I bought a 8mm Yashica film movie camera during a stand-down when we got out of the bush and out of combat. I took movies during the stand-down and then decided to hump the camera into the bush on our next mission. I took movies during the airmobile combat assault. After blocking out Vietnam for 36 years I decided to use my footage to pay tribute to the 11 men that were ambushed and killed on Easter Sunday 4-11-1971.
The following day after our air mobile assault was Easter Sunday and Chaplain Merle Brown came out to give us Easter Services and he brought some hot food. He asked us if he could join us for lunch, which we gladly said YES. I was blessed to sit next to him and we talked for about an hour. Chaplain Brown was a great man and I felt I had met a New Best Friend.
His helicopter came to pick him up and take him to another company that was very close to us on the top of a hill. We were able to see him land and and when his helicopter came back to pick him up all hell broke loose. The enemy fired rockets hitting the helicopter and it exploded 5 times.
As I watched the explosions and then found out Chaplain Brown and 10 other men died day, I was devastated and a huge trauma to lose my new best friend. I had other traumas in Vietnam, I was an infantry grunt and was in the bush for 11 months. I was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge and an Air Medal. You have to be in combat for over 6 months to get a CIB and many air mobile combat assaults to get an Air Medal.
I have been treated by VA Mental Health Care for PTSD for 8 years and take 4 meds a day. VA Mental Health says I have extreme PTSD and they believe I qualify for 100% comp. I was awarded 70% VA disability, I get 100% health care, but no dental
When I took the camera into the bush I had extra film, but I didn’t bring any spare batteries so I was unable to film this event. We did have 35mm cameras so pictures were taken.
I never expected my Nam videos to be seen over 1,002,000+ times. In this version I decided to add personal narration. By the way I have supplied my raw footage to 5 Vietnam documentaries including History Channel, PBS and others. History Channel got the actual 8mm film and then upgraded it to High Definition and that’s what I used in this video.
I get great health care from the VA Health Care department and my caregiver in the VA Mental Health department keeps me alive right now. I see her more than once a month. We hug when I leave!