U.S. troops stationed overseas in Afghanistan who had been resigned to avoiding spoilers until the end of their deployments were surprised with special screenings of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame this week. The Walt Disney Company brought the record-shattering film to Bagram Air Field on Wednesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 2, with showings planned for Kandahar this weekend.
Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger was inspired by a social media post from Kat Lancaster, a Disney fan whose husband, Air Force Major Joshua-Lee Lancaster, is currently deployed. Iger and Disney reached out to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, and a plan was put into action to bring Avengers: Endgame to the biggest American bases in the region.
“We’re thrilled to be able to do something special for our troops in Afghanistan, to boost morale and show our gratitude for their service,” said Iger. “I’m grateful to Kat Lancaster for the great suggestion, and to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service for helping us make this happen.”
Servicemen and women assembled for multiple showings of the film, which arrived at Bagram under the highest security. The disk that contained the film could only be unlocked with a special code that was guarded by Army & Air Force Exchange Service employees and Disney’s senior vice president of North American theatrical distribution, Ken Caldwell.
Disney has a history of partnering with Army & Air Force Exchange Service to bring films from Marvel and Star Wars to bases in Afghanistan, Iraq and other U.S. Central Command locations, in some cases, even ahead of their official releases in the U.S. This is one of the many ways that The Walt Disney Company supports our troops—both while they are serving and after they have transitioned out of the armed forces—and is part of a commitment to military families and veterans that includes the Heroes Work Here program, which has led to the hiring of more than 10,000 veterans since the 2012 launch of this companywide initiative.