Megan Leavey Married Matt Morales Relationship
Megan Leavey Married Matt Morales Relationship – I went to see Megan Leavey expecting to either be utterly disappointed by the plot itself or to be furious at how women were portrayed in the military. Both of these did not occur to me, and I was pleasantly surprised by what the movie did depict. Don’t misunderstand me.
Hidden Story Line in Megan Leavey
There was the typical Hollywood-ization of the military that we all detest: There was no logical progression in Megan’s boot camp training to become a K9 handler (yeah, sure, all boots just get handed a dangerous dog to train one day after it bites and breaks several bones in his hand), in their flight to or distribution within Iraq (please, if you got on one plane in California and got off the same plane in Iraq without any stops and immediately), or in their travel within that country.
Also absent from this movie are Rip-its. Worst of all, after the intense boot camp sequences, we barely saw any other female Marines than Leavey, who was missing her trademark perfectly gelled/sprayed hair and sock buns.
Here is when the secret plot is revealed. This movie was marketed as being about the relationship between a Marine and her service dog, but it seems like the female director did a better job of capturing what it’s like to be a woman in the military (albeit in a very sanitized, PG version) than she did of capturing the relationship Megan had with Rex.
This section of the story, however, is one that is only understood by those who have lived through the hyper-gendered milieu of the military as a woman, thus it is unlikely that many people will see, or even understand, it.
Megan is a small-town New Yorker who graduated from high school just before 9/11. She struggles with her mother and stepfather, manages to hold down a job, and hints to—and later in the film explicitly states—that she lost her best friend to a heroin overdose. What was the clincher, asks Megan? I was in the dark. The military can be a terrific place to start when you don’t have anything.
PFC Leavey finds herself working as a military police officer at Camp Pendleton, California, following a very hurried sequence from Marine Corps boot camp that, in my opinion, was more like something out of a Katy Perry video than reality. In their first muster, she and two others—likely the only other women present—are called out and greeted. Their section leader also reminds them that they must “Make us proud” to be a part of their group. Of course, this is the setup for the subsequent scene where they encounter difficulty.
The three women are seen drunkenly wandering through the base after a brief but empowering scene at a bar in which they defend themselves against a possible harasser. One woman bemoans the stilettos she is wearing, which made me giggle because the urge to seem ultrafeminine and wear high heels while not in uniform is a recurring subject in research on the identities of women veterans. Apparently on the Provost Marshall office wall, Megan decides to urinate as the unidentified woman stops to take off her shoes.
The next scene shows PFC Leavey being yelled at for “disrespecting the men and women who made the Marines great” and being given (literally) shit-duty at the kennels for a week. After she is caught, the other two women utterly vanish from the plot.
The secret plot line really starts here. For the duration of PFC Leavey’s story being presented to us, she will only communicate with men—almost entirely men. There are occasionally female characters, but they are either in the background or work against Leavey’s efforts to better herself, such as her mother, who refuses to understand or support her, or the vet, who maintains that Rex is an inherently dangerous dog. The expectations and direction of the men who now control Leavey’s life have set the stage for and defined every aspect of her existence.
While I was first infuriated to learn that this movie, which is based on the true tale of one woman, could not even pass the Bechdel test, I quickly came to see that this is the truth and is similar to what women suffer in the military. It is males who tell our story. Men are the ones who set our standards. Men are the ones who provide our instruction, good or bad. Men control how we feel like we belong. This was confirmed by all Leavey went through in the story that was given to us.