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On March 1 I was the first in line at the movie theatre to see the premiere of We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson Besides the fact that I am a Military History major and a soldier I was even more interested in the movie because I had previously seen the interview with the then LTC Hal Moore and a military photographer During the airing of the news special the interview was enhanced by their returning to the exact scene of Ia Drang Valley conflict almost 30 years later and conducted interviews with their former adversaries--members of the Vietcong who opposed them that day in the Valley Their journey coupled with interviews from the men who joined them the Vietcong they had fought and the surviving family members of the soldiers who fought ended with a pact between Moore and the photographer that the true story of Ia Drang Valley Death Valley would be told through the stories of those that lived it--sparing no detail Their idea became a book We Were Soldiers Once and Young and it was that book that spawned the movie The movie was incredible a true tribute to the men whose nobility and valor proved unbreakable even against the most unbelievable odds On November 14 1965 just after 1045 hours the 1st Battalion of the 7th Air Cavalry landed on a football sized landing area with about 500 people only to discover too late they landed in the middle of a Vietnamese force of 2000 The twist to We Were Soldiers was its exceptional attention to detail that covered not only the American soldiers reactions during the conflict but the incorporation of the enemies thoughts actions and mentality--and how they paralleled the Vietnamese feelings and actions during the French Expedition of the 1950s However the biggest emotions were aroused during the scenes of the Homefront--showing how the horrors of war came crashing unexpectedly on the wives and families thousands of
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