Last Wednesday and Thursday BRAVO! was screened to several hundred enthusiastic and earnest viewers in Fresno and Clovis, California.
On Wednesday the film was shown at the Fresno Veterans Affairs facility and on Thursday BRAVO! screened twice at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District’s state-of-the-art theater. The screenings went well and were attended by veterans old and new, active duty military personnel and folks interested in the history of Khe Sanh and the Vietnam War.
Lt. Colonel Ken Pipes, USMC Retired and commanding officer (Skipper) of Bravo Company during the siege of Khe Sanh, came up from Southern California with his wife Sharon to help us out with the screenings. Skipper Pipes graduated from Clovis High School and attended Fresno City College and then graduated from Fresno State before being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Before and after each screening, the Skipper graced us with his memories of Clovis and Fresno as well as Marines he knew from the area. The Skipper also waxed eloquent about the men of Bravo Company. We were also fortunate to meet some of Ken Pipes’ wonderful family.
Khe Sanh brother Alex Dominguez came up from the Los Angeles area and presented BRAVO! co-producer Ken Rodgers with a commemorative Marine Corps Silver Dollar and a beaded Vietnam Veteran wristband. Alex is a great supporter of the film and a good friend to Marines everywhere.
One of the best things about journeying around America introducing the film to audiences is the folks we meet, and we met some great people in Fresno and Clovis including martial arts expert Captain Ed Planas of the Joint Service Honors Command, and Mr. Miguel Saldana, a Marine veteran of the Iraq War and president of the Student Veterans Organization at Fresno State University and his compadre, Army Iraq War veteran Rolando Corral. Also attending were a contingent of about thirty active-duty Marines from Lemoore NAS who gave BRAVO! a standing ovation.
A big thanks to the Joint Service Honors Command, the Clovis Veterans Memorial District and their event specialist, Mr. Joel Diaz. Thanks too, to Fresno area Detachment #14 of the Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3225, American Legion Post 509, American Sheet Metal, the Fresno VA, Peak Broadcasting for the public service announcements, Kaweah Covenant Group and Mr. Leroy Combs of Ideas Unlimited Printing for the beautiful posters.
Khe Sanh brother Dave Harper was responsible for setting up these screenings and a big Marine OOORAH is in order for his yeoman’s efforts in bringing the screenings about, and for his generous hospitality. Dave’s vision and tenacious attention to detail led to these very successful screenings.
Next up, April 19 at 6:30 PM in the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center in Moscow, Idaho. Sponsored by the University of Idaho’s Operation Education. Thanks to Kim Barnes, Laura Pizzo, Ed McBride, Dan Button and Julie Titone for their support on this event.
In the mix for upcoming screenings, a May 18 screening in Sonora, California. May 18 is Armed Forces Day. Thanks to Khe Sanh brother and organizational dynamo Mike Preston for his efforts to bring this screening about.