Showing posts with label documentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label documentary. Show all posts

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vietnam Veterans Film "The Lost Homecoming"

‘They were fighting in something the public didn’t support.’ Filmmakers hope documentary gives them a voice

Sun Herald
Tammy Smith
September 17, 2017

In “The Lost Homecoming,” about 45 Vietnam War veterans, many of them from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, talk about their experiences both in country and when they returned to the States. Dawley, who lives in Diamondhead, produced and codirected the one-hour program, and Lenny Delbert of New Orleans is co-director and the filmmaker.

‘The Lost Homecoming: When Our Vietnam Veterans Came Home’ will air on WYES on Sunday night at 10 p.m. Courtesy WYES/Pan Am Communications
As a Veterans Administration psychologist, Harold Dawley heard many stories of war experiences and the aftermath of service.
But one story haunted him for four decades. He finally has been able to use one young man’s painful struggle to tell the story of a generation that felt torn apart.
“The Lost Homecoming: When Our Vietnam Veterans Came Home,” will be aired on New Orleans PBS station WYES at 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept, 17, about a half hour after the first episode of Ken Burns’s documentary series “The Vietnam War” airs. 

“They were fighting in something the public didn’t support, and so they really felt defeated,” Dawley said. 
The story that stayed with him was that of a young African American man from a small Mississippi town. 
“His best friend in Vietnam was a young white man, and he was killed right beside him,” Dawley said. “The thing that carried him through his time in service was the thought of his homecoming. He made sergeant. When he was headed home, he was looking outside the window of the bus and thinking about what people would say.” 
When the bus stopped in his hometown, the white man who owned the service station there looked at him, finally recognized him and said, “Well, boy, I see you made it back OK.” 
“He didn’t know that was going to be all the homecoming he was going to get,” Dawley said. The rejection the young man felt affected several aspects of his life. He became a drug addict, and his marriage fell apart.
read more here 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Vietnam Veterans "A more visible subset of aging warriors" too often overlooked

Vietnam Veterans Do Not Debate Why They Risked Their Lives
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
September 3, 2017 
"Many who served came home and got on with their lives, whatever the wounds and scars of war. A more visible subset of aging warriors sits astride motorcycles in Veterans Day parades or stands in the median strips of our streets holding cardboard placards. They live their lives as war survivors. They ponder what might have been." James Reston Jr. LA Times September 3, 2017

At least he got close on the years Vietnam claimed the lives and bodies of those sent to Vietnam.
"There are two Vietnam wars, and the second is still going 40 years after the first ended. The United States fought the first one from 1959 to 1975 in the jungles, villages and airspace of Indochina." 
    The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
It went on claiming lives a lot longer than most think. Oh, no, not just the almost 20 years they were there, but for all these years they've been home.

The obvious deaths tied to Agent Orange are only part of their story. The truth is, they are the largest group of veterans still alive in this country and 65% of veterans over the age of 50 are also the highest for suicides and homelessness. 

Here are the numbers from Florida.
Fast FactsFiscal 2016 data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA reports there are 21.3 million veterans living in the United States.
  • Note: Florida has the third largest veteran population in the nation, behind California with 1,755,680 veterans and Texas with 1,670,186 veterans.
  • There are 1,139,764 wartime veterans in the State of Florida.
  • There are 393,541 peacetime veterans in the State of Florida.
  • There are 65,941 World War II veterans in the State of Florida.
  • There are 144,445 Korean War veterans in the State of Florida.
  • There are 496,526 Vietnam-era veterans in the State of Florida.
  • There are 190,446 Gulf War veterans in the State of Florida.  (1990 to 9/11/01)
  • There are 173,469 Post-9/11 veterans in the State of Florida  (9/12/01 to present)
  • There are 773,284 veterans in Florida 65 years of age and over.  (There are 737,698 male veterans 65 years of age and older and 35,586 female veterans 65 years of age and older.)
With Ken Burns documentary on The Vietnam War , the debate over "why" has reheated. The one thing no one should debate is what they risked or what they achieved when they came home to a nation that did not care they came home.

This is why they did it. This is why they risked their lives over there. They did it for each other. This is why they took their own pain, swallowed their pride, or what was left of it, and caused such a commotion in Washington over PTSD, that they had to respond. They funded all the research the civilian world has been benefiting from ever since.

Ever wonder where psychologists came from? Mental Health therapists? Trauma Centers? Crisis Intervention Teams? It all goes back to them and the fact they were not about to stop fighting for those who shared the same suffering surrounded by ambivalence, ignorance and judgement. 

Vietnam Veterans of America clearly stated their purpose despite the way these veterans were treated.  



We elected three Presidents who made sure they did not have to go when it was their time to serve along side of them. 

The questioning centers on the fall of 1969 when Bill Clinton was headed back to England to complete a Rhodes Scholarship. It seemed unlikely that his draft board would defer him again. He tried and failed to win Navy or Air Force commissions that might have sent him to Vietnam, though not as a grunt soldier. Then he signed up for a Reserve Officer program that kept him out of the draft.A few weeks later, on Oct. 31, his draft board, having learned he had changed his mind about R.O.T.C., reclassified him 1-A, theoretically exposing him to call-up. Only on Dec. 1, when his birth date came up 311 in the brand new draft lottery, was he safe against worry.He may have felt safe even during that exposed November. Draft calls had been reduced and graduate-student deferments were about to be restored. Taken in isolation, the Clinton record could thus be read to show manipulation and delay. But in fairness, his behavior needs to be compared with that of his peers.

Vietnam was clearly a crucible for Bush, as it was for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and most other men who left college in the late 1960s. Bush maintains that he joined the National Guard not to avoid service in Vietnam but because he wanted to be a fighter pilot. Rather than be drafted and serve in the infantry – an assignment Bush has acknowledged he did not want – he agreed to spend almost two years in flight training and another four years in part-time service.

But after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels.The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall, exempting him from military service as the United States was undertaking huge troop deployments to Southeast Asia, inducting about 300,000 men into the military that year.The deferment was one of five Mr. Trump received during Vietnam. The others were for education.
We built walls to honor their sacrifices and carved their names in stone. We also built a wall separating them awareness of the American people regarding suicides they seem all to ready to give to charities for while those same charities have cut them off from the help they have been waiting longer for.

We built another wall taking their families and disregarding the fact they have been their caregivers for decades yet are not worthy of the Caregivers support Congress seemed so proud of giving to the OEF and OIF generations.
So let the reporters continue to focus on what separates those who were sent to Vietnam to fight a war no one was sure of why they had to go for. We can tell them why they risked everything and still do to this day. THEY DO IT FOR THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Marines recount '04 Fallujah battle in documentary

Marines recount '04 Fallujah battle in documentary
Military Times
Hope Hodge
June 10, 2013

Twelve Marines recount the same gritty and tragic day of fighting in Iraq on Nov. 22, 2004.

In a sea of documentary films about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Garrett Anderson's project is a rarity: A Marine veteran of Iraq, he has turned the camera on his battle buddies to create an intimate portrait of a day they shared together during the second battle of Fallujah, Iraq.

Anderson, a former radio operator with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, funded his project's $30,000 budget through the entrepreneurial startup website, Kickstarter. The premise: Let 12 Marines from his unit recount the same gritty and tragic day of fighting on Nov. 22, 2004, complemented by original footage from troops' personal hand-held cameras. From there, Anderson's lens follows his former colleagues as they cope with their own memories almost a decade later.

First called And Then They Came Home, the project was renamed The November War to more accurately fit the narrative as it took shape, Anderson said. The 27-year-old Portland, Ore., resident said he and his co-producer, Antonio de la Torre, are about two weeks from completion of the project, their first feature-length documentary.
read more here

The November War

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Darkhorse Marine documentary For the 25

Marine Veteran Of Darkhorse Battalion Makes Documentary ‘For The 25’ (Video)
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
By Beth Ford Roth

Marine veteran Logan Stark was a member of Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, known as Darkhorse Battalion. Now a student on the G.I. Bill, Stark has made a documentary called "For the 25" - a tribute to the 25 Darkhorse Marines killed during their seven month deployment.

According to Stark's YouTube channel, the 48-minute film was made as part of the Professional Writing program at Michigan State University.

The 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines was deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan in September of 2010. The 3/5 endured the highest casualty rate of any Marine unit in the Afghanistan War. In addition to the 25 men killed, roughly 200 were injured.
read more here

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Film gives Vietnam veterans a voice

Film gives Vietnam veterans a voice

By Lisa Roose-Church • DAILY PRESS & ARGUS • October 10, 2010

Vietnam veterans fought on a battlefield as brutal and deadly as most wars in history, but their story "is met with angst and controversy," and a local film producer is giving them a voice.

"Our Vietnam Generation," produced by Visionalist Entertainment Productions, will premiere Jan. 28 at Detroit's Fox Theatre, and featured among its frames is the story of Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte and businessman John Colone, the unofficial mayor of Hell.

"Vietnam veterans fought in the most controversial and longest wars," director Keith Famie of Visionalist said. "They are the leaders of our community. ... So much of our society has no clue of what they did when they were younger. They are very humble."

The documentary focuses on struggles experienced by Michigan Vietnam veterans, who received a much different homecoming than other generations, said Famie, a nine-time Emmy winner.
click link above for more

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Documentary Bravely Tackles Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It looks like the producers of this documentary have the same thoughts I do. What have I been arguing all this time for? Both sides need to come together at least on this one issue of taking care of all the wounded. We cannot stop the occupation of Iraq today or tomorrow no matter how hard we wish, hope and pray. We cannot find a peaceful solution to Afghanistan today or tomorrow either. Neither will be ended during this presidency and realistically we have to face the fact no matter who is elected in November, it will take a long time to resolve both occupations. While we get all geared up to either keep things as they are or finish them, the men and women we send are the ones who are suffering wounded and there will be many more between now and the end. If we don't get this right, right now, the problems they come home to will only get worse. Pay attention to this and then maybe you will understand what I've been saying all along.

Documentary Bravely Tackles Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Wounded Soldier Issues
Post traumatic stress disorder and other issues involving disabled American veterans have become the focus of a new film entitled, "Who Will Stand." There are many films about the war in Iraq, but a small team of Las Vegas filmmakers decided that the soldiers would be better served by addressing the issues they deal with after they return home.

We also found out that the VA thinks they can’t afford to help 100% of soldiers suffering from PTSD but we proved that treating them is actually cheaper than not treating them! Treatment would pay for itself in two years.

Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) July 16, 2008 -- More American soldiers kill themselves than are killed by the enemy, and many others suffer the effects of post traumatic stress disorder. As many as eighteen soldiers a day are committing suicide and most of those soldiers kill themselves after they return home. Their divorce rate has tripled since the beginning of the war and substance abuse among veterans is 4 times the national average. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg according to “Who Will Stand” producer/director Phil Valentine,

The two hour documentary covers, in detail, the plights of more than a dozen soldiers who have returned either physically or psychologically wounded, including hard-to-measure effects of post traumatic stress disorder.

“Nobody is surprised that war creates amputees, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, but very few people are aware of the enormous rates of these issues,” said Valentine. “And almost no one is aware of the psychological issues that nearly 100% of combat soldiers suffer with, namely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.”

“Going back and forth on whether or not we should be in this war is like arguing over whether the Giants should have won the last Superbowl. What’s done is done. We’re there,” explains Valentine. Then he adds, “What we can and should do something about is how we take care of these disabled American veterans after they return.”
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