American flags were flying high at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station for the inaugural Stars & Stripes Film Festival benefiting Sons of the Flag. The evening began with a special red carpet entrance, where Sons of the Flag president and CEO Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, event chairs Lynn and Allan McBee, and honorary chairs Louise and Guy Griffeth answered questions from the media, posed for pictures and signed film festival posters.
What followed was a VIP reception to celebrate the opening film, Act of Valor, during which guests sipped cocktails and nibbled on light bites while listening to patriotic, retro tunes by the American Bombshells. Kudos were given to those in charge of the event, particularly because films were free to all active duty military and veterans.
Among those in attendance were Act of Valor producer Mike “Mouse” McCoy; SEAL Team Seven, on whom the film is based and some of whom were in the film; Barry Tubb, whom you might remember as Wolfman in Top Gun; and Jules Naudet, filmmaker of the documentary 9/11.
“This is such a patriotic event, and me being a solider, I can say that this means everything to us,” Parrott said. “Having different war soldiers come in on behalf of the movies, there is nothing more iconic than that. We are having fun while doing great things.”
After the screening, McCoy and SEAL Team Seven participated in a question-and-answer session. Guests — including Sandie and Steve Woods, Holly and Phillip Huffines, Leah and Jim Pasant, Tiffany and Paul Divis, Cyndy and Mark Gulis, Sarah and Todd McCoy, Prissy and Warren Gravely, and Lee Papert — then headed to Trinity Hall for a lively after-party and for one final salute to the opening night of this amazing charitable event that lasted through the weekend.
Sons of the Flag is vigilantly committed to supporting military, first responder and civilian burn survivors by providing funding for innovative research, fellowships for doctors to further their training in treating burn survivors, and support for those impacted by a traumatic burn.