Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Posts Tagged ‘Reno’

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

March 15, 2013

Reno Screening of BRAVO!

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Last night at the University of Nevada-Reno, we screened BRAVO! in the Wells Fargo Auditorium to a crowd of over one-hundred with a wide variety of viewing ages from Korean War veterans down through current combat-theater veterans and college students at UNR. The response to the film was intense. After the screening, we had a panel discussion that included, among other things, filmmaking, the Vietnam War, Fallujah, Iraq, film distribution, Afghanistan, MIAs in Southeast Asia, the change in communication methods over the last forty-five years, and the Vietnam Veterans of America’s pledge that “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.” Thanks to Marine brother Terry Hubert whose exuberance and dedication to veterans fueled this event. Many thanks are in order also to the Nevada State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Reno Chapter 989 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Dr. Marta Elliot and the University Veterans Coalition, Susan Kinder of UNR, the campus veterans fraternity, NuPhi, Troy Stormoen of the Reno Vet Center and all the folks who attended the screening.

Betty and I feel very fortunate that we were able to both make new friends and visit with old friends, too, as part of the Reno screening of BRAVO!

One of the men in the film, Steve Wiese and his wife Deborah, gave us a great surprise by coming up from Lincoln, California, and it was good to visit with them. Longtime super BRAVO! supporter Dianne Jackson drove up from the Sacramento area to see the film again. Lieutenant Colonel Ken Pipes, company commander of Bravo Company and also part of the film, was represented by three of his former colleagues and Marines. BRAVO! supporters Lela and Johnny Herman from my (Ken’s) hometown of Casa Grande, Arizona invited some of their friends, Matt and Rhonda Matthews to come up from Carson City to see the film. Matt and Johnny were in the United States Army and served in Vietnam together. Also on board at the screening, all the way from Chico, California was Stephen “Tank” Kostenius and his wife Mandy, of Vietnam Veteran of America Chapter 582.

Matt Mathews and I had a conversation about the power of memory and our specific memories of war and how they affect us after forty-five years. We decided that even though a lot of those memories still haunt us with their horrors, we don’t think that recalling those violent moments is all bad. Memory can serve to remind us of what is bad, but also what is good about the human condition, even in the worst of circumstances.

Next stop for BRAVO!: Fresno, California for a screening at the Fresno VA on March 20, 2013. Doors open at 4:00 PM, screening at 4:30.

The following afternoon, March 21, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened twice at the Clovis, California Veterans Memorial Building at 2:00 PM (doors open at 1:30) and at 6:00 PM (doors open at 5:30).

Many thanks are in order to Khe Sanh veteran Dave Harper for all his hard work on putting these screenings together along with Ken Hendrix and the Joint Service Honors Command, Kaweah Covenant Group, the Fresno area detachment of the Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 509, VFW Post 3225, and American Sheet Metal Air Conditioning and Heating among a host of other folks.

On April 19, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened in Moscow, Idaho, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center. This screening is sponsored by the University of Idaho’s Operation Education http://www.uidaho.edu/operationeducation . Screening will commence at 6:30 PM followed by a panel discussion about veterans and wars past, present and future.

More updates to come!

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

March 11, 2013

Upcoming Screenings of BRAVO!

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Tomorrow evening, March 12, BRAVO! COMMON MEN, UNCOMMON VALOR will be screened on the campus of the University of Nevada-Reno in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Library and Knowledge Center. Sponsors for this screening are the Nevada State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Reno Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 989, the University Veterans Club, and the NuPhi Vets. There will be a reception beginning at 5:00 PM followed by the University Veterans Club panel introductions. The actual screening will begin at 6:00 PM followed by a panel discussion. Many thanks to our Marine brother, Terry Hubert of the Vietnam Veterans of America, for all his hard work in putting this screening together.

In addition to the screening in Reno, BRAVO! will also be screened on the following dates in the following locations:

On March 20, 2013, BRAVO! will screen in the auditorium at the regional facility for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Fresno, California, at 4:00 PM. The VA is located at 2615 E. Clinton Ave (at the corners of Clinton Avenue and North Fresno Street) in Fresno. Thanks to Khe Sanh veteran Dave Harper for arranging this screening.

On March 21, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened twice at the Clovis Veterans Memorial facility 808 4th Street in Clovis, CA, once at 2:00 PM and again at 6:00 PM. Doors will open respectively at 1:30 and 5:30 PM. These screenings are sponsored in part by the Joint Service Honors Command, the Fresno area Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 509, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3225 and again, our Khe Sanh brother, Dave Harper.

On April 19, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened in Moscow, Idaho, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center at 508 South Main in Moscow beginning at 6:30 PM, and followed by a panel discussion. This screening is sponsored by the University of Idaho’s Operation Education, which honors and assists permanently disabled veterans of war to gain a college degree. You can find out more about Operation Education at http://www.uidaho.edu/operationeducation.

Thanks to Mr. Ed McBride and Mr. Dan Button of Operation Education and Laura Pizzo, Project Coordinator for the Department of English at the U of I, for their efforts in bringing BRAVO! to Moscow and the University of Idaho. Special thanks to award-winning memoirist and novelist Kim Barnes, Professor of English at the U of I, for her energy and commitment to BRAVO!. Further thanks to writer Julie Titone for her assistance with our visit to Moscow.

Any changes or additions to the information on these screenings will be sent out as soon as we know about them.

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

March 2, 2013

March and April Screenings of BRAVO! in Reno, Fresno, Clovis and Moscow, ID

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We have terrific news to announce about upcoming screenings of BRAVO! COMMON MEN, UNCOMMON VALOR in March and April, 2013. If you want to see BRAVO!, meet the filmmakers, meet other veterans and interested folks, then consider coming to one of these screenings. We’d be pleased to see you there, and you are welcome to invite others and help spread the word.

On March 12, BRAVO! will be screened on the campus of the University of Nevada-Reno in the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Library and Knowledge Center. Sponsors for this screening are the University Veterans Club, NuPhi Vets, and the Reno chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. There will be a reception beginning at 5:00 PM followed by the University Veterans Club panel introductions. The actual screening will begin at 6:00 PM followed by a panel discussion. Many thanks to our Marine brother, Terry Hubert of the Vietnam Veterans of America, for all his hard work in putting this screening together.

On March 20, 2013, BRAVO! will screen in the auditorium at the regional facility for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Fresno, California. Doors open at 4:00 PM. The VA is located at 2615 E. Clinton Ave (at the corners of Clinton Avenue and North Fresno Street) in Fresno. Thanks to Khe Sanh veteran Dave Harper for arranging this screening.

On March 21, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened twice at the Clovis Veterans Memorial facility 808 4th Street in Clovis, CA, once at 2:00 PM (doors open at 1:30) and again at 6:00 PM (doors open at 5:30). These screenings are sponsored in part by the Joint Service Honors Command, the Fresno area Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 509, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3225 and again, our Khe Sanh brother, Dave Harper.

On April 19, 2013, BRAVO! will be screened in Moscow, Idaho, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center at 508 South Main in Moscow beginning at 6:30 PM, and followed by a panel discussion. This screening is sponsored by the University of Idaho’s Operation Education, which honors and assists permanently disabled veterans of war to gain a college degree. You can find out more about Operation Education at http://www.uidaho.edu/operationeducation. Thanks to Mr. Ed McBride and Mr. Dan Button of Operation Education and Laura Pizzo, Project Coordinator for the Department of English at the U of I, for their efforts in bringing BRAVO! to Moscow and the University of Idaho. Special thanks to award-winning memoirist and novelist Kim Barnes, Professor of English at the U of I, for her energy and commitment to BRAVO!. Further thanks to writer Julie Titone for her assistance with our visit to Moscow.

Any changes or additions to the information on these screenings will be sent out as soon as we know about them.

We are now facing major expenses involved with licensing and DVD production. We would appreciate your help in finding a sponsor (a business or organization) who will help cover these expenses in exchange for listing their name as a sponsor in all promotional materials and on the DVD.

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

January 6, 2013

California Dreaming

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We are just weeks away from the forty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Khe Sanh. I think about the siege every day, but I don’t always think about the weeks immediately before its commencement.

After being relieved by India Company, 3rd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment on Hill 881S the day after Christmas, 1967, Bravo Company went down into the perimeter of the Khe Sanh Combat Base and took over their old lines on the east and southeast ends of the perimeter in what was called Gray Sector.

While in Gray Sector, we filled sandbags and filled sandbags and filled sandbags. We must have been taking a lot of photos, too, because in the course of creating the film, we came upon a fair number of photos that were taken in the time between vacating 881S and moving into Gray Sector.

Besides filling sandbags, we dug trenches, beefed up hooches, built fighting positions, sometimes ran ambushes at night as well as listening posts. And…we filled sandbags. When we weren’t doing that, or going on patrol, or sleeping and chowing down, we stood watch.

Marines from Second Platoon, Bravo Company, Gray Sector, Khe Sanh Combat Base

Some of us had transistor radios that we played at night and listened to Armed Forces Radio. They played a lot of great tunes back then. The types of tunes then were often different than what warriors listen to now, echoing the cultural changes we have undergone since 1968. The country music wasn’t as slickly rock-and-roll as it is now, and the rock they played in 1968 was mild compared to what was to come as well as what I hear on the radio these days. They played a lot of soul music, too, which is a far cry from the hip hop young warriors probably enjoy today. Though the music may be different between then and now, I suspect listening to it in either era aroused similar emotions…longing, sadness, but also a sense of hope, that you just might make it home to be with friends and family doing the things you love to do.

Some of the music I remember was “Happy Together” by The Turtles and “I Just Stopped in to See What Condition My Condition Was In” by the First Edition which had Kenny Rogers singing the lead before any of us really knew who he was. We heard “Ode to Billy Joe” by Bobbie Gentry and “The Letter” by the Box Tops. We heard Wilson Pickett, and Martha and the Vandellas, and Dianna Ross and the Supremes, and James Brown and Lou Rawls singing about Chi-town’s “hawk.”

One of our favorite songs back then was Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” We used to try and sing along and I can only imagine how that sound carried over the concertina wire barriers, across the bamboo thickets and into the hidden posts of our enemy. Even now, when I hear that song, it takes me back to the trenches. It takes me back to the men I served with, a lot of whom are gone and as I think of them, I get misty and something catches in my craw.

When we listened to Otis singing, we tried to dance and boogaloo around the trenches and the bunkers while we puffed on Salems and Camels (which we were not supposed to be smoking on watch, or listening to music either, because we were breaking light and sound discipline). More than once, the duty NCO or Officer of the Day would come by and if we didn’t catch on to his imminent arrival, we’d get our butts chewed out.

When we figured out our singing wasn’t so hot, we’d let Danny Horton take over. Man, he could warble tunes as well as any of those folks we listened to. B J Thomas songs were his staple and he really liked “California Dreaming” by the Mamas and Papas. When he was singing, it took me back to my southern Arizona home and my friends, and sitting around the front room with my mom and dad talking. It made me remember sweet spring nights when the orange blossoms saturated the dark. It was a link to home, it was…how can I describe it…almost magic.

Dan Horton at Khe Sanh

After January 21st, we turned the radio down, or turned it off, because by then the war was way too up-close and personally serious, although I do remember hearing Hanoi Hannah taunt us when one of those who owned radios chose to turn her on. We also listened to the news and heard about how bad we had it at Khe Sanh.

And it was bad. It was bad all over Vietnam that late Winter and Spring of 1968. Maybe we knew that, but all we really knew was what we were enduring. And the radio was our tether to the outside, to Otis Redding and “California Dreaming.”

Speaking of California Dreaming, We are taking BRAVO! on the road in March and April. As of now, we have tentatively talked about screenings in Chico, Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno and the Camp Pendleton areas of California, and beyond to Reno and Las Vegas in Nevada, and Moscow, Idaho.

If you are interested in bringing the poignant sizzle of BRAVO! to your area as an educational or fund raising event, you may be interested in hosting a screening of the film. If so, please contact us so we can talk about what is required.