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Posted: 4/12/2002 1:31:56 PM EDT
In case anybody is interested, I ran into an old friend today and asked his opinion of We Were Soldiers, whether he had seen it and what was his opinion of the movie. This man is a veteran of three tours in Vietnam, first as an enlisted advisor in 1962, second tour as enlisted Special Forces 1967, finally a tour as a Special Forces officer in 1970 (where he was severely wounded, even today, over thirty years later, he occasionally has pieces of shrapnel work their way out of his body). He retired as a Colonel, having spent most of his career in Special Forces. He can tell some hair raising true stories, believe me. So he knows Vietnam probably as much as anybody. To boot, he was on a first name basis with General Hal Moore towards the end of his career. He said We Were Soldiers is definitely the most realistic Vietnam movie ever done. While he did not spend much time at all in the Central Highlands, he tells me the terrain is pretty much dead on. He was perturbed by some scenes where the GI ammo pouches, first aid pouches, etc. were obviously empty, prior to any action that would explain a depleted pouch. ("How hard is it to stuff something in em to at least look full?") He was not as troubled by the flow of events as some posters here have expressed, he feels that the Ia Drang action was so chaotic that even the official accounts may not be properly sequenced. All in all, he gives the movie a thumbs up. I take that as a ringing endorsement from a truly unsung American hero. (I will put it this way, other than very general locations, he says he cannot give exact times, dates, places on most of his stories since all of it is heavily classified. He is contacted regularly by the DOD as a "reminder". I wish he could legally write a memoir, it would be a heckuva book!)
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