A reader writes:
As a former Marine infantryman I can say that I found "The Hurt Locker" to be generally accurate in terms of military culture, all the way down to stupid drunken wrestling matches in the middle of the night. More, I know some people (US Army) who are in Iraq right now, and they love the movie, considering it the most accurate depiction of what it's like over there. Yes, there are things in the movie that don't make sense in terms of actual practice (e.g. the guys never call for backup or close air support - the scene at the desert bunker would have been the perfect opportunity for that). Yes, the lead character is a loose cannon who you imagine being busted, NJP'd (non judicial punishment), and reassigned. But just because these things are improbable doesn't mean they are impossible.
Keep in mind that this film was based on reportage by a journalist who was embedded with these teams for months. Therefore, however much a veteran as myself might find it implausible, there likely was a factual basis for most of the story. Furthermore, I found the film anti-war: the Colonel who orders triage on a shot insurgent by killing him, the frequent dead civilians, the constant encirclement of frowning Arabs staring at the trio, the little kids throwing rocks at the Humvee at the end - all raise the question as to how any of this is justified.