Growing up, Jake Rademacher had dreams of going to West Point and serving in the military. Unable to gain an appointment, his life followed a different direction. Two years later it was rough and tumble Isaac that gained an appointment to West Point. Now a captain, he has gone on these past ten years to serve in four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile baby brother Joe Rademacher enlisted in the army. A veteran of the battles in and around Fallujah, he has become a graduate of Ranger school, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course and the US Army Sniper School. His last posting he served performing long range reconnasiance duties. The time in the military and service in Iraq created a gulf between Jake and his two younger brothers. In 2005 he went on a mission to produce a film that would help people understand the lives and world that his brothers live in. He sought to understand for himself as well. Brothers at War is that movie.
It is Joe that is the brother that's a little scary. The dark, brooding loner who suffered the loss of his older brother here stateside, then his brothers in arms over seas. It is the hardness and distance in Joe that is so difficult for Jake to get a grip on. Jake goes off to try to understand the world his brothers live in, but it isn't until Jake's second trip that he fully invests himself into living the life of a U.S. servicemen. Jake goes from newbie unfamiliar with how life is lived and afraid of every encounter, to a man who is largely silent about the things he has done and seen.
In the last scene young Joe is shipping off for his third deployment. Jake stands by to see him off, and reaching out to Jake, Joe gives him a brotherly hug, which Jake accepts. As he begins to break off, Joe is still holding on, which takes Jake aback a little, and it is there that you realize that Jake has crossed the bridge and come to share in the world of Isaac and Joe. Jake states "I don't know if I earned the right to sit at the table with Joe, but I have come to understand him better." As a soldier, no, perhaps not, but as a man, as a brother, the answer for Jake is 'Yes.'
It was an excellent show. Hats off to Jake Rademacher, executive producer Gary Sinise, Isaac Radaemacher, Joe Rademacher and all their family.