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Scoon had possession of the lemon pepper tuna MRE; he opened the package of tortillas and tuna and combined the two for a hearty wrap.
“I honestly thought the meals were all dry, packaged food,” Scoon said with amazement. “This is actually good! They come in a variety of meals.”
Along with Scoon were a group of other Hollywood executives who visited Fort Irwin’s National Training Center, to get an authentic experience of how the Army trains. They visited several of the forward operating bases here via UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
When they arrived to Forward Operating Base Denver, they entered a room full of long white tables adorned with the MREs. Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, were there to enjoy lunch with their guests.
Lt. Joseph Field was thankful the executives actually took time to see firsthand what it’s like to be a soldier.
“I appreciate that they are trying to make connections with the Army, and relay that to their films,” said the field artillery officer assigned to 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment.
Scoon placed emphasis on how the visit opened his eyes to an Army that he couldn’t visualize on his own.
“We visited the mock towns which seemed more realistic than a movie scene,” said Scoon. “We’re experiencing advanced training taking place with the Army which helps educate them before going into theatre.”
Along with discussing Army training, he took the opportunity to promote a movie the studio has coming out in July. Which excited Field and made him anxious to see the upcoming film.
“I can’t wait to see Batman!” he stated.
The executive’s visit to FOB Denver didn’t last long, as they loaded the Black Hawks to continue their tour of the training area. But the meeting gave the soldiers a moment to relax from their normally busy training day.
After inquiring with Field on how he thought Scoon enjoyed his meal, he smirked and replied with, “I’m not sure if he liked it much, because he didn’t say much. But it’s just good to see them take an interest into the Army.”