Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In the Shadow of the Blade

OK, I've been meaning to blog about this for weeks, but just haven't had a chance. My father-in-law loaned me a DVD, which I strongly encourage EVERYONE to get and watch if you have a chance (and lookie here... you DO have a chance! Click HERE for the website to read about it & order!).

This isn't a movie, it's more like a documentary. Here's a snippet from the website:

In The Shadow of The Blade follows the 10,000-mile flight of a restored, battle-scarred UH-1 “Huey” helicopter across America to hear the untold stories of the soldiers who once relied on it for survival and of the families who waited for them to come home. Landing in backyards and farmyards, the war’s symbol became a catalyst for healing as soldiers and citizens came to pay tribute to their shared experience and to the war’s fallen.

Moments captured by the filmmakers as they traveled from the ocean across the plains to the mountains include a Native American blessing of the aircraft, the reunion of a Vietnam War nurse and a Vietnamese woman she helped save 34 years before, an infantryman’s delivery of a message that haunted him for three decades, a door gunner’s meeting with the man he’d helped save, and the army’s highest-ranking prisoner of war’s reunion with the machine that took him “to a very bad place.” Hundreds of veterans from all branches of service rode in the aircraft and shared their stories. By mission’s end at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Chapel in Angel Fire, New Mexico, the evocative healing power of In The Shadow of The Blade had been described as “the most important thing to happen to Vietnam veterans since the dedication of The Wall.”

Commentary by General Hal Moore and combat journalist Joe Galloway, co-authors of the best-selling We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, fine-toothed verification of story accuracy and the unfiltered stories of combat veterans deliver what the Library of Congress Veteran Forum describes as “a gold standard for accuracy, insuring that the real experience, as opposed to the Hollywood cliché, is documented for posterity.”

In The Shadow of The Blade has been endorsed by major veteran organizations including the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association, the DUSTOFF Association and several smaller organizations. It received Best Documentary and Best of Show in the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival in 2004. The aircraft used in the film and three clips are part of a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian’s history museum.
This was truly an amazing documentary.... but a word to the wise -- have plenty of tissue handy, because you WILL need it...most especially if you, or someone you love, was there... it is an incredibly powerful documentary. Seeing these guys fly this Huey around, and seeing people receive healing, peace and even a sense of closure from the experience of seeing, flying, or riding in the Huey... was a beautiful thing.

I remember when hubby and I went to Washington, DC with the Patriot Guard Riders for the funeral of Capt. Herbert C. Crosby, there was a flyover by three Hueys.... the sound and the sight of seeing them in action gave me chills... I was accutely aware at that time of the fact that many, many of my friends and the people at Capt. Crosby's funeral had been there...and I wondered how they must have felt, hearing that sound again after so very many years... Now, having watched In the Shadow of the Blade... I've seen a little glimpse.

OK now, go on..git. You've got a DVD to order. :)


Frasypoo said...

I have to watch it!!!

Indian Chris said...

I resent the post. If it doesn't show up try checking your SPAM folder. They sometimes end up there. Not sure why.

C. Shearer said...

I'm a whirly-bird guy at heart; even though I work on supersonic lawn-darts now, I started with the choppers and will always have an affection for them.

Several of my friends were UH-1 pilots in the Vietnam war, especially a type of father figure I had when I was a 206 mechanic, Ray Wilson, who had 19,000 hours, many of them in combat. He'd had two helicopters shot out from under him and crashed another after the engine decided it didn't want to be an engine anymore.

Everyonce in a while while repositioning helicopters or during test flights he'd get us down on the deck between trees and through valleys. It was the best flying I've ever done.

Ray passed in 2003 shortly after I joined the Air Force; if there is one person in Heaven whom I hope is there, it's Ray; I knew him before I was a Christian and we never talked about it, but if he's there, I know he's giving flight lessons to the angels.

Thanks for your post Kat.

Kat said...

Frasypoo: You will love it - it is a beautiful thing! :)

Indian Chris: THANX! Wednesday's Hero post to go up shortly... a little late, sorry! :-/

"C" -- what a cool story - sounds like Ray was an awesome guy. I hope he's in Heaven, too - sounds like someone I'd LOVE to meet & talk to! :-)

Georgia Blogger