Rotarians invited to special viewing of ‘The Hornet’s Nest’

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Crowley cinema to host private viewing of director’s cut; movie to be released next spring

It all started with wanting to keep Cpl. Matthew Richard’s memory alive with a $1,000 scholarship to a senior at his alma mater, Iota High.

Never could Alicia Richard or any of his family and friends have expected it to all turn out as big as it has.

And now, as Alicia Richard looks to give back to the armed forces and projects associated with it, she is giving the area a special look at the life of a military man or woman through a special viewing of “The Hornet’s Nest.”

The director’s cut of the movie, which will not be released until spring 2014, will be screened aired at Crowley Cinema IV at a special, private screening Tuesday night. And, for Alicia Richard, it is the chance for many to understand what these men and women go through while serving, the same idea behind the documentary.

“We are using some of the funds we raised last year to host The Hornet’s Nest,” she said. “I’ve asked them to come in an effort to raise awareness of what our military men and women go through, especially coming back from war. Also, provide understanding for military families, because it is hard. We are silent about it, but we do, each day, carry with us that burden.”

In its simplest premise, The Hornet’s Nest is a story of survival as well as the story of Peabody and Emmy Award-winning conflict journalist Mike Boettcher, and his son, Carlos, rekindling their father-son relationship as they embedded themselves with U.S. forces fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan, amidst the constant threat of the Taliban; providing unprecedented access into the longest war in U.S. history. 

But for Alicia Richard it is something a little bit more.

“I found out about The Hornet’s Nest by accident,” she said. “It turns out that my son’s battalion is one of the featured battalions from his first deployment in 2009, and he is in the film.

“It hurts to see him at war, but it is something I have to hold onto and I think it is going to be part of the healing process.”

Tuesday night will also mark the first time she sees the film.

May 14, 2014, Alicia Richard will see the third annual Matthew Richard Memorial 5K occur and each year it has grown, giving her and fellow organizers hope that the trend will continue.

“The first year, we had 300 sign up; the second year, we had 500,” she said. “We would love to see that number double or at least another 200 participate.

Alicia Richard then turned the floor over to two special guests Chaplain Justin D. Roberts and Brent Dones, one of the co-executive producers of the movie.

Dones explained the premise of the movie to Rotarians Tuesday.

“The film was shot entirely by Mike, Carlos and the chaplain (Roberts), so everything you see is real,” said Dones. “What’s really special about this film is it doesn’t tell you what to believe, whether we should be at war or not. We simply show you what our men and women — really our boys and girls — are doing out there.”

Roberts, who has master’s degrees in Biblical studies as well as media arts and communication, spoke of how he came into the project.

“Chaplains are not allowed to carry weapons, so I chose to carry a camera,” said Roberts, “and what I discovered is some of the most powerful stories.

“I actually met Mike Boettcher on a mission with the unit. I told him what I was doing, he told me what he was doing, and there was synergy there.”

The viewing is open to the public free of charge tonight at 6 p.m., concessions will be sold and donations will be accepted to help defray cost of travel for Dones and Roberts.

For more information on The Hornet’s Nest, visit the website at