Soldiers serving in Iraq can’t cruise over to a sporting event or movie theater, making entertainment hard to find. A Cedar Rapids teenager is trying to change that. Lane Swenka has a friend who runs a video store who’s donating D-V-Ds for Swenka to send to soldiers overseas. Swenka says he’s mailed hundreds so far.
Swenka says “It’s just kind of hard to imagine every day being in the heat of battle and in the heat, literally. Just people, your friends being killed every other day.” Swenka says he’s also forwarding a batch of titles from his personal movie collection to the troops. Swenka says “It’s a great way to release to just kind of forget about everything else that’s going on around there. So, with a movie or a book, you can just take a step back and just go somewhere else completely.”
Iowa native Sergeant Christian Kapler receives some of the movies from Swenka and loans the discs to his fellow soldiers for free. Kapler, speaking by phone from Iraq, says the troops look forward to watching the films when they have a break.
Kapler says “We’ve been gone for over a year now. So, we’ve missed out on a lot of movies that have come out. A lot of guys are into action, drama, comedy, pretty much any spectrum.” Swenka says his gesture isn’t much, but it’s enough to bring smiles to hundreds of soldiers’ faces — which he says makes it worthwhile.