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CLASSIC WAR STORIES. MILITARY DOG TAGS

To find ideas for inscriptions on military dog tags, many individuals find inspiration in past historical war stories. This is especially so in the "David vs. Goliath" trope, where the feats of icons such as Robert E. Lee or Alexander the Great instill a sense of awe, even to this day. But looking at the future also holds many august military achievements, specifically in science fiction movies. These fights are perhaps not as memorable and haven't really happened, but in popular culture they are often more known.

Arguably the most famous science fiction war story is that of "Star Wars" (the title sort of gives it away). In the late '70s and early '80s, worldwide audiences were enraptured by the saga of a small group of revolutionaries in their space-battling of a mighty empire appropriately named The Empire. The series was a wonderful but poignant allegory on World War II, chock-full of dogfighting and fascist threats, seasoned with Easter mysticism, cowboy romance, and Joseph Campbell mythology on steroids.

Many great quotes and ideals rose from the "Star Wars" chronicles, forever embedded in the Western lexicon. Decades later, its creator, George Lucas, gave the world "The Clone Wars" series. The follow-up to "Star Wars" provided more quotes and ideals, but these were more to mock rather than to gain edification, even if its war message was more serious. It happens with sequels.

Not too far behind, "The War of the Worlds" has to be considered. It's one of the great examples of asymmetrical warfare in movies, where the doomed fate of the "good guys" seems written in stone (the Founding Fathers or King Leonidas of Sparta would be grateful to have battled large empires rather than slimy aliens, I'm sure). The message of this former radio program and movie by Steven Spielberg is simple -- never surrender against any odds, because you never know what quirks in destiny are waiting to turn the tide around.

Although not in film but television, the "Battlestar Galactica" epic is also memorable in science fiction war stories. Instead of aliens or despotic humans with choking powers, humanity has to contend with its greatest creation that turned on it -- machines. Humanity also must contend with the fact that it got its butt kicked royally and now must travel to a sanctuary planet for a new start. Victory can only be found in a peace beyond the battlefield. The themes of "Battlestar Galactica" have been copied many times in science fiction, especially in such "art-house" movies as "The Matrix" and "The Terminator" (maybe you've heard of them).

"Starship Troopers" brings humanity against another and perhaps even more feared enemy -- bugs … really big bugs. In this film, as in reality, insects are basically impossible to eradicate. It surely symbolizes times of war when it seems a small but brave contingency of soldiers just can't seem to negate the opposing side.

The movie, based on a book like "War of the Worlds," was also a masterpiece in showing armored combat in the future, as well as the dangerous relationship between fascism and idealism. Sure, the "Alien" series reveals how dangerous it is to go up against a single-minded (and hungry) foe, but "Starship Troopers" throws in politics, colonization, and a whole other raft of social issues when dealing with warfare.

Of course such classics as "Dune" and the upcoming "Ender's Game" should be considered, but their book forms are far superior. And when it comes to the "Star Trek" franchise, "Deep Space 9" truly takes the depiction of war to both scary and stirring levels.

With the glorious past and the future that isn't here yet (let's keep it that way), much can be mined for ideas for military dog tags.