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Honor in the Valley of Tears (2010)

The story of A-Company 1/8 4th Infantry Division, US Army during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1967. In the men's own words, through the stories they narrate, the film gives us insight into ... See full summary »

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Landis Bargatze ...
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Tom Carty ...
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Peter DeRita ...
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Ralph Ely ...
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Steve Erlenheim ...
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Robert Gillespie ...
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Ken Mayberry ...
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Joby Jay McAulay ...
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Leonard McElroy ...
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David McNerney ...
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Paul Onori ...
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Roy Pacheco ...
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Jim Peirce ...
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Sam Ponsoll ...
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The story of A-Company 1/8 4th Infantry Division, US Army during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1967. In the men's own words, through the stories they narrate, the film gives us insight into the time these men spent together and the bond they formed that remains unbroken to this day. The 4th Infantry Division is one of the only divisions that trained and retained its troops during the Vietnam War. The men of A-Company trained together for eleven months and served together for one year. Their story begins with basic training at Ft. Lewis Washington in 1965 and continues 40 years later at their last reunion in September 2007. Filming began September 27, 2007 in Houston, Texas during a reunion to honor First Sergeant David H. McNerney, who is the only living member of the 4th Infantry Division to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was celebrated by the men he trained and served with and who's lives he saved on March 22, 1967. Conceived by executive producer John A. Ponsoll, whose... Written by Eric S. Dow

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"We all won the Medal of Honor that day. I just have the privilege of wearing it."

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Documentary

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13 May 2010 (USA)  »

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The Originals  »

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$200,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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An Honorable Film
15 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

At the heart of this touching film is not the well-documented horror of the Vietnam War, but the under-documented love that exists between soldiers. "Honor in the Valley of Tears" illuminates the profound and powerful bond forged and protected by the men of A-Company, under the leadership of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient 1st Sgt. David H. McNerney. The film succeeds on many levels. First, as historical documentation. Throughout the film, we hear forgotten stories of forgotten battles, from the mouths of men who haven't often spoken about the war and from some who had never before spoken of it. We learn about the horror of March 22, 1967, when a good portion of A-Company was lost in the Valley of Tears. We learn of the heroism displayed there, including that of 1st Sgt. McNerney, which earned him the Medal of Honor. Rather than using the war to make a political statement, filmmaker Eric S. Dow takes a road far less traveled in documenting Vietnam. Dow focuses his story-telling on the American men who served in the war, who gave up everything they once knew to serve their country. By honoring their service, Dow rights a karmic debt due these men since their return so long ago. Thus, the film succeeds, too, as advocacy for these soldiers. Their voices are heard throughout Dow's film clearly, poignantly and without embellishment. It appears that great healing has taken place as a result of this film production. To the filmmaker's credit, the scope of the film is tightly focused on McNerney and the men of A-Company. Rather than feeling myopic, though, this simple portrait of a single infantry division has the opposite effect. One can only imagine how many stories and how many men were affected, and one can only be overwhelmed by the thought of so much dedication and love between soldiers. Bravo, Mr. Dow, for giving us a lasting and human depiction of America's involvement in Vietnam, and thereby bestowing honor on all American men and women who serve. DS


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