A National Geographic documentary featuring a Santa Clarita man who served in one of the last combat infantry companies drafted and trained to fight in Vietnam will air later this month.
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“’The Boys of ’67’ tells the story of how Charlie Company originated at Fort Riley, Kan., when the 9th Infantry Division was reactivated in mid-1966,” said Bill Reynolds, a longtime Valencia resident who, as a company trooper, was wounded in action in June 1967 and earned a Purple Heart.
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The two-hour documentary is set to air for the first time March 26 at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.
The story shares personal narratives from members of the unit, several of whom gathered at Reynolds’s home for the filming.
The film is based on a book, “The Boys of ‘67,” which tells the story of Reynolds’s unit, part of “the only division to be raised, drafted and trained for service in the Vietnam War,” according to author Andrew Wiest, a historian and professor at the University of Southern Mississippi (Other divisions that fought in Vietnam were already active, vestiges of Korea and World War II; the 9th had been deactivated after WWII.)
“It’s the story of various troopers within the company who became good friends as we trained together for six months before traveling to Vietnam aboard a World War II troop ship,” Reynolds said, “and how we were bogged down in the Mekong Delta fighting the Viet Cong and enduring a number of battles and firefights, and the losses that we sustained in that year. And the book closes with the impact the war had on a number of those troopers.”
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“‘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,” according to a National Geographic news release. “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.”
The survivors from Reynolds’s unit remained friends and still gather together for reunions.
“We were in some pretty harsh terrain and fighting a determined enemy,” Reynolds said, of his service. “And we always remember our fallen — and we do that at all of our reunions. We’re all brothers, brothers in arms.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News