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We Were Soldiers (2002) Poster

Quotes

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [Hal Moore speaks to his men before going into battle] Look around you. In the 7th cavalry, we've got a captain from the Ukraine; another from Puerto Rico. We've got Japanese, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians. Jews and Gentiles. All Americans. Now here in the states, some of you in this unit may have experienced discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone. We're moving into the valley of the shadow of death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And you won't care what color he is, or by what name he calls God. They say we're leaving home. We're going to what home was always supposed to be. Now let us understand the situation. We are going into battle against a tough and determined enemy.

[pauses]

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear, before you and before Almighty God, that when we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead or alive, we will all come home together. So help me, God.

Sergeant Ernie Savage: Beautiful morning, Sergeant!

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: What are you a fucking weatherman now?

Sgt. Ernie Savage: Good morning, Sergeant Major.

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: How do you know what kind of goddamn day it is?

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: If any of you sons of bitches calls me grandpa, I'll kill you.

[after savage is rescued]

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: That's a nice day, Sergeant Savage.

Joe Galloway: [narrating] We who have seen war, will never stop seeing it. In the silence of the night, we will always hear the screams. So this is our story, for we were soldiers once, and young.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I wonder what was going through Custer's mind when he realized that he'd led his men into a slaughter?

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Sir, Custer was a pussy. You ain't.

[Moore and Geoghegan a prayer before leaving for Vietnam]

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Our Father in Heaven, before we go into battle, every soldier among us will approach you each in his own way. Our enemies too, according to their own understanding, will ask for protection and for victory. And so, we bow before your infinite wisdom. We offer our prayers as best we can. I pray you watch over the young Jack Geoghegan. That I lead into battle. You use me as your instrument in this awful hell of war to watch over them. Especially if they're men like this one beside me, deserving of a future in your blessing and goodwill. Amen.

2nd Lieutenant Jack Geoghegan: Amen.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Oh, yes, and one more thing, dear Lord, about our enemies, ignore their heathen prayers and help us blow those little bastards straight to Hell. Amen.

Colonel Tim Brown: Last night, the enemy hit our Special Forces camp here at Plei Me.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: How many casualties did we sustain?

Colonel Tim Brown: None. The enemy forces withdrew here towards this mountain, Chu Pong, that sits right on the Cambodian border. How many men do you have battle ready at your disposal give or take?

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [to Plumley] Sergeant Major?

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: 395 sir... exactly.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [to Colonel Brown] What do you estimate the enemy strength is?

Sergeant: We praise their numbers as manageable.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [grim tone] You mean... you have no idea?

Colonel Tim Brown: No, sir. We have no idea. But we have our orders. Simple orders from High Command: find the enemy and kill him. Nothing more.

Joseph Galloway: [narrating] Some had families waiting. For others, their only family would be the men they bled beside. There were no bands, no flags, no Honor Guards to welcome them home. They went to war because their country ordered them to. But in the end, they fought not for their country or their flag, they fought for each other.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I can hear you laughing you know.

Julie Moore: I'm not laughing, I'm marveling.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: At what?

Julie Moore: That you can find stubbornness in your children and think it comes from anywhere but you...

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I'll never forgive myself.

Joseph Galloway: For what, sir?

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: That my men... that my men died and I didn't.

[Moore and Plumley are looking on at the NVA headquarters]

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: You want to know how Custer felt? Why don't you ask him?

Crandall: My men call me Snakeshit, sir.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Why do they call you that?

Crandall: Because I fly "lower than snakeshit," sir.

Maj. General Henry Kinnard: The White House anticipates a buildup and wants a victory over cavemen in black pajamas.

General in Hallway: We wouldn't be there if they hadn't already beaten the French Army.

Maj. General Henry Kinnard: French Army? What's that?

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I got a problem, Snake Shit, and I think you're the solution.

Maj. Bruce Crandall: I've been called a lot of things, Colonel, never a solution.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: I think you oughta get yourself an M-16.

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Sir, if the time comes I need one, there'll be plenty lying on the ground.

Medevac Pilot: Crandall! You led my men into a hot LZ!

Crandall: Yeah, somebody had to fly out the wounded...

Medevac Pilot: No, no, don't you play hotshot with me! Now, you know the rules. You suckered us in there. You ever do it again, I'm gonna have you busted!

[shoves Crandall]

Crandall: [pulls out his revolver] You've got the balls to face me but not enough balls to face the enemy?

Capt. Ed 'Too Tall' Freeman: Hey! Hey, hey, hey! Whoa!

[seperates the two and maintains the distance]

Crandall: If I ever see you again, I'll kill you! That's right...

Medevac Pilot: [walks off in silence]

Capt. Ed 'Too Tall' Freeman: Hey... what a day, huh?

Crandall: Tomorrow will get worse. If they make it to tomorrow.

Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An: [in Vietnamese] Such a tragedy. They will think this was their victory. So this will become an American war. And the end will be the same, except for the numbers who will die before we get there.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: They attack us; no casualties. They run and hide in the mountains. Naturally we chase them, of course. Smell like an ambush to you?

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: If they're trying to get us close enough to kill, I rekon we'll be close enough to kill them.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Glad you made it son.

Joe Galloway: Thank you, Sir, You too.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [after a short pause] I'll never forgive myself.

Joe Galloway: For what, Sir.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: That my men - that my men died and I didn't.

Joe Galloway: Sir, I don't - I don't know how to tell this story.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Well you got to Joe. You tell the American people what these men did here. You tell them how my troopers died.

Joe Galloway: Yes, Sir.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Thank you.

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[first lines]

Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] These are the true events of November, 1965, the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, a place our country does not remember, in a war it does not understand. This story's a testament to the young Americans who died in the valley of death, and a tribute to the young men of the People's Army of Vietnam who died by our hand in that place. To tell this story, I must start at the beginning. But where does it begin? Maybe in June of 1954 when French Group Mobile 100 moved into the same central highlands of Vietnam where we would go 11 years later.

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Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] In Saigon, Hal Moore's superiors congratulated him for killing over 1,800 enemy soldiers. Then ordered him to lead the Seventh Cavalry back into the valley of death. He led them and fought beside them for 235 more days. Some had families waiting. For others, their only family would be the men they bled beside. There were no bands, no flags, no Honor Guards to welcome them home. They went to war because their country ordered them to. But in the end, they fought not for their country or their flag, the fought for each other.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: [Narrating; voice-over] Dear Barbra, I have no words to express to you my sadness at the loss of Jack. The world is a lesser place without him. But I know he is with God and the angels and I know even Heaven is improved by his presence there. I know you too are sure of this and yet this knowledge can't diminish his loss and your grief. With abiding respect and affection, Hal Moore.

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Joe Galloway: Sir, I don't know how to tell this story.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Well you have to, Joe. You tell the American people what happened here. You tell them how my troopers died.

Joe Galloway: Yes sir.

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[Galloway is on the ground]

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: You can't take any pictures from down there, sonny.

[Galloway gets up and is handed a rifle]

Joseph Galloway: I'm a non-combatant.

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Ain't no such thing today.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Where you from, son?

Joseph Galloway: Refugio, Texas, sir.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Well, that's the first thing I've heard today that makes any sense.

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Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: [about to face an onslaught of attacking NVA soldiers] Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves!

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[On the radio]

Colonel Tim Brown: Colonel, what's the situation down there?

[Colonel Moore spins around and shoots a North Vietnamese soldier that was just about to bayonet him]

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: It's getting pretty sporty down here, sir!

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[At night]

Specialist Galen Bungum: I can't see a thing, but I can smell them.

Sergeant Ernie Savage: Dead bodies smell, Bungum.

Specialist Galen Bungum: No it's not the dead ones! I can smell them creeping up on us.

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[to Major Crandall]

2nd Lieutenant Jack Geoghegan: Our guys are being killed, sir, you gotta get us in there!

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[after Ouellette takes a NVA prisoner just after landing in Ia Drang, the prisoner talks in Vietnamese to Moore and the rest of the solders]

Mr. Nik: [translating] He say he deserter.

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Bullshit, he's a lookout.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Ask him where his friends are.

[Mr. Nik asks the prisoner in Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese lookout responds in Vietnamese]

Mr. Nik: He say this is basecamp for whole division. 4,000 men.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Where?

[Mr. Nik firmly asks the prisoner in Vietnamese who responds by speaking Vietnamese and points to the nearby Chu Pong Massif]

Mr. Nik: [still translating] That mountain. He say, it's same army that destroyed French. They want to kill Americans very badly... but they have not been able to find any yet.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: He died keeping my promise.

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Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An: [in Vietnamese; subtitled] Those who are about to fight and die, I am grateful.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Nothing's wrong except there's nothing wrong!

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[the Viet Minh look down on wounded French soldiers]

Viet Minh Sergeant: [in Vietnamese; subtitled] Do we take prisoners?

Lt. Col. Nguyen Huu An: [in Vietnamese] No. Kill all they send... and they will stop coming.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Broken Arrow!

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Pass this along; tell your men to fire three shots at anything that looks suspicious, on my order.

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Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Seen the new rifles too, the M-16.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: That's supposed to be a pretty good weapon.

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: Ahh, lotsa plastic. Feels like a BB gun to me. Believe I'm gonna stick with my pistol.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Think we're gonna get close enough to the enemy to use that?

Sergeant Major Basil Plumley: What do you think, sir?

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: You know what Air Cavalry really means? You fly into hostile territory, outnumbered, 10,000 miles from home. Sometimes the battleground is no bigger than a football field, and if the choppers stop coming, we all get slaughtered. Now, I figure chopper pilots won't fly into Hell for strangers, so, I'm Hal Moore.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: You got a death wish, Galloway?

Joe Galloway: No, sir.

Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: Then why are you here?

Joe Galloway: Cause I knew these dead boys would be here, sir.

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Diplomatic Spook: I don't like it. First time out a whole battalion gets massacred?

Army Intelligence Officer: You think this is a massacre?

Diplomatic Spook: I call losing a lot of draftees a bad week. Losing a Colonel's a massacre.

Army Intelligence Officer: Moore is still fighting.

Diplomatic Spook: He's surrounded by the enemy. He's facing more men then he can count. He's even has a whole platoon lost.

Army Intelligence Officer: That platoon is not lost. They are simply cut off.

Diplomatic Spook: Well, then they're lost.

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Joseph Galloway: [narrating] Some had families waiting, for others their only family would be the men they bled beside, there were no bands, flags no honor guards to welcome them home, they went to war because their country ordered them to, but in the end they fought not for country or their flag, they fought for each other

Joseph Galloway: We who have seen war will never stop seeing it, in the silence of the night we will always hear the screams. So this is our story... For we were soldiers once and young.

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[first lines]

French Captain: [in French; subtitled] Anything?

French Lieutenant: [in French] No, Captain.

French Captain: [in French] Fucking heat. Fucking grass. Fucking country.

[a Vietnamese bullet suddenly hits him in the head]

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2nd Lieutenant Jack Geoghegan: Barbra and I spent a year in Africa. We helped build a school for orphans. They were orphans because the warlord across the border didn't like their tribe. I know that God has a plan for me, I just hope it's to help protect orphans, not make any.

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Lt. Colonel Hal Moore: To follow your instincts and to inspire your men, by your example, you have to be with 'em. Where the metal meets the meat.

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[last lines]

Joseph Galloway: [narrating] Some had families waiting. For others, their only family would be the men they bled beside. There were no bands, no flags, no Honor Guards to welcome them home. They went to war because their country ordered them to. But in the end, they fought not for their country or their flag, they fought for each other.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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