Recent Feedback

About this submission

A soldier finds himself in the toughest battle of his career as he faces the choice of keeping a promise to his family to retire and finding closure for the death of his daughter.

Based on actual events, The Dark Side is a film about a soldier’s life altering decision. Chris Russo, a battle-hardened Army Ranger diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is just a few days from retiring when he is told that his daughter Celine was killed in an attack on her chow hall four days before Christmas. Chris now faces the decision to retire or deploy to find closure. When he chooses to deploy, his wife Amy gives him an ultimatum, “If you choose to deploy, I may not be here when you get back.” After returning to Iraq, he learns that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi gave the order for the attack. During the pursuit of Zarqawi, Chris becomes separated from his team that results in two brushes with death, which forces him to re-evaluate his decision. When he returns home, he discovers his wife has kept to her word. With mounting concerns of the apparent end of his marriage and the death of his daughter, the ugly face of his PTSD once again surfaces which sends him in a psychological downward spiral.

Michael was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 4, 1967. He is married to a wonderful woman (Amy) who he calls his angel and his rock. Combined with his service in the National Guard and Regular Army (active duty), He served 22 years. In that time, he served 3 combat tours in Iraq (2002-2003 3rd Infantry Division), (2006-2007 82nd Airborne Division) and (2010-2011 1st Infantry Division) and one combat tour in Afghanistan (2008-2009 101st Airborne Division). He served as a Motor Transport Operator as well as an Infantryman. His awards include: Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Campaign Star, Iraq Campaign Medal w/ Five campaign Stars, Army Commendation Medal (3rd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award) Army Reserves Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal w/ Bronze Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (4th Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal w M Device, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Basic Aviation Badge, Parachutist Badge, Driver And Mechanic Badge (Mechanic) and Diver And Mechanic Badge (Driver). more...

Join the Discussion