Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Posts Tagged ‘Barry Hart’

Documentary Film,Guest Blogs,Khe Sanh,Marines,Veterans,Vietnam War,War Poetry

April 6, 2018

Juxtaposition

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We have posted poems here friends as well Marines who fought at Khe Sanh and elsewhere during the Vietnam War, including poetry from friend and supporter Betty Plevney, Vietnam veteran and Marine Barry Hart and most recently Bravo Company’s Skipper, Ken Pipes. Poems are a good way to capture the imagery and action related to combat.

Recently I wrote a blog about the Payback Patrol of 3/30/1968. One of our friends, Susan Parker, who is an ardent supporter of BRAVO! COMMON MEN, UNCOMMON VALOR, read that blog and was moved to compose a poem.

Susan Parker. Photo courtesy of Susan Parker

She captured, in my opinion, both the agony of combat and the disconnect between the world at home and the world of war. Check it out!

Juxtaposition—March 30, 1968

By Susan Parker

Dressed in jungle green,
you ran through the hell fires of war,
blood trickling down your face,
the stench of phosphorus and death
pungent on the tropical air, dragging
dead and dying men through a muddy trench,
grenades and bombs exploding,
sounds of gunshot ringing in your ears.

Fearless in facing the enemy,
you were “cutting the mustard.”

Dressed in virginal white,
I strolled the length of a red-carpeted aisle,
sheer tulle veil covering cheeks ablush with excitement,
high-heeled satin pumps pinching manicured toes,
gardenias glistening with morning dew
softening the early spring air,
organ music of “Here Comes the Bride”
echoing through the church.

Ignorant of your courage and sacrifice,
I was cutting the wedding cake.

Writer and poet Susan Parker was born in a small town in Northern California but never enjoyed the cold, gray and damp weather. One who embraces change, she traveled south throughout the years finally moving to Tucson, Arizona where she found warmth and inspiration for her writing. Susan is the author of Angel on My Doorstep—An Ordinary Woman’s Journey with Those from the Other Side, an autobiography of her lifelong paranormal adventures, with emphasis on those that took place before, during and after her husband’s passing. She has also published a book of poetry, Lady by the Bay, and recorded a CD, She Rode a Wild Horse, which includes her original Western poetry along with poems written by others.

Susan Parker on the left with Vietnam veteran Eric Hollenbeck of Blue Ox Millworks, Eureka, California. Photo courtesy of Betty Rodgers

About her inspiration for her latest poem, “Juxtaposition—March 30, 1968,” Susan says that during one of her conversations with Ken several years ago he mentioned the importance of the date to him. Susan realized that this was the same date that she married her first husband, and how different their lives were on that day. With a twinge of guilt, she thought to herself, Ken lived in a nightmare world while I lived in a fairy tale world, oblivious to the horrors of war.

Reading Ken’s blog post this March 30th, she was moved to tears. Her muse shook her by the shoulders and shouted, “You have to write this, this juxtaposition of your lives on that day!”

And so she did.

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On the screening front: On April 7, at 1:00 PM Bravo will be screened at the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa, Idaho. following the screening, there will be a panel of Khe Sanh survivors who will talk about the experience. You can find out more about the event and the Warhawk Air Museum here.

At 3:00 PM on May 27, 2018, BRAVO! will be screened in Paris, TN at the Krider Performing Arts Center. You can find out more about this event and the Krider Performance Art Center here.

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If you or your organization would like to host a screening of BRAVO! in your town, please contact us immediately.

DVDs of BRAVO! are available. Please consider gifting copies to a veteran, a teacher, a history buff, a library, a friend or family member. For more information, go to https://bravotheproject.com/store/.

BRAVO! has a page on Facebook. Please “like” us and “share” the page at https://www.facebook.com/Bravotheproject?ref=hl.

Documentary Film,Guest Blogs,Khe Sanh,Marines,Vietnam War

September 6, 2012

When Darkness Falls

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BRAVO! supporter Barry Hart wrote this poem about his friend and Marine, Earl Wayne Harris, who was killed at the Siege of Khe Sanh in February of 1968. Barry wrote the poem after he saw the film at the screening in Memphis, Tennessee.

When Darkness Falls

When darkness falls
Thoughts of yesteryear
Bring fear to once
An undisturbed mind.
Choppers call to take
The wounded and dead.
Pain reaches out
In the screams
From faces
Of fallen Marines.

Crickets sing
The melody of war.
Leeches cling
Sucking the blood
That oozes
From each wound.
Hammers drop
Sending missiles along
To tear the flesh
From innocent men.

Flares ignite
Pointing the way
To victory or death.
Body counts tell
The real story.
Success is measured
Not by the ground
We take,
But by the number
Of ears we clip.

Medal-chested
Warriors in green;
Are what they call
The 26th Marines.
But we knew each one
As brother.
Each path, each trail
We walk with men
As we say good-bye
Again and again.

‘Neath the ground
At Beaver Dam
Near Buchanan
In Tennessee;
Across the road
From his home
Lies one such man
Who was my friend
And brother,
And one fine Marine!

By Barry Hart
August 2012

©2012 Barry Hart

Documentary Film,Film Screenings,Khe Sanh,Marines,Vietnam War

August 23, 2012

Marines of Memphis

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The night before last, Betty and Ken Rodgers screened BRAVO! to a small but very enthusiastic group of viewers, mostly Marines from differing eras, in Bartlett, Tennessee, a “burb” as the locals call it, adjacent to Memphis. The screening was arranged by Mr. Cobb Hammond, a securities broker, military historian and writer with a lot of familial Marine Corps tradition, and Mr. Skip Funk who was at the Siege of Khe Sanh with H & S Company, 26th Marine Regiment. Skip and Ken Rodgers had the same company commander, Captain Ken Pipes, while in Vietnam, but at different times. The screening was hosted at LSI Inc., which is owned by Mr. Mason Ezzell who was a pilot in the United States Air Force and flew during the Vietnam War.

Besides arranging the screening, Cobb toured Betty and Ken around Memphis, to Beale Street, the heart of the blues music tradition of Memphis, along the Mississippi River, and also to Sun Records, owned by the late Sam Phillips, one of the birthplaces of rockabilly music. Elvis started his recording career there, as did Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. Howling Wolf got one of his early recording breakthroughs at Sun. The Rolling Stones cut tunes there.

It was good to meet the men at the screening. We met a Marine who was awarded the Silver Star for action at Hue City in 1968. We met a Marine who enlisted in 1948 and served two tours in Vietnam. We met a Marine who enlisted in 1954 and served for thirty years. A veteran of the United States Air Force who attended was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Vietnam. Mr. Barry Hart, Marine from Paris, Tennessee, attended. Barry was an early supporter of BRAVO! and personally knows one of the men in the film, Mike McCauley. While Skip Funk was trapped in Khe Sanh with Ken Rodgers and the other Marines and Navy Corpsmen in the film, his father took a voluntary special assignment and left Washington, DC, to fly B-52s out of Guam over Khe Sanh. Father was covering son. He was covering us all.

Most of the Marines who attended the screening are affiliated with the Walter K. Singleton Detachment of the Marine Corps League. Walter K. Singleton was a Bartlett/Memphis native who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on March 24, 1967 while serving with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in Quang Tri Province. The Walter K Singleton Detachment of the Marine Corps League also was an early supporter of BRAVO!

After the screening, a number of the viewers rose from their seats and made various comments about war, Vietnam, democracy, the film. After the film, Betty and Ken discussed how these spontaneous moments of dialogue gratify the effort put into creating this piece of history, film, art.

Special thanks to the Walter K. Singleton Detachment of the Marine Corps League, to Mr. Mason Ezzel, to Skip Funk and especially to Mr. Cobb Hammond.