via press release:
CHARLIE SHEEN NARRATES NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL’S
POWERFUL VIETNAM WAR SPECIAL: BROTHERS IN WAR
Inspired by the Popular Book, “The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam,”
the Two-Hour Documentary Recounts the Gripping, Personal Story of One of the
Last Combat Infantry Companies to Be Drafted, Trained and Sent to Fight Together in Vietnam
Brothers in War premieres Wednesday, March 26, at 8 PM ET/PT on NGC
(Washington, D.C. – Feb. 26, 2014) In 1967 the boys of Charlie Company went to war in the Mekong Delta, the homeland of the Viet Cong, and entered a foreign land of murderous heat, unforgiving jungle and a new age of guerrilla warfare. This “band of brothers” journeyed from boot camp to combat and, for the lucky ones, back home — experiencing their horror, their pain, their misery, their happiness and, above all, their camaraderie together. Now, nearly 50 years later, they’re uniting once again to share their stories of courage under fire with the world.
Through gripping first-person accounts and digitally remastered archival footage, including the soldiers’ own home movies and personal audio tapes, Brothers in War recounts the harrowing combat experiences of the men of Charlie Company — one of the last American combat infantry companies to be drafted, trained and sent to fight together in Vietnam. Fittingly narrated by Charlie Sheen, who rose to stardom after his 1986 performance as a Vietnam soldier in “Platoon,” the two-hour special premieres Wednesday, March 26, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel and on Nat Geo Mundo in July. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.
Plucked from their homes, the young men of Charlie Company left their sheltered, innocent lives to become part of the first American unit to be permanently stationed in the Mekong Delta. Their mission: to patrol the Delta’s massive maze of waterways, dense jungles and rice paddies in order to seek out and destroy the 82,000 enemy soldiers who pervaded the region. Rifleman, 3rd Platoon, John Bradfield recalls, “The Red Cross gave us some pamphlets and things that dealt with our conscience, because we were actually going to have to kill to keep from being killed. That was just the reality of it.”
During their one-year deployment, these brave soldiers were confronted with both sides of death. They grieved for fallen comrades and the guilt of killing their enemy. Team leader in the 1st Platoon, John Sclimenti, explains, “When you’re in battle, your training takes over, your emotions are on auto-pilot. What’s tough for you is when the battle stops. When the battle stops, all of a sudden you start thinking.”
These men’s stories are raw, heartfelt and gut-wrenching. They talk about the horrors they experienced both in the heat of battle and in its bloody aftermath. Sclimenti remembers retrieving bodies after their largest and deadliest battle: “One of the things that struck me the most is that I would find a body and their helmet would be off their head and it would be laying beside them and there would be a picture of their girlfriend or their wife or their family inside their helmets. And that struck me because in my mind I was picking up a soldier, but then when I saw the helmet with the pictures inside, I was picking up a family member, a father, or a brother, or a son.”
Brothers in War sheds light on the many aspects of war that Vietnam soldiers faced. Aside from the casualties of battle and heroic acts of bravery in the field, the veterans featured in the film also recall some of the lighter moments that helped forge lifelong friendships. To this day, they still remember who got the best care packages, funny nicknames, the swimming pool back at base and even an instance where they used marijuana leaves as camouflage.
War in Vietnam for the men of Charlie Company was unlike anything they could have imagined. By the end of their yearlong combat tour, Charlie Company suffered 26 killed and 105 wounded — a total casualty rate of just over 80 percent. They were among the first U.S. servicemen to return home not to open arms, but to jeering, cursing protestors.
Today, the survivors of Charlie Company still get together regularly.
Brothers in War is produced by Lou Reda Productions for National Geographic Channel. For Lou Reda Productions, executive producers are Lou Reda and Scott L. Reda, producer is Liz Reph and chief historical consultant is Dr. Andrew Wiest. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Madeleine Carter, vice president of production and development is Kevin Mohs and executive vice president of programming is Heather Moran.