Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Documentary Film,Film Screenings,Guest Blogs,Khe Sanh,Khe Sanh Veteran's Reunion,Marines,Vietnam War

August 20, 2012

From Marie Mottola Chalmers

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Our minds have a way of bringing us back in time. When I stand at my cousin Vinnie’s grave on the Vietnam Memorial lawn at Oak Grove cemetery in Medford, MA, I am a young woman again of 21. A flag is presented, Taps are played, gun salutes go off. It all comes back to me.

PFC Vincent Antonio Mottola was 18 years old when he was killed at Khe Sanh on February 23, 1968, leaving behind his mother, father, two brothers and many cousins, aunts and uncles who loved him.

As one of the men from Bravo described Vinnie, he was funny, irreverent (definitely), and carried his own weight.

Vinnie Mottola

Almost 44 years later, my nephew Jimmy was watching a documentary about the siege at Khe Sanh. It sparked a desire to find out more about Vinnie. He had never known Vinnie. My nephew was born 3 years after Vinnie died. This is how my nephew Jimmy found out about “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor.”

By this past January I was in contact with Ken Rodgers, Bill Jayne and others who remembered Vinnie. Bill Jayne remembered the day Vinnie was killed. To be able to speak to other Marines who knew Vinnie after 44 years was surreal. They were able to answer our questions about how he was killed. The muses online gave me the opportunity to get to know these fine men and learn about the siege at Khe Sanh from the Marine point of view.

Come the end of August I hope to join these gallant Marines in D.C. for the Khe Sanh Veterans reunion, listen to their stories and see a preview of the documentary. There are plans for a Boston showing on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 3pm at the West Roxbury VA hospital facility if anyone is interested. We also would like to hear from anyone else who might remember Vinnie.

Marie Chalmers:

  1. My high school friend, EARL WAYNE HARRIS, was killed the same day at Khe Sanh. I would like to hear from those who knew him as well. Just like your Vinnie, he was just 18. I am sorry for your loss. I served with the Marines, but not at Khe Sanh…a bit further south.

    Comment by Barry Hart — August 20, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
  2. Hi I was friends with Vinnie in Medford…Everytime I hear 16 candles still it brings tears to my eyes I can see Vinnie in my basement at my sweet 16th party singing it to me. How is Lenny doing. Anyway of getting in touch with him. God Bless your family.
    Marion ( Mastro ) Boudreau

    Comment by Marion — October 22, 2012 @ 10:40 am
  3. For Marion Boudreau call me ASAP at 617-327-4587. We really want to hear from you. Lanny is ok. We are meeting with the Medford Transcipt about Vinny tomorrow night for an article on Veteran’s Day. We would like if you could come. Even if you can’t make it tomorrow I would love to talk to you and can get you in touch Lanny.

    Comment by Marie Chalmers — October 24, 2012 @ 8:14 am

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