LOGAN, Utah An LDS military veteran who walked 500 miles to promote a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq has made a documentary, "A Soldier's Peace."
It will be seen at five film festivals, including screenings in California, Colorado, Utah and Illinois.
Marshall Thompson was an Army reservist who spent a year in Iraq as a military journalist. In October 2006, the Logan, Utah, native walked south through Utah to promote peace and get the U.S. out of Iraq.
"It is going to be a reunion," he said of the screening March 8 at Ogden's Foursite Film Festival.
While in Iraq, Thompson, 29, interviewed thousands of soldiers at every rank and was sometimes censored by his superiors. He recalled a tense day when he aimed his M-16 at a man sitting in a parked car, fearful that his convoy would be attacked.
"I realized that this person driving probably had no evil intentions, they were just trying to get home on the highway at night," Thompson said. "I was so close to doing them harm. It forced me to reassess everything."
He said he was inspired to do the walk during a church service just before he returned to the U.S. in summer 2006. The film includes a segment on his Mormon faith and how it fits in with his war protests.
"I was against the war from beginning," said Thompson, now a reporter at the Standard-Examiner in Ogden. "After my year in Iraq, I felt it was wrong on a personal level."
His journey took him down U.S. 89, through Logan, Spanish Fork and Manti, then past Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. Along the way, up to 150 people joined him at various stages.
"I knew that Marshall was hurting when he got back from Iraq," said his wife, Kristen, who joined him for part of the 32-day walk. "I knew the walk would help him find peace . . . It helped him be a better father and husband."