PROJECT UPDATE: The Forgotten Marines at Hue; Tet, 1968 Documentary Film

With just over two months to go before our trip to Vietnam, and considering my poor fund-raising results as of today, I’m now changing strategy and moving to “Plan D.” Plans B and C were efforts to reduce the cost of taking a film crew with us to Vietnam as a part of the “1/5 Returns to I Corps” tour, but I was not able to secure enough money to cover the costs of even taking one videographer with us. However, I am still 100% committed to my long-term goal to produce this documentary film.

I had great hopes that we would be able to raise significant funds, so we could secure Fred Smith’s terrific $50,000.00 challenge pledge, but that has just not been realized. Fred’s pledge expires on 12/31/2017, and we’re nowhere near raising the money needed to secure that pledge. I wish to personally thank Fred Smith for supporting this project, and for all the many Marine Corps-related causes he has so generously supported over the years. The project pledges we have received thus far are not insignificant, and they are greatly appreciated, but they do not add up to what will be needed down the road to do this right.

So, we will not be taking a documentary film crew with us to Vietnam as part of the “1/5 Returns to I Corps” tour next February. Plan D entails a one-day film shoot at Camp Pendleton, CA, with a small film crew. The shoot will take place on Saturday, 2/3/18, at Camp San Mateo, the Fighting Fifth’s headquarters. I’m already aware that several Hue City Veterans will be there for the Annual 1st Marine Division Anniversary week (29 January – 2 February), so this would present us with a great opportunity to get many Hue City Veterans on film. More important, I’m able to fund this shoot myself, so I will not be risking “other people’s money” until I’m certain that the doc film will become a reality given the proper funding.

If you are a Hue City Veteran and you’re planning to attend the Anniversary (and if you’ve never been to one of these great “mini-reunions” just know that they are a great time!) or would be willing and able to do so, this is your invitation to be there and participate in the film’s development.

Once this one-day shoot has been completed, the film team will then create a “trailer” or short demo film, which will be posted on YouTube and used in our future fund-raising campaign. If that doesn’t work out, then so be it. If it does, and we are able to raise all the money needed to create, produce and distribute the documentary film, then we will plan another trip to Vietnam sometime later next year to capture a lot more film.

If you are interested in attending the 77th Anniversary of the 1st Marine Division event, and if you are interested, willing and able to participate in the shoot on Saturday, February 3rd at Camp San Mateo, please contact me here.

Semper Fidelis!