MRE Board member, Alex Quade, talked about journalism and being an embedded reporter during three press interviews in California, in anticipation of her Special Forces documentaries screening at the Monarch Film Festival this week.
“I just do what female soldiers have been doing throughout history,” she says. But instead of carrying a weapon, she carries a video camera and a notebook.
Alex Quade says about her films: “I try to show the American audience what combat looks like up close… what it sounds like… what it feels like… I want to make it understandable for the families back home. I try to put the stories of their soldiers into context. “
“To me, it’s a huge responsibility to do justice to the stories of the men and women serving our country… and it’s a huge responsibility to get it right, for their families who deserve to know the truth,” says Quade. “Their children and grandchildren ought to know about some of the amazing things that their soldier went through.
It isn’t easy gaining the trust of military officials, or access to Special Forces, Quade told The Pine Cone. But the filmmaker — whose personal philosophy is “Never, ever quit” — is clearly persistent.
“I’m one of those pain-in-the-butts who becomes a big pain in everybody’s side because I don’t take no for an answer,” she explained. “It might take me months or years to get access.”
Because she works so closely with military officials and personnel, The Pine Cone asked Quade if she ever gets accused of being a cheerleader for the armed forces.
“Absolutely,” she conceded. “But I’m not a cheerleader. I will cover the good and the bad and the ugly. My job is to be a witness and tell a fair story.”
Despite the challenges of her job, Quade said it’s worth all the effort she puts into it.
“History needs to be documented — or else people forget,” she added. “I am blessed to spend quality time with hard-working individuals in tough places, who deserve to have their stories told. Sharing the stories of those who serve, is perhaps, my small way of serving.”
“Basically, I’ve made a career of going to ‘not-so-nice’ places far from home. I just go where our troops go,” Quade told the newspaper. “It’s a responsibility I take seriously, to get the audience to care – to make sure service, sacrifice and history are not forgotten.”