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Author Topic: We were soldiers...  (Read 18482 times)
triggerhippie
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« on: March 30, 2006, 11:26:00 PM »

Just got my hands on this DVD and sat down with a good friend and watched it expecting nothing special with "all women love me Mel Gibson" only to find myself not moving from the chair, and shocked at the graphic detail they showed.

I was very surprised, and shocked at the graphic nature of the film, but it "hit the spot" and just brings home the sheer "hell" that those extreme examples must have been to the brave souls that were there.

Very good for what it is - thumbs up.
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2006, 08:08:00 AM »

I read the book several years ago.  It had such a powerful impact, I couldn't bring myself to see the film when it was showing in the theaters.  I only recently saw it, also on DVD.
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triggerhippie
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 07:35:00 AM »

I understand why RR, and of course the book must have been so much better in relation (as books tend to be better then films in general) to the film. I like the fact that the Huey (spelling !!) guys were shown in equal "good light" and the director attempted quite well to show the direct link the grunts had to them as a life line at times. It's very hard for a film in particular to acknowledge each and every "part" of the huge Vietnam war machine, from the little guys back home to the front line heroes, and of course this film is a tiny focus on a tiny piece of what happened, but I applaud them as it certainly got my stomach churning at times.

Have to say this, at times, dealing with the trivia of daily life it kind of brings it all into prespective. The sheer bull that some people emerse themselves into, and the frustrations that come and go, pales into insignificance when you face death and a moment by moment basis .... right I'm off to go and shout at the English politicians on the TV and wave my fist a
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tunnelratje
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 10:36:00 AM »

MY dearest veterans
I've wathted the movie a little wile ago!
and it's the realest movie i've ever seen afther the stories i heard!!
i'ts a shame that they don't put the footage in for the medics and churgens who patchted up the guys who are ingurud and hang on the end of there live!!!!
The guy's on the feild seen a mes but th guys in the medical centre they never saw this comming!!!

I PAY MY RESPECT TO ALL YOU GUYS WHO'VE BEEN THERE!!!!

greets tunnel Head Out..
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Huyen
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2007, 11:48:23 PM »

The film was mostly faithful to the book, which rarely can be said.  However, There were some overly dramatic moments in the film that were not consistent with the book.  The way the platoon got separated didn't happen the way portrayed in the film.  Also, the broken arrow sequence was more routine than that which was portrayed in the film.  Moore had the assets available to him, calling for them was not such a big deal as the movie makes it seem.  I  believe the bayonet charge was incorrect also.  I do not recall that being in the book, nor reading anywhere that it happened at LZ X-ray.  Last critique is that I thought some of the acting of Greg Kinnear (Huey Pilot) was a little over the top. 

Now, having said all that, I must say that I liked the film and thought Gibson did a nice job making this movie.  I think the film did a good job showing the American soldiers as they were.  Dedicated, professional, and courageous.  With so many VN war movies seeking to portray the American soldier as at least part time rapist or criminal, it was refreshing to see a film made that portrayed the more typical traits of the soldiers serving in Vietnam.  Gibson deserves a lot of credit for making this film. 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2007, 11:39:07 AM by Huyen » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2007, 07:35:33 PM »

Huyen -- Interesting, insightful comments - badly needed on this site of late(!).  It's good to have an articulate lady join in - I assume of Vietnamese descent?  Welcome.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2007, 11:26:52 PM »

Huyen -- Interesting, insightful comments - badly needed on this site of late(!).  It's good to have an articulate lady join in - I assume of Vietnamese descent?  Welcome.

Thank you.  And thank you for your service to MY country !!!
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sergeant_c
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 03:20:43 PM »

HUYEN
I have been reading you comments and agree with RR that you are always on point.  I will say this, The Pilot portrayed  nick name "Snake Shit" earned himself this nations highest honnor. So I am not concerned to much about the way he was portrayed. The movie is probably the most realistic film on the Viet Nam War. Having done a few air assaults my self over the years, what you see is how it gets done. But you still have to take out the occasional  "John Wayne" - Hollywood Dramatics. I like your prospectives and have picked up some of the books you talked about. Give me some time to review these so I can get up to speed.

Sergeant_c
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Retired
101 Airborn Air Assault Division
Ft Cambell, Ky.

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Huyen
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2007, 07:47:56 PM »

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HUYEN
I have been reading you comments and agree with RR that you are always on point. 


Thank you.  But more importantly, thank you for your service to the Republic of Vietnam and the USA!!!!

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I will say this, The Pilot portrayed  nick name "Snake Shit" earned himself this nations highest honnor.

Clearly I have the utmost respect for the man, if not the acting  LOL   I agree with RR, the word hero is thrown around loosely these days.  I think that my garbage man is a hero when he takes the trash away that I cannot lift.  However, by anyone real standard Lt. Col. Bruce P. Crandall is a Hero and it is about time this was recognized properly. 

Of course, I believe that most of the soldiers who served in VN are heroes. 

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So I am not concerned to much about the way he was portrayed. The movie is probably the most realistic film on the Viet Nam War.


I have not weighed in on this topic yet, but I have been planning too  Grin

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Having done a few air assaults my self over the years, what you see is how it gets done. But you still have to take out the occasional  "John Wayne" - Hollywood Dramatics.

Yes.  The combat assault was as accurate as I think Hollywood can make.  And I have more to say about this when I weigh in on the movies. 

However, Don't go knocking on John Wayne  Razz  I have said before, I have much respect for him.  He was a staunch supporter of the VN war and the VN people.  He made the "Green Berets" with all his own money, outside of the Hollywood establishment.  I think he had courage to buck the trend.  Sure, some of his acting is over the top.  But he is over the top with ideas like, Patriotism, Country, Sacrifice, Personal responsibility, Courage.  I cannot help but admire this about the man. 

Did you know that Jimmy Stewart was a pilot in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve?   Go Air Force!  He flew combat missions over Berlin.  AND he retired as a brigadier General from the AF reserve, but not before filling his final weekend warrior stint by serving two weeks in VN and flying a combat mission as a crew member aboard a BUFF over NVN?  They just don't make actors like they used too Smiley 

He also lost his son, who was killed while on a patrol in the DMZ in VN  Cry

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I like your prospectives and have picked up some of the books you talked about. Give me some time to review these so I can get up to speed.

Oh, there is more to come.  I am just doing what I do.  I have been bitten by the VN history bug and I cannot help myself.  I have an extensive library and, for all the books I have read, I have barely dented it.  And I am also willing to take suggestions as I do from RR. 

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Sergeant_c
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sergeant_c
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2007, 11:50:52 AM »

I am not Knocking the "Duke" - John  Wayne is (was) a term used in the military for the dramatics displayed by soldiers. An example of this would be throwing a grenade into a grass hutch by pulling the pin with your teeth - kicking open the door - tossing in the pineapple - the putting you back to side of the hutch (GRASS hut) for protection while the Granada explodes. Earning one self a trip on the nearest dust-off and the butt of all the jokes in the company for the next month.

Many actors and sports figures have served in the military instead of taking the easy way out. To all who served we owe a lot as a society.

To RR I will say this  "Regardless of where you served "REMF" or Line or Support. We All took the same chances each and every day. The rockets did not care what our jobs were."  Only another person that spent their time in that Asian vacation spot (any combat area) will ever understand how we fell about that experience. As hard as I try I have not found a way to explain what it was like.  I tried to explain combat to son before he left for Iraq. I know he didn't really understand. But, after he returned we talked and I could tell that his experiences were a lot like as ours were in the Nam (he got it). RR you spent your time in Hell, Welcome Home Brother.

Sergeant_C

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RadioResearcher
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2007, 07:40:48 PM »

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John  Wayne is (was) a term used in the military for the dramatics displayed by soldiers.


I second that, Sarge.  The term has a special meaning for soldiers, and is not critical of the Duke himself.  For Huyen, attached is a picture of someone you know doing the John Wayne thing for the camera - I like to call it "LRRP - Looney Radio Research Person".

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To RR I will say this  "Regardless of where you served "REMF" or Line or Support. We All took the same chances each and every day. The rockets did not care what our jobs were."  Only another person that spent their time in that Asian vacation spot (any combat area) will ever understand how we fell about that experience. As hard as I try I have not found a way to explain what it was like.  I tried to explain combat to son before he left for Iraq. I know he didn't really understand. But, after he returned we talked and I could tell that his experiences were a lot like as ours were in the Nam (he got it). RR you spent your time in Hell, Welcome Home Brother.

Well, Sarge . . . thanks, brother.  That means a helluva lot for this REMF to hear that.  For a lot of years, I couldn't even talk about what we did - but declassification in recent years has opened that up now.  I know I did the best I could in my job to prevent losses and increase our chances, even if my share of "action" was limited, like clutching an old, beat-up briefcase full of classified material to my chest during an overnight mortar attack on the Pleiku air base (C-130 hop got in too late) - strictly Radio Research "action"!  You are right about the rockets not caring, 'though.  A couple of our Radio Researchers met their fate that way in a bunker on FSB Sarge up by the DMZ in the final days of the war.  You're also right about "getting it".  There is something there that never leaves you.  I am very glad your son is home safe from Iraq.  That situation weighs on me very heavily.  --RR
« Last Edit: March 02, 2007, 09:21:03 PM by RadioResearcher » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2007, 08:43:24 PM »

Why were they soldiers?  Why did they go to Vietnam?  In all the confusion sometimes it is easy in our relatively comfortable world to forget what else is out there and why sometimes you have to ask the question John Wayne asks, "Why are you marching son?".   

The answer seems simple to me.

Excerpts paraphrased from various sources:

Don Duong (born August 27, 1957) is a film actor who had been well known in Vietnam long before his first film was even seen in the United States.  He considered himself loyal to the current Vietnam.  In We Were Soldiers (2002), Don Duong played the communist colonel who fought against the forces led by Mel Gibson's character.  Upon his return to Vietnam, Don Duong was subjected to severe criticism by the government for his involvement in this project. Some government officials accused Don Duong of treason, a crime punishable by death under Vietnamese laws. The Vietnamese actors' association expelled him, he was banned from working in Vietnam and his passport was confiscated.  Don Duong was proclaimed a Traitor to the Government and Peoples Army of Vietnam, for appearing as the North Vietnamese Army Commander who lost to MEL GIBSON. Duong endured long interrogations that tried to pressure him into signing a confession for his "Crimes." A Confession that DUONG never signed, because he believed himself not to be a traitor, with punishment always just around the corner.  Duong's children were harassed and the 16-year-old was even pulled out of his classroom and interrogated by school officials.  The filmmaking community in the U.S., the Bush White House, "WE WERE SOLDIERS". Personnel and others worked hard on Don Duong's behalf.  Finally, the Vietnamese government relented and allowed him and his family to emigrate to the United States.

Duong considered himself to be a patriot, but communist regimes are notorious for "eating their own".  Such as the great Soviet purges.  Like other communist regimes, the VN one is no different.  And like many other patriots in communist countries, Duong found out what freedom really means.  I have read so many accounts of former VN communist patriots who believed all the bad things being said about communism were just propaganda.  Only to be relatively quickly disillusioned.  Fortunately for Duong, his was only a mild purge.  Others in VN were not so fortunate. 

They were soldiers once, and young.  They were soldiers trying to contain the spread of communism to aid American security interests, and trying to preserve the relative freedom of the VN people. 

Great Film.  Great Vets.  Great Cause!!
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2007, 06:10:54 PM »

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The filmmaking community in the U.S., the Bush White House, "WE WERE SOLDIERS". Personnel and others worked hard on Don Duong's behalf.  Finally, the Vietnamese government relented and allowed him and his family to emigrate to the United States.

Very interesting account.  I had not previously heard the Duong story, possibly because I stayed away from the movie for so long after its release.  Couldn't bring myself to see it after the powerful effect the book had on me.  I eventually did, on TV, alone.  Just one of those things.  Anyway, this kind of "making of" perspective on the movie is appreciated.  I'm glad Duong is is the USA now.  He certainly deserves to be here.
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2007, 07:43:27 PM »


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Very interesting account.  I had not previously heard the Duong story

That is what I am here for.   I am a cornucopia of useless information.   Grin


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I'm glad Duong is is the USA now.  He certainly deserves to be here.

Perhaps.  I don't know much about him other than the anecdote above.  I would hope that he was not one who believed in the merits of the regime, right up until the regime focused its attention on him.  Like most things today on controversial subjects, "We Were Soldiers" attempted to portray a "balanced" view point of the adversaries in the film.  Perhaps that is why he did the film and believes he did nothing wrong?  However, one person's balance is another's treason. 
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2007, 04:36:37 AM »

I really need to get a place for you guys on good discussions, I swear I'm working on it... Forums just don't capture all you talk about.  Easier to read and find on searches in other means! Smiley
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