“America doesn’t know their names of their stories, the story of the boys of Charlie, young draftees who had done everything that their nation had asked of them and received so little in return – lost faces and silent voices of a distant war” -The Boys of ‘67
Based on Andrew Wiest’s best-selling book, “The Boys’ of ’67, Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam”, comes a stunning and heart wrenching documentary, “Brothers in War”; highlighting an extraordinary Army cohort unit -- epitomizing heroism, bravery and courage -- during the politically and domestically unpopular conflict of this generation.
The documentary premieres on Wednesday, 26 March 2014, at 8:00 PM on the National Geographic Channel.
This gripping documentary, narrated by Charlie Sheen, is a first-hand account of the “day in the life” experiences of what it was like for a Soldier fighting in the austere and unforgiving conditions of the Mekong River Delta.
This expertly directed production, digitally re-mastered from archival footage, including actual Soldiers' home movies and personal audio tapes; tells the vexing combat experiences of the men of Charlie Company, one of the last American combat infantry companies to be drafted, trained and sent to fight together in Vietnam.
Scott L. Reda, the Managing Director & Executive Producer of Lou Reda Productions said, “We were honored to produce “Brothers in War” for the National Geographic Channel. The story of Charlie Company is really one of brotherhood -- which I believe all Vietnam veterans (and all Americans) can relate to.” When asked for his hopes of the documentary, Scott stated, “Hopefully this film will help shed light on what our veterans' experiences were like in Vietnam, and help pay them the honor they deserve.”
The world premiere screening of the documentary was held before a standing room only crowd on 21 March 2014 at the National Geographic Society. Sponsored by the National Geographic Channel, the Vietnam War Commemoration, and the Grateful Nation Foundation; the documentary’s premiere left not a dry eye in the audience – which included members of Charlie Company, their families, other veterans of foreign wars and local dignitaries. The producers and directors wish to thank the sponsors for their tremendous support and dedication and to the local district community for the great turn-out.
The premiere capsulated a week-long Washington, DC reunion for the remaining members of Charlie Company veterans -- an ever-decreasing band of brothers. The veterans attended both the premiere and the interment of one of their own, Lt. Jack Benedick, at Arlington National Cemetery. Reda commented that they had the distinct honor and privilege of including an interview with Lt. Benedick in the documentary a month before he passed away.
“Lou Reda Productions has been dedicated to telling our veterans' stories for decades, and we hope to continue to do this in the future”, stated Scott Reda.
In 1967, the boys of Charlie Company went to war in the Mekong River Delta, the homeland of the Viet Cong, and entered a foreign land of murderous heat, unforgiving jungle and a new age of guerrilla warfare. This "band of brothers" journeyed from boot camp to combat and, for the lucky ones, back home - experiencing their horror, pain, misery, happiness and, above all, their camaraderie. Now, nearly 50 years later, they reunited once again to share their stories of courage with the world.
Plucked from their homes, the young men of Charlie Company left their innocent lives to become part of the first American unit to be permanently stationed in the Mekong River Delta. Their mission: to patrol the Delta's massive maze of waterways, dense jungles and rice paddies in order to seek out and destroy the 82,000 enemy soldiers who pervaded the region.
During their one-year deployment, these brave Soldiers were confronted with both sides of death. They grieved for fallen comrades and the guilt of closing with and destroying the enemy. Their stories capture the raw, heartfelt and tragic truths of combat. They personally detail their life changing experiences and horrors both in the fervency of battle and in its bloody results.
“Brothers in War” sheds new light on the many aspects of war that Vietnam Soldiers faced. Aside from the casualties of battle and heroic acts of bravery, the veteran’s featured in the film also recall some of the lighter moments that helped forge lifelong friendships. To this day, they still remember who got the best care packages, funny nicknames, and how they unsuspectedly used marijuana leaves for camouflage.
The conflict in Vietnam, for the men of Charlie Company, was unlike anything they could have imagined. By the end of their yearlong combat tour, Charlie Company suffered 26 killed and 105 wounded - a total casualty rate of just over 80 percent. They were among the first U.S. servicemen to return home not to open arms, but to jeering, cursing, and unappreciative protestors.
Lou Reda Productions is dedicated to preserving archival film footage, particularly home movies filmed by veterans and their families. They have made an effort, over the past five years, to seek out Vietnam era films to transfer, restore and historically preserve them. for the future. As a result of their work, they now possess one of the largest private Vietnam era film collections in the U.S. To us, preserving this footage is part of the overall mission of preserving our veteran’s stories. They are actively seeking any footage, if you would like to contribute to capturing history for the next greatest generation, please them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tune in to the National Geographic Channel on 26 March 2014, at 8:00 PM to experience this awe inspiring documentary of true heroes, keepers of peace and what really makes America – “The Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.”