Today is Veterans Day, a day when we celebrate those who have lived and died in service to the country. I joined the US Air Force in 2008, lived and traveled through Europe and Asia, and deployed. I had amazing experiences and made friends for life. But one thing I cherish the most is cultivating an unparalleled love of filmmaking in addition to honing my skills as an entertainment writer.

In 2013, I started writing for a site called Moviepilot while stationed in Virginia, and wrote my first movie review for Riddick. Immediately after posting, I was bombarded with messages that I don’t know anything about action movies and that “women shouldn’t watch action movies again.” My first experience taught me a lot about interacting with the public and harassment on the internet versus opinions.

I continued to write for various smaller sites while serving in the military, but the transition was even more difficult. I considered making entertainment writing a career, but with little experience, no support from big outlets, I had to take freelance jobs for $50 per person, which wasn’t the most effective way to prevent homelessness. The VA service helped a bit. I eventually went back to school and used those resources to stay afloat. It was only in 2017 that I discovered this profession. But without starting 2013 on a whim, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I have a soft spot for certain types of military-centric cinema, whether fiction, documentary or factual. Glory and Inglourious Basterds are two of my favorite movies of all time. Danang Girl, a documentary that I love, talks about the effects of war on women and how it can affect families. In all of this, I’ve noticed that most films of this genre rarely focus on women in the military or female veterans. I get it: women only make up less than 20% of the armed forces, but you’d still think there should be a lot more representations of that in Hollywood. Unfortunately, the representation is just not where it should be.

So that got me thinking, especially with the release of Jennifer Lawrence’s new Apple+ movie. Pavement and the Netflix documentary I am Vanessa Guillen. Both films focus on the experiences of women in the United States Armed Forces. I wanted to highlight more memorable military women in movie characters, so I created this list. I hope you can watch some of these movies and find out why they stick with me.

Pavement

Apple+’s latest film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry, directed by Lila Neugebauger. Lynsey (Lawrence) is back home with serious injuries from an IED detonation while in a convoy while deployed. She desperately wants to get back into the field, but ends up making an unlikely friend in James (Henry), a local auto mechanic with his own mobility issues. Their shared traumatic experiences bring them closer together, leaving Lynsey the choice to join the fight or stay home and start a new life.

Megan Leavey

Based on the true life story of Marine Corporal Megan Leavey (played by Kate Mara), this one is unique. As a young corporal, Leavey shares a close bond with a fighting dog, Rex. His unique discipline and bond with a military fighting dog saved many lives while deployed to Iraq. During their time together in the service, Megan and Rex flew nearly 100 missions, before they were both injured by an IUD and honorably discharged. Gabriela Cowperthwaite is directing.

The hunt

Directed by Craig Zobel, the film centers on Crystal Creasey (Betty Gilpin), an Army veteran caught up in a case of mistaken identity, when she finds herself one of 12 strangers to wake up in a place unknown to them. As the target of these mysterious captors, Crystal uses her learned military skills to survive a heinous set of traps, manipulations and betrayals to find out why she was chosen to be hunted.

Annihilation

Natalie Portman is Lena, a former Army soldier and biologist who joins a mission to find out what happened to her husband Kane (Oscar Issacs) inside what scientists call The Shimmer – a quarantine zone of mutating plants and animals caused by an extraterrestrial presence. Time and space become irrelevant as the group begins to change mentally and physically. Thanks to her intelligence and her training in the armed forces, Lena fights humans and creatures to survive in a dangerous new world.

by Ridley Scott G.I. Jane chronicles the life of Lt. Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore) on her journey to becoming the first female member of a military special operations team. The character endures chronic misogyny, grueling training, crippling self-doubt, and betrayal that could keep him from completing the program. However, his expertise in topography makes it possible to carry out a mission in Libya.

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel (Bree Larson) is part of an intergalactic team that fights alien threats. She looks like a human but has extraordinary powers. The Captain soon finds out that she is Carol Danvers, a former US Air Force pilot who lost her memory and was incorporated into the alien Kree nation due to a power she mistakenly obtained during a flight. a flight mission. Her goals in the military were no different than what she did in space, as overcoming adversity and doing the right thing has always been in her DNA. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton

Dominion from Jurassic Park

Kayla Watts (Dewanda Wise) is a cargo pilot and former United States Air Force officer who joins Owen and Claire’s rescue mission. While Wise plays a supporting role, Kayla’s knowledge of aircraft and navigation is essential to the survival of everyone involved.

i am vanessa

Vanessa’s case Guillén shook America and the military world. At 20, the US Army soldier was coldly murdered by a fellow soldier who was afraid of being caught fraternizing with her because he was still married. The young woman had been missing for two months until her remains were discovered and identified. This documentary is important because it allows audiences to see up close and personal who Vanessa was as a person, how the military handled the case, and whether her family will get the justice they deserve.