The Last Full Measure (2019) Movie Script

103.6, WPTC.
All news radio, traffics,
sports and weather.
In the district there is
a vile up on constitution.
Yes, hi, Dr. Hollands
office, please.
This thing cheat.
- This is terrible.
- Uh..hello?
Hi, I'm Tara Huffman, and I have
an 8:15 amnion scheduled,
and we're totally stuck
on the Constitution.
I'm so sorry, can you
hang on a second?
Hi, Celia, I'm on the other line.
Wait. Celia?
Okay, alright.
- Quickly, quickly.
- Okay.
Hey, what's up?
I'm gonna call you back.
Just meet me downstairs.
Peters just fucking quit.
You owe me a quarter.
What happened? Why?
I-- I don't know.
I don't know what happened.
Okay, there is a metro station two
blocks away, why don't you take it?
Are you sure?
- Yeah, yeah.
- I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
- Thank you.
Alright, buddy, take care
of your mom, okay?
- Alright. Good luck.
- Okay.
- I'll call you later.
- Okay. It's gonna be okay.
- Alright.
- Bye.
I called as soon as I heard.
It's your job to keep my pale-ass
out of the stink, you're my Kevlar.
How was I supposed to know the secretary
was gonna call a press conference,
- let alone resigned today.
- Did he have a reason?
The secretary? Oh, yes.
- He wants to spend more--
- More time with the family?
Oh, Jesus.
Is Stanton there?
- He brought the donuts.
- Of course, he did.
- What's my day like?
- We've a 11 o'clock,he is early,
- and your lunch scrubbed.
- What 11 o'clock?
Master Sergeant Thomas Tully.
Never heard of him scheduled.
We missed you
at the brief.
I got to have my ear
to the rail, Carl,
or that train might
have run me over.
Well, if you'd be here on time,
you would have heard
it like the rest of us.
You must've known something.
Hey,I was here, you werent.
It's on you. I-- I--
I got you a doughnut.
It's got..sprinkles.
- My wife had a amnion.
- Oh..
Oh, right. Priorities.
I don't know how
you do it. Wife..
- kids, hamster..
- Oh, it was Gerbil.
Mercifully, he finally
went tits up.
Life refined itself of
your patience.
It was a shock,
but I'm finally over it.
You okay? What's-- what's--
What's bothering you?
I'm a government lawyer
about to be unemployed.
Oh, come on! You're a superstar
in the verge of free agency.
You will find something.
In the middle of an election year?
Not even Tiger could sing that part.
What makes you think I can?
Because your political Darwinism
is absolutely instinctual.
Oh, you're welcome.
You remember that decorations
review I gave you in July?
It's a vague potential memory.
A Medal of Honor upgrade?
You have a statues briefing.
- When?
- Now.
- With who?
- Master Sergeant Thomas Tully.
Air force para-rescue, retired.
- Flew in from Davie.
- Your 11 o' clock.
He's the guy's buddy.
Who's guy?
- What guy?
- The Medal Of Honor candidate.
Why he won't just...
come himself?
Because it's posthumous.
You better read it down.
Here you go.
- Christ, I--
- I've been reminding you since July.
We're talking about one of my
buddies in the days of the war.
Pit saved lives.
And he was awarded
with a Air Force Cross.
- What's wrong with that?
- It was downgraded to the Cross.
We put him up for
the Medal of Honor.
- That's different.
- Sergeant.
I'm gonna tell you something
you probably already know.
Decoration upgrades are rare.
The criteria for review is
new information.
I think that "no information"
part was your job.
This was 30 years ago.
I mean, there is an agenda
you have I should know about?
Justice delayed is justice denied.
That's my damn agenda.
Sergeant Tully, Secretary
of the Air Force..
..resigned today.
In three months,
everyone in this office is
gonna be gone, including me.
This will take years.
We're gonna follow-up
on this next week.
Secretary Peters?
I'm Thomas Tully.
Air force para-rescue.
Defense Contract Audit Agency
is looking for a Regional Director.
That one would be a misstep.
Okay, well, you're now
officially on your own.
- Don't be like that.
- Call sheet is in your computer,
the Secretary is looking for
you and your wife called.
Wait. Why?
Well..she didn't say.
No. Peters.
Whit wants to see you in
his office in five minutes.
on the job, Carl.
More mascots under your feet.
Thank you Mr. Secretary.
Sit. Sit down.
A Master Sergeant Thomas Tully
doesnt think we're giving
this MOH matter a perch e.
That's a misunderstanding.
That's what I said.
Operation Abilene
was one of the bloodiest
battles of the entire war.
The 'Vietnam' War.
An entire company nearly wiped
out but for this PJ's efforts.
Para-rescue jumper.
Pitsenbarger is a legend
in the PJ community.
I understand that.
Well, Carl's putting
together your itinerary.
You'll collect combat
testimonies, personally,
and prepare a package for
a full decorations review.
But we're about to present
the budget to committee.
Yeah,well, Carl has it covered.
I've been working on it.
All year.
And now you're working on this.
The Medal of Honor
is the highest recognition
of Military valor there is.
Patton said he'd have traded
his command for that ribbon.
Eisenhower at the white house.
Now, why do you think
four star Generals and Presidents
would say something like that?
Honestly, I have no idea.
Well, that's a very
good place to start.
I'm off the budget because
of some grunt-case
Peters in the shitter with him.
Are you kidding me?
He's not a grunt.
He's Air Force.
And you're off the budget
because you embarrassed him.
- Who? Tully?
- No. Peters.
Look, uh, I've never done
a medal review, I--
I-- I don't have time for this.
What job did you get, anyway?
I'm Legislative Director
for Madison Holt,
if it's any of your business.
Chairman of Armed Services?
Is there another? Look..what,
do I have to spell this out for you?
It's just crazy.
Take a few days, go
collect some war stories,
have Celia write up a summery
statement requesting more time.
We look like we give a shit,
just till it rolls-over
to the next poor slob
who takes your job,
and you're out of it, before
Appropriations even sniffs the budget.
- That's it?
- Yeah, that's it.
It's only gonna be
a day,honey.
We're getting fired
from all corners.Over.
Carlie-6-dawn 3.
- Everybody down!
- Take cover!
Contact!Victor Charlie!
We have wounded
and we are taking fires!
Heaven-1, Pedro inbound,
say, two mikes out.
Copy that, Charlie-6.
We're inbound now.
- Charlie-6..
- Get behind now!
They have mortars and
automatic weapon now.
It's an ambush!
Keep moving!
Hey,Tully! It doesn't look
too good down there.
They don't know
how to load the litters.
Holy shit!
It's the medic.
- Okay.
- Somebody needs to go down there...
and get 'em straiten down.
No way, it's hotter than
hell down there, Pits.
Those people can't wait.
They've lost the medic.
Let me go down,
speed up the whole deal.
As soon as we have their
wounded, you're back on this bird.
Roger that.
You be goddamn careful.
I'm going down!
Get the fuck out of here!
Sounds like a suicide mission.
Suicide is hopeless.
What Pitsenbarger did was
it was valor.
It was a hell of a thing see
from where I was sitting.
Then why didn't he get
the medal in '66?
- You must have some opinion.
- If my opinion mattered
this would have been
done long ago.
Do you do something, Sergeant?
Do you have a job or
a hobby or is this
your full time thing?
I'm a palliative nurse.
I work with terminal
patients and their families
to clarify End-of-life goals and
symptom management.
Psycho. Social.
Spiritual support.
Do you make your own bed?
Well, that's a simple question.
My wife does it.
It must have sucked to be her.
Is there...a point
here somewhere?
We'd been down
this road before.
You just the FNG.
..old-pep project of your's has
been in a coma for three decades.
There's nothing in this for me,
but I'm here anyway.
So, what do you want?
Sorry to keep you--
I nap
more than I used to.
Mr. Pitsenbarger,sir.
You know, I'm just
getting old. It's, uh..
hard, it's..
keep me awake long
enough to enjoy it.
- Oh, thank you.
- Well.
- Thank you.
- So..
you're the new one.
The new one?
If you want the real
story about Abilene,
you will need to talk
to the mud soldiers.
And they are?
You working for the
Department of Defense, right?
They are the Army guys,
on the ground.
Charlie Company.
16th Infantry.
The big red one.
Well. as far as they're
concerned, you see, it wasn't
Bill's fight.
Bill was Air Force.
Charlie Company took
80% of the casualties,
that's 34 KIA's.
In the same day.
Bill was a part of it, of course.
But, he wasn't one of them.
We have to respect that.
Now, Billy Takoda
over in Sterling County, that's
about an hour's drive from here.
Over the years, the wives have
tracked down most of the guys.
You might want
to start with them.
And this Billy
is he..Will he talk to me?
Is he alright?
Two of you should
get a lot of fun.
What the hell are
you yelling for?
Billy Takoda.
Not an easy guy to find.
Yall be careful down
there, you hear?
Stay out of that water.
So, what's your story?
Why are you here?
I appreciate what
you've been through.
Uh..I'm here to help.
If you wanted to help,
you'd pick up weapon,
get some scan
into game, friend.
You'd acknowledge you own
a piece of every bomb drop,
every bullet fired
ever since you've been born.
That you have blood on your
hand. You understand?
Second chance.
Why are you here?
It's my job.
I don't have a choice.
See? That's progress.
Vulnerability in communication.
Honesty builds trust.
That's the only real currency
we get left in this world.
Now you can trust me?
Do you mind...if I..
I'm, uh,here so I can
hear your side of the story.
I talk.
You listen.
Vietnam wasn't my
first square-dance.
I was a dog-faced lifer.
A natural war fighter.
I loved it.
Nothing...made me
feel more alive.
But I had never seen
nothing like Abilene.
A lost of men like that.
- Fuck! Medic!
- Let's go!Let's go!
- Medic!
- Jan, Cover me!
- Medic!
- Take cover!
- Oh, god!
- Goddamn it, Jerry, you alright?
Contact! Victor Charlie!
- Let's move! Let's move!
- I'm hit!
We have wounded and
we're taking fire!
Oh, fuck!
They have mortars and
automatic weapons now.
- It's an ambush! Oh!
Where'd he fit in
all of this?
Well, I had lost my medic.
We had no LC, so...
we called in air force silos.
Pedro. Pedro.
It's Charlie-6, be advised.
We have an tight one down here.
Multiple casualties, we need
you soon at contact, one 'o clock.
Advise when you
got us in sight, over.
Copy, Charlie-6.
Pedro has your smoke.
Pits came down, saved lives.
Evaced wounded.
Died fighting alongside men
he never even knew.
Get down, airman!
- Get down!
- Okay.
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
Slow it down!
Nothing but your man
into the basket.
Okay, now.
Get hold these.
Yeah, yeah.
- Nice and easy, now!
- One!
Two. Three.
Alright, hang tight, buddy.
I'm gonna need you to do
something for me, alright?
Keep the pressure on it, alright?
All the way up, you keep that
pressure on. You're going home.
- Lift me!
- Alright.
Take it up!
- Alright, hang tight, bud.
- Move it!
- Hold the line! Hold the line!
- Come on.
- What's the story, Lieutenant?
- We've got a 100 meter perimeter.
We're taking fire
from everywhere.
We've got two KIA's and at least
eight wounded that I know of.
Alright, I'm gonna need
two of your guys.
It's your show, airman.
Tully says this whole
medal thing was your Idea.
Is that true?
Uh, I made out the paper works,
sent it up the air force chain, that's all.
- But he never got the medal?
- Uh-uh.
Not to big daddy,no.
Why not?
It was war.
Pits wasn't the only
one, you know.
I must have wrote over
a dozen letters to
parents and girlfriend.
After that, all you can
do is make amends
and try to forget.
How do you do that?
Like I said,
You weren't-- You weren't
back to Vietnam?
I didn't understand
the world anymore
and the world was sure as
hell didn't understand me,
so, where the hell else
was I gonna go?
After I got healed up,
this old high school buddy of mine
called and invited me for beers.
Now, we sitting at the bar and
he shooting shit about girls,
and how we used raise
hell back in the day.
More we talk, more I realized
it was nothing hit, you know.
Then he blurts out, " Hey, You got Purple
Heart. What happened, you get shot?".
It gets real quiet.
All these drunk assholes
just staring at me.
All that I could hear is
screams from the
jungle that day and
artillery whistling in,
and I started to get pissed.
So, uh..
I pulled my shirt up
just to shut him up.
He looks kind of awkward and
then he started chuckling, saying,
"What was you doing?
Running away?"
You know what?
Maybe I was.
Maybe that's what I've
been doing all this time.
I was a refugee
in my own Country
and that hurt way
more than those bullets.
Are they still hurt, Grandpa?
Oh, only on the
inside, baby boy.
Come on, kids.
It's time to eat.
Honey, I think this
Gumbo about ready.
I'm gonna need you to
get on the record.
That's about as only
record you gonna get.
Donna Burr?
Hey, man, he doesn't
even get up till 8 o'clock.
Oh! Uh..I'm sorry.
Scott Huffman. DOD.
He-- He works nights?
Jimmy's PTS.
He's OCD.
He suffers hallucinations
and about fifty other
war related effects.
He sleeps during the day
because the night just
plain terrifies him.
Do you even know
any Vietnam vets?
No. It's, uh,
no experience for me.
How did you two meet?
You mean what do I see
in a section-8 like Jim?
No. Not at all, ma'am.
I'm-- I'm just--
I was his nurse.
At the VA.
You can learn a lot about
these guys hanging with them.
What the did,
what it cost.
And every day he finds the courage
not to stick a gun in his mouth.
So, I think he deserves
a little compassion.
And believe me, I get
a lot more than I give.
So, If he wants to
sleep during the days
that's okay with me.
So I saw Frank Pitsenbarger.
And, uh..
he told me you have
a contact list.
For all the charlie company
guys that you put together.
So, that's what you want?
no, I would..
love to talk to your
husband, too.
I hope you're sincere about this,
because Jimmy is tougher
than a two dollar steak,
and he can smell
a wreck from mile up wind.
Well, I don't have a
position or an opinion--
Here's your list.
Thank you.
You want to talk to Jimmy,
you gonna have to wait.
- I'm not making any promises.
- Thank you.
Sleeping at post get you
fragged in my unit.
You know what
I'm saying, sir?
People around here,
thinking I'm a goddamn vampire.
Maybe they're right, too.
Because I ain't slept
in the dark for 32 years.
You know what
I'm saying, sir?
You know what that is?
No. No, I-- I don't.
Big red one.
1st Infantry Division.
Baddest goddamn
GI's ever laced to boot.
Is that loaded?
You know what you call
a gun that ain't loaded?
A fucking stick, sir.
You know what, Jimmy? Uh..
can I--
Can I call you Jimmy?
I'm a civilian, so,
- you don't have to call me sir.
- The only reason I'm talking
and not shooting,
is because of Tully.
You say this is all about Pits
getting the medal, is that right?
Right. Absolutely.
Because I don't
give a shit about you.
I don't give a shit
about anything.
I just want to be
left goddamn alone!
You understand
what I'm saying?
I may not being fucked
over and fucked around.
Nobody knows what went
down with me over there.
Nobody knows!
You understand
what I'm saying, sir?
Listen, man, I--
I didn't come here
to get shot at,
or to rattle your cage. I'm just--
I'm just here because Tully said
your statement was important,
as did Mr. Pitsenbarger.
I was oldest FNG
they'd ever seen.
Goddamn Okinawa.
Ten years and I've never
squeezed off one round.
You understand
what I'm saying, sir?
What-- What is that?
Fucking new guy.
No more that tits on a snake.
FNG's got people killed.
All damn years of waiting,
come Easter '66, I'm
in goddamn Vietnam.
I mean, I didn't
sign up for the shit.
33 years old,
I was a gun whore and
ready to kill something.
Hey, Ray.
You short, right?
32 days and I'll be
swimming in Schlitz
unless you get me killed.
How long it take you to
grease your first dink?
- You know what I'm saying?
- Get off my back.
What's your problem, man?
You two trying to get
each other killed? Hm?
Mick, get the hell
away from here.
Hey, you know better, right?
Keep the eyes open, will 'ya?
Down! Down,down,down!
Get down!
Get down!
How many?
- Where are they?
- I got 'em.
- What do we got?
- Gooks. Three of 'em.
I-- I-- I got a one.
I got one.
Holy shit.
- Nice shot.
- Charlie-6, Charlie-3.
Here, sir.
- Charlie-6. - Lieutenant, what
the hell is going on up there?
FNG bust his first kill, is all.
Copy that.
Anything else?
Roger that.
Charlie-3 out.
Kiev, check his fantail,
then shove a couple
of grenades up under.
If anybody comes for him,
we want to know.
Welcome to Nam, Jimmy.
Come on.
I got 'ya.
I had never seen
nobody died before.
That little matter sucked all
the past right out of me.
You understand
what I'm saying, sir?
I felt real bad about that
for exactly twelve hours.
And then I didn't feel
bad about nothing.
I thought this was going to
the bottom of the pile.
We are the bottom of the pile.
Some guy named Raymont called,
said he was confirming.
Today's adventures in
post traumatic exorcism.
Hopefully he won't have a gun.
Sit down and walk me
through the requirements
for a congressional
decorations package.
- New eye witness statements.
- Okay, we're doing that.
DOD report of casualty.
Well, he's definitely dead,
so that's two.
And chain of command
Where are they?
some guy named Kepper
wrote the after action
report and pass it up.
It'd have to had been
approved from Bien Hoa..
Saigon to here at the Pentagon.
- Well, that'd have been protocol.
- Right. So where is it?
Unlocked and get
lost in 32 years. I mean..
this is the Government
we're talking about.
Well, if I can't find the chain
of command endorsements,
this thing is DOA.
I'm out of it.
Why not ask Kepper?
Because he is living
in the Nha Trang
which is in Vietnam and
that's 11 time zones away.
There is this new invention
called the telephone.
Look,apparently, this guy is
some christian burn-out,
smoking ganja under
the Bhodhi Tree.
I'm not..going there.
- Is that the budget sheet?
- Yeah.
Alright, I'll call you
from the room.
I come out here,
knock out a box or two,
check my targets,
pick up my brass.
Keeps me civil with
the kids, you know.
I hear you went to
see Jimmy Burr.
Yeah. Ahem.
He kills things
to release stress.
Flower of box, 75 meters.
Yeah, he's got a
bullet in his head still.
It didn't kill him, so they
slammed him into the VA.
Doped him up for
about 20 years.
Can't imagine why.
It's a hell of a thing, you know.
Have somebody die so you can
pop Melons and
shoot rabbits by the
light of the moon.
Weapons clear, Gene.
Weapons clear.
Your reputation precede you.
Jimmy isn't a fan.
Yeah, Tully either.
Well, if you guys want
this guy to get the medal
I gotta get statements.
- Testimony.
- It was one day,
decades ago.
Pitsenbarg came
into that shit storm
on purpose. I mean, how
do you account for that?
Duty. Commitment.
Pick one.
I kept telling him to get out.
But he wouldn't go.
Even his CO ordered
him to back up.
That bird was getting ripped up,
but he waved them off.
Probably saved them, too.
Hell, he was Air Force.
He shouldn't even
have been there.
- Non of us should.
- How so?
We were already been out two
weeks on patrol, but once we
tangled with those NVA
forces, naturally,
we got the duty.
Bait. Brother.
Live bait.
Everybody down!
They put us there
and they contact
Alpha or Bravo
would flank and
we'd grind 'em into pulp.
Take 'em out of
whatever the cost.
Search and destroy.
Notches on your pistol, baby.
Kill ratio, body counts..
It was total bullshit.
Wes Marlon, McNamara, Johnson.
That's how they kept
the money flowing.
Kicking anthill,
use 'em mess with gooks,
next day the NVA would be
right back again.
- What's happening?
- Well, the gooks, sir!
- Where?
- Over there, sir!
This place is crawling with them!
Move! Move!
- They're on the trees!
- They're on the trees!
They're on the trees!
Cover me!
We didn't have a fucking chance.
Ah, you're dogging it.
Just so you know,
I can't find the chain of command
endorsements in the Pitsenbarger file.
So, put it in your report.
I am missing something.
What are you doing?
This thing was ancient
history before you were born.
Let me tell you something.
It is an undisputed
fact at the Pentagon
that all the real hardware
goes with the officers.
There's been one enlisted Medal Of
Honor in in the history of the Air Force.
So, somebody makes endorsements
disappear because a guy is enlisted?
It's not a canon worm
you want to open.
Why not?
Because confronting the
Air Force Decorations Board
is not in your business.
- I'm getting a shower.
- Yeah.
Let me count.
Hey, there, hotshot.
I thought you'd go off the planet.
I'm pacing myself.
It's the long way down.
What can I do for you?
You ever hear of a General
John A. Hackmyer?
He was one of the Army
silver backs, down in Saigon,
during the war.
He was also the Service Secretary
that approved the Medal of
Honor review division.
Can you get track him down?
I mean, he is preferably
fertilizer by now,
besides, you're the one with
the DOD security clearance.
Maybe we don't want
the DOD to know.
Can you hold on a second?
We don't?
Chain of command endorsements
aren't essential element for
congressional review.
And they're not in the file.
What are asking me?
I'm asking you if it's possible that
what we're looking for is really lost.
What are you doing?
I'm doing my job.
What do you--
What do you mean, what I'm doing?
It's a rare quality these days.
What, did you grow a conscience?
Not at all.
It's a waste of energy.
Well, I sniff around.
- Daddy!
- How are you doing, Mister?
We have company.
Long drive from Wellington
on a school bus.
I don't have a car.
They let me take her home.
Who wants to go to the Fort?
- Me!
- Okay.
Thanks for your coffee.
It mess with my head, man...
The way you
came to see me.
Started having dreams again.
Can't sleep.
Probably normal.
Sit down.
When I got out of the
Army Hospital in Saigon,
I wanted to wear my dress uniform
for my mother, even though I knew..
even they they carried me
off the plane. She was..
she was crying
when she saw me,
I had ribbons and
my Purple Heart.
They took me strait to the VA.
And I was in there months
before I got home,
and I never saw
that uniform again.
She packed everything up
from the war on my duffel.
Like it never happened, you know.
And I guess I didn't
care, 'cause..
they sitting at her
attic ever since.
My daughter is a
She told maybe
it would be good
for me to unpack it.
Everything was still there,
smell of the war
still on the cloths.
And, uh..
Pits gave that to me.
He asked me to
take care of it.
He asked me to
bring it to her.
That guy saved
my life and it was
it was the only
thing he has to him.
I wouldn't do it.
I couldn't do it.
You know what that mean.
snowed all night. Oh-ho,
that was a beautiful Christmas.
I got Bill his flexible flyer.
It still out there
in the garage.
You were close?
Sure. But, uh..
I was on the road
in those days
I missed so much.
- Oh..
- Yeah.
You close to your dad?
Actually, I'd never met him.
Why-- Why did you let him go?
Why didn't you stop him?
You can't
teach your children values
and then just
withdrawn because
you are afraid of
what you might lose.
It just seem like such
a high price to pay.
If not my son
then whose?
My neighbours?
My sisters?
he honored by all
of us by serving,
and it's no small thing.
No disrespect.
Non taken.
In 1965,
the first ground troops
landed at Da Nang
I had the thing on
TV all the time.
A couple of weeks later,
the US Embassy was bombed.
Americans his age
stared dying,
boys from our own town.
I-- I think it moved him.
He came to me one night.
I knew what
he was thinking.
God, he was sent
jolt rides for me.
But he went easy on me.
He never asked
for permission.
I think he knew what
it would mean later
if something happened to him.
And By the time I woke up
he'd already gone.
The next time I saw him,
he had a haircut and orders.
I was never so frightened and
I was never so proud.
I can't help it but
I still miss
of watching him mow
the lawn out there.
The smell of fresh cut
grass on his sneakers.
And how he folded his clothes
even when they were dirty,
cause he knew it
pleased his mom.
And I miss the way
he tapped his cleats for luck
when he went out to bed.
And the way he always found me
There is thousand
things like that.
But mostly,
I miss what I didn't
get to see him do.
What do you mean?
Well, I never got to see him
or fall in love with
a child of his own.
Because only then
could he understand how much
his father loved him.
I-- I have a son.
Then you know what
we're talking about.
Who is, uh,
Oh, Jenny.
Reiner. So beautiful.
She came to live with us
when Bill was overseas.
You see, Mr. Huffman..
we actually lost
two children that day.
Here are her letters.
She gave them to us
when she got married.
But we could never bring
ourselves to read 'em.
I-- I want to be clear.
This process doesn't take
It would takes years.
Scott,I have a cancer.
I should've been
gone already,
if you'd believe the doctors.
But he's a fighter. My man.
I'm sorry.
Dying isn't harder than losing
a child, I promise you.
Do what you can, sir.
Thank you.
He sleeps so soundly.
He has no worries.
He had everything.
People really care about the guy,
and really loved him.
How could he give all that up?
He knew what he was leaving
behind and still he...
..had such certainty.
Of what?
no bullet was gonna
stop him from
being who he was.
I never felt that certain about
anything in my entire life.
I have.
Look, we don't play boss, alright?
No matter what, don't
move, don't breath.
Come on. Come on.
Hurry up.
We have contact all around us!
BC got the whole goddamn
battalion out of bed for this one.
We gonna tight knot
this circle, right now.
Takoda still out there, sir.
- Let's find out!
- Willie and Burr, too.
Nobody gets left
outside the perimeter.
Whatever it is you want,
it's okay.
Is anybody alive?
I can't breath.
Well, they messed
you up good, Lieutenant.
Get me out of here, will you?
I need your help with
your Lieutenant, okay?
- You with me?
- You gotta help Willie.
- We can't leave him.
- Sh..Willies gone, friend, alright?
Pal, are you with me?
Look at me.
- You with me?
- Yeah.
Alright. Come on.
Up you get. Come on,
grab a shoulder.
One. Two. Three.
Let's go! Let's go.
This way!
It's Takoda.
For Christ sake, don't shoot.
Going down over there.
Over there.
That's it. Easy, easy, easy.
Move! Move!
Snap it and pack it, alright?
And not too tight, alright?
- venous pressure.
- Alright.
Okay, that's it.
That's it.
Hey, you're doing great.
You're doing just great.
Alright, okay.
One. Two. Three.
I need you to hold back, alright?
Don't let that move.
Why are you here?
Because you're here.
Did he..
say anything?
He never says anything.
- Somebody somewhere likes you.
- Hey, Carl.
The FBI is doing
due diligence,
you're on the short list for Assistant
Secretary for Legislative Affairs.
What did you tell 'em?
That you're lying womanizing
pimp and you cheated hoops.
They assured me those all are
occupational requirements.
And what about the MOH?
I already assigned it.
I mean, I probably should
have done it in the first place.
Somebody is bound to pick you up.
I see Senator Holt's paddling
in election in your memoir.
Yeah, should read it.
You might learn something.
You write any of it?
Every other word.
That's good, Carl.
Firs time you told
the truth in four years.
What's the matter with you?
You don't want the best
civilian job in the Pentagon?
I mean, This-- This makes you.
Just easy moves
from here on out.
Not to mention, getting you
back to Appropriations.
I need to finish this report.
Are you Kidd---
Look at me.
You're predator, man.
You're goddamn meat-eater.
That single instinct
has taken you very far
in a very short time. So, don't
get sentimental on me now.
So you're gonna...
- patch the review?
- Yeah, absolutely.
I'll send an intern down
to pick it all up.
- Wow.
- Congratulations, man.
I think I'd be better at this
second time around.
Well, you could read
the instructions.
That would be cheating.
Stanton was looking for you.
Well,he found me.
I'm on that short list for Assistant
Secretary For Legislative Affairs.
What about David Croft?
Croft's out.
Oh, that's great, then.
It's a career maker.
View of the river.
Well, since they
threw in their view.
I mean, what's wrong with that?
What about the MOH?
Uh..Pitsenbargers are in town.
Franks having some
tests at the BA.
What's wrong with him?
Ewing's sarcoma.
They're gonna be here
for thanks giving.
Maybe they will see
our situation
and meet Luke and you--
You're not using us
as your excuse.
Our life is not excuse,
Tara, it's a fact.
Besides, Stanton
said he's gonna have
someone pick it up
right where I leave off.
We were Michigan
fans long before
we were moved
to Buckeye county.
It's more than a football game when
the Wolverines come to Columbus.
You still go to the game?
- Oh, god, no. Not--
- 1965.
I'm sorry.
Talking about Bill is one of
the greatest joys of our life.
Keeping him alive
keeps us strong.
It's how we balance our grief
and how we live a happy
life without him.
Is that a game?
Oh, this is a machine that
gives me my medicine.
- We're minutes away.
- Yeah.
We're ready.
- May I help?
- Oh, uh..
Luke,honey, why don't show
Alice and Frank your room?
- Okay, okay.
- Thank you.
How do you think
I should do this?
Be honest.
I meant the turkey.
May I, uh,
give the blessing?
Yeah. Of' course.
Heavenly Father,
please bless this food
that it may nourish
this growing family
and the friendship between us.
And give praise to this young man
as he honors us with
his commitment to ensure
that the sacrifices of the fallen
were neither in vain
nor will they ever be forgotten.
What are you doing, Mister?
- What are you doing here?
- Tully
had your number, so,
I called and talked to
your wife. Nice woman.
She told me where you was at.
Sit down.
- No.
- No.
You tracked me down
to give me this?
never appreciate
what American artillery can do.
Do you see it waste
your own people?
What are you talking about?
First round kill three,
ain't no telling how many of the
wounded would've died later..
..if the VCN got to 'em first.
If you give your
shooters a good plat
them red lays could put.105
round inside of pickle bear.
I got the distance
correction wrong.
We got thump by
our own shit.
What are you saying?
It was blue on blue, brother.
Friendly fire, ain't no
getting around that.
Damage. Damage!
Silo 3 has a fire mission.
Direction, 3-1-0.
Distance 300 meters.
We will adjust.
Adjust one hundred!
What the hell was that?
I need the fucking ammo!
Man down!
Silo 3 has fire mission.
Drop 100.
- Make it danger close!
- Roger that, Sergeant.
Make it danger close!
Move up!
- Oh, god.
- Mick!
So when Tully says
I'm the one was started it
that's what he really means.
Truth is
I killed my own men.
If I got those numbers right
Pitsenbarger probably
never even gets that call.
Never comes down
that wire or never...
saves my life.
Maybe he is the one
sitting on a river bank
somewhere with his
grand kids around.
And that'd have
been fine by me.
Instead he is dead,
and they give me
the goddamn Silver Star.
For what? ---
I sit around year and a year out,
thinking about 20 seconds
32 years ago I wished to
God I can have back.
Surviving isn't a crime.
No, it ain't.
It is a life sentence.
Getting that medal for Pits
for his family and
for the men I lost,
might be the only decent thing
I get to pull out of that war.
what don't you going
back up to Washington
and make that
happen, alright?
I'm thirsty.
Okay, buddy,
let's get you a drink.
Daddy, are those the Army
men you're helping?
Yeah, they're.
Do you want me to
be a Army man?
Hey! What's going on?
He just needs a drink.
Oh, I see.
Let's go get you some water, huh?
Hm h.
- Everything okay?
- Yeah. I see you in a bit.
- Okay.
- Alright.
Let's get you some water.
I was
deployed to Vietnam at
a very interesting point
during the war and,naturally, what
prompted me to write the book.
I was initially serving
as the G-3 Operations Officer
for the first Infantry division.
The Big Red One.
And we were deployed,uh,
north west of Saigon.
And very crucial area
next to the Capital--
Thank you.
- Where is he? Can I see him?
- Slow down.
Hey, Frank.
Got someone
here to see you.
It's the FNG.
- Mr. Huffman.
- How are you doing, Frank?
Oh, the better if I seeing you.
Thank you for coming.
Of course.
He gave me
a call and, uh,
- here I am.
- Right.
Is he dying?
We're all dying someday.
I think he's holding on
for you to get this done.
Why are you in the
middle of everything?
I mean,..
what's in it for you?
He didn't save your life.
Didn't he?
So you feel like you owe?
Ha-ha. Absolutely.
You asked me if
I had an agenda.
It's those people upstairs.
And what about you?
We'd already been out two
weeks out patrol, but once we
tangled with those
NVA forces, naturally,
we got the duty.
Bait. Brother.
Live bait.
They first said to make
contact, Alpha and
Bravo would flank and we'd
grind 'em into the pulp.
Why don't just ask Jonsie Kepper?
I mean, he wrote the after action report.
He's a saige of South East Asia.
We're hoping that you'd see him.
There is anyone who knows
where the bodies were buried
that's Kepper.
I found this.
Mili-second 1966
interview with
Expat. Sergeant Jonsie Kepper.
- He wrote the after action report.
- Apparently.
What I can't understand is why nobody
from the DOD ever talked to him.
South East Asia is
supposed to be beautiful.
- Over there.
- Okay.
Hi there!
You pray, Mr. Huffman?
Not really.
I didn't either.
I Prayed that day.
I prayed for miracle.
One came.
His name was Pits.
We're gonna get you home, hah?
You good to go back home?
Alright? You gonna have
one hell of a story to tell her.
She gonna be impressed
with this one.
Alright, I got some
pain relief coming up.
Alright, hold tight, bud.
Hold tight.
There you go, buddy.
There you go.
One. Two. Three. Up.
Pits, come on!
- Come on!
- Alright, buddy.
Here we go.
Get it up!
Come on!
Pits, let's go!
Come on!
The after action report
that you wrote on the battle.
A lot of it is missing.
Everything that I wrote
went up to Saigon Chimney
32 years ago, brother.
Look, I-- I talked to lot of
guys in Charlie company, and
no one seems to know,
I mean, who even thought of
Operation Abilene
in the first place?
Company CO,
Mad Maddi Holt.
Madison Holt?
He is big shot in
Washington now, I think.
Yeah, Senator Holt.
Maybe he gonna be the
Secretary of Defense one day.
He was a good shield.
That was a very bad day.
So why are these vet
come here to see you?
Why they come here
is not my business.
And what do you do here?
I live. I love.
And listen.
- So you listen to them?
- Yeah.
- To the vets?
- Uh-huh.
I try to re-write the story,
help 'em.
But you can't change the past.
But you can change
your perspective.
You can create
new memories,
happy memories,
even in a sad place.
It's choices.
Our guys come through here?
People think the war
is who those men are,
it's not. It's what
happened to 'em.
They just want to go
through stuff with them.
Hey.. I wanna
show you something.
This is incredible.
I never brought anyone
who'd been feel happy here.
You did all this?
You know where we are?
This is where he came down.
I thought I saw an angel.
You know, he was
right in front of me,
all clean and pressed.
Air Force. Hah.
This is Abilene.
- Here?
- Right here.
Under your feet.
But now it's Avalon.
Now, how can
that be possible
to have those things
in the same place?
You just stay here for a while.
And breath.
Let it go.
The veterans
hold something for all of us.
They take the shame
of war, denial,
They just come here
so somebody will
listen to them.
That's why medals are
so important, they helps..
helps bring us together.
Tell stories.
I-- I'm just a witness.
You're a witness too.
The Vietnamese
love their khong loi.
It's symbolic for letting go.
And if you have
something that you..
you want to leave here,
something you
brought with you,
you don't want to take back,
just let go.
I'm on the hot with red lay!
Tell him to drop it
on top of 'em.
Charlie-6, emergency
fire mission.
Damage. Damage.
Emergency fire mission.
Tango, 6-3-3.
Damn it!
Damage. Damage.
Emergency fire mission.
This is broken arrow,
we are being over run.
Hold this, keep
the pressure on it.
Somebody still out there!
I need you to do
me a favour.
- I need to get this to someone.
- No.
- Please.
- No!
Just stamp.
- I'll hold on to it until you get back.
- Okay.
What are you doing, man?
You have done enough, brother.
You be still.
Come on!
Pits came down and save lives.
Evaced wounded.
Fought and died alongside men
he never even knew.
You pray Mr. Huffman?
I prayed that day.
I Prayed for miracle.
I ain't never seen
nobody died before.
Coming out!
That little matter sucked
all the past right out of me.
You understand
what I'm saying, sir?
All those hellfire coming in,
to him it was like
nothing could've hurt him.
He was there to save lives,
and that's what he was doing.
Who knows how many guys walk
around life today because of him,
what he'd done.
But he didn't come back.
I felt like the best part of
me went down with him.
I still think about it this day.
If anybody deserved to
get out of that hell alive
it was him.
Make yourself at home.
You know, I can
have you arrested.
Senator Madison Holt.
Formally Colonel Madison Holt.
1st Infantry division,
on the big red one.
Senators distinguished to Military
career's a matter of public record.
It's undisputed.
I'm bought the book, Carl.
Yeah? Did you read it?
Or did you just look at the pictures.
Holt of part of the brass that
cooked up Operation Abilene.
You're not really suggesting
that Holt ordered
and NVA ambush?
I'm suggesting that would be
pretty convenient for you to
keep that off the record.
Which is why you put me
on him, because...
you knew I'd dump it.
You know, Holt's gonna be Secretary of
Defense someday, maybe even President.
You had them.
Command endorsements, all this time.
I'm taking them.
Have you ever been the subject
of opposition research?
Because if you
even twitch on this,
I will have them on
you like spray paint.
You will never get another
mortgage, passport or
Sam's Club membership card,
let alone a political appointment.
But I'm not worried
about all that.
Why not?
Because it's not in your
nature to spit in face of the man
who could just as easily make you.
What's my nature?
Climb, prosper,
expand the Jean-Paul,
just like the rest of us.
I'd appreciate if you'd leave
the place the way you found it.
don't forget,
we get to squash.
sometimes it's difficult to understand
why we've been sent here.
Or to explain what happens.
I have only have minutes since
we got a call in 'em pickups
near Xa Ca May, about
30 clicks from here.
You know, Jenny..
the only thing I fear of dying
is the dreams of
you won't come.
The Death is dark
and still, and endless
like these jungle nights.
But sometimes I think, Jen..
maybe it's this place
I'll wake up from.
Safe and warm
in your bed.
The morning lights
dreaming in.
But if it the thunder
here this real,
and if this letter should
reach you instead of me
then know that I'm never far.
Take care of mom,
and specially dad, because..
he will take this worst of all.
Tell them I'm sorry
for what I've put them through,
but that I'm sure
of my purpose
and in the words
we all believe:
" These things we do
that others may live."
You have an impeccable record.
The secretary is giving you
his highest recommendation.
Thank you, sir.
So why do you think you'd be
effective in this position?
I'm connecting,
ambitious, persuasive,
not afraid to make
enemies and..
I' want this job more
than anybody.
At least that's what I would
have said a month ago.
And today?
Today I'm...
..just unavailable.
Air Force?
I'm sorry about
your buddy,man.
I'm so sorry.
The whole time I'm washing him.
You know, his feet,
his hands,
I didn't feel anything.
That's when I knew
I'd been there..
too long.
I shipped him back,
and I finished my tour and
I got on with my life.
Did you?
Did I what?
Get on with life?
I'm standing here.
You know,
when I was five years old,
I watched my father
pack up his things in his car and
leave my mother and me.
I was so afraid.
It hurt so much.
I ran out to the driveway
and I
shove my hand in
the car door as he
slammed it shut.
I thought that if
he saw I was injured
and really hurt
and he would
have to take me to
the Hospital and
doctor would
tell him to stay
and take care of me.
But he'd just roll away.
I chase his car down the street,
my hand all mangled and
tell my mother
he scooped me up.
You know, you were marked.
Just like you.
What happened to you on
April 11th, 1966?
My friend died.
What happened to you?
I told you.
It's okay.
It's not okay.
- It's just--
- Nothing about it is okay.
Just tell me.
What is it? What--
What was it? What happened?
He died.
He got killed. He--
got shot in the
head, and
- you know, it's war.
- Right.
Right, it was war, so
how long are you
gonna punish yourself?
Punish myself?
What was the thing you did?
- What I'd do?
- Yeah.
- Just tell me, what was the thing you did?
- Now, you stop it.
- Just want to talk--
- Stop! Stop you
- son of a bitch! Stop it!
- You didn't say it.
Say what?
He knew it was dangerous.
I told him
to be goddamn careful and--
And, what?
- I'm not doing--
- Doing what?
Doing this.
I told him to come back up,
get back on the wire,
get back in the ship.
He didn't do that.
Why he didn't do that?
Get back in the ship.
- Because he couldn't.
- Because people needed him.
- Yeah? Yeah?
Yeah? Yeah?
Well, fuck you! And--
Oh, god.
It's got to hurt to
be mad at him.
What else happened
to you, Tom?
I-- I stayed in the bird.
I-- I--
I didn't go down, I--
I was relieved. I--
I stayed, you know,
where it was safe.
God, when I found him
I was..
I was glad
that it wasn't me.
I didn't wanna be dead
and I was alive and
it felt good.
- You did feel something.
- Yeah, I felt the shame!
You're not a coward,Tom.
You're a hero.
Deal with that.
Just let me..
Let me have it for a while.
Come on.
You, uh,
know what I want?
I do.
I want some grace.
I want some serenity.
I want country to
honor my brother
before his parents.
I want my friend, your friend,
I want his father to
leave this place in peace.
Can I get you anything else, Senator?
- No, thanks, hon.
- You can put out my number.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
Gentlemen. Hey, Carl.
Do I know you?
I'm sure hope so.
Master Sergeant Thomas Tully.
38th rescue squadron,
Operation Abilene.
Uh, you want to speak
to the Senator
- you get a few channels.
- It's alright, Colonel.
I'll talk to these men.
Sir, this is a
1966 routing memo between
you and General Heckmyer,
downgrading the William H.
Pitsenbarger's Medal of Honor request
to an Air Force Cross.
It's dated on October 7th, 1966.
Guys, you might give
us a second?
Take a seat.
We have an opportunity
to upgrade the Cross
to the Medal of Honor.
To cut through the bullshit
we need a Congressional sponsor.
Mr.Stanton doesn't
think you'd favor
the publicity of being associated
with Operation Abilene
during an election year.
You have no idea
what you're starting.
I think I do, Carl.
Did you ever been the subject
of opposition research?
Because of even twitch on this
I will have them on you like
spray paint.
Information was removed
from the original package
to disqualify the
Decorations Board's review
for Congressional reapplication.
We have since recovered
those documents.
This -- This communication
simply response to the
Colonels MOH request,
saying that Air Force Cross
was awarded instead.
That's pretty opened
to interpretation.
Uh, you're under no obligation
to respond any of this.
If you'd send it up the chain
why didn't he get it then?
Honestly, I don't know.
Maybe it
fell through the cracks somewhere.
Maybe Mcfee didn't wanna
call too much attention
to one of them
bloodiest days of the war.
maybe I just didn't
fight hard enough to get this
man what he deserves.
Senator, your political enemies
will take full advantage
of any admission
of wrong doing, your
Military judgment would
be called into question,
and they will turn this whole
deal to a Medina snare.
He's right, sir.
They might.
What happened on
Operation Abilene
one of the darkest
days of my life.
You're hurt, Lieutenant.
Why are you still here?
I won't leave till you
have all my wounded.
What happened here?
You marched us
right into a kill sack
with no idea how we
were gonna get out.
That's what happened here.
Can somebody explain this to me?!
Can somebody
explain this to me?!
You tell me!
You know, I think we all
died a little bit that day.
You tell me!
Mistakes were made,
this was probably one of 'em.
We went to see General
Heckmyer, at the VA.
He verifies your story, sir.
Senator, please.
It's my job to protect you.
- Protect me from what, Carl?
- From everything.
Usually we're judged
by what we do,
but I find that
what we don't do
is what haunts us.
Here's the plan.
We're gonna roll the dice,
we're gonna go
with the truth,
no matter how uncommon
or uncomfortable that maybe.
I refer you to
page 44,
title 5, Military Personnel Policy,
subtitle E, Other Matters.
- Yes?
- This amendment authorizes..
a posthumous Medal Of Honor
For Air Force Staff Sergeant,
William H. Pitsenbarger.
For conspicuous gallantry in action
in Vietnam, 11th April, 1966
- during Operation Abilene.
- Uh, Mr.Chairman, point of order?
The Chair recognizes the distinguished
gentleman from North Carolina.
The rules of this committee
prohibit Authorization language
to be included in this
Appropriations bill.
Will the chair yield?
Chair apologizes
to the gentleman of Ohio
but this committee
has much business
before it today,
and so, we must move on.
Mr.Chairman, I
- sincerely appreciate it, but it should be
- Mr. Chairman!
obvious there is absolutely
nothing in this amendment--
The Vietnam war was over.
- Long ago.
- I know, Bob, I was there.
Then maybe you
should take a rest.
Stop kicking that dead horse.
Gentleman, this is point of order.
I'm sorry, we must move on.
Chair recognizes
the lady from Florida.
Uh, yes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator, what the hell
happened in there?
That distinguished gentleman from
North Carolina shut us down,
- that's what the hell happened.
- Just like that?
Look, it's payback, alright?
I Harpooned the tobacco
subsidies in his last session.
he's a ranking member so
there is not a lot I can do about it.
But I promise you,
I will get this in
next years bill.
Hopefully, by that time the distinguished
gentleman would be dead.
So will Pitsenbargers father.
- What?
- He's dying, sir.
Oh, Jesus.
I didn't know about that. I'm..
I'm truly sorry.
So that's it?
Unless he give the tobacco subsidy
to the Senator from North Carolina.
What about those men?
What about Pits?
Holt says he will get it
on the bill next year.
And Frank?
I can't cure a cancer, Tara.
If I push this any harder
I really ruin my career.
It's interesting.
In 12 years
I have never seen you
back off of anything.
I'm scared.
is good.
Fear is a survival instinct.
You're supposed to be afraid.
Use it.
You turned down a significant
career opportunity to finish this.
Did you figured out why
four star Generals and Presidents
would trade legacies for a medal?
Because they know that
guys like Pitsenbarger
don't do what
they do for them.
They do it for each other.
A life for a life.
That's big stuff.
There are worst things that
can happen to a man
than getting killed in a war.
losing men,
losing a child,
a father,
having to live with that.
And you think a piece of ribbon
is gonna change that?
I'm gonna go
public with the story.
I'm gonna name names.
Shaming the Appropriations in
front of the Washington press core
on the eve of a national
election sounds
a little dangerous.
But it will be great.
Well done.
Thank you.
Mr. Huffman.
I'm Mary,
- We're gonna put a wire on you.
- Okay.
We have you on the split screen
so the anchors are
gonna be able to hear you,
but they're not gonna
be able to see you.
- Okay.
- Alright, come with me.
Daddy, are you nervous?
I am,but
I'm not afraid.
Alright. all set.
In an unusual move today, a member
of the Department of the Air Force
a gentleman named
Scott Huffman
went before cameras to accuse high
ranking Senators and their staffs
of playing political football
with Military valor.
-- HR to send
Appropriations bill,
it stalled in the Senate when a
Pentagon staffer and his lawmakers--
It's a bill including a recommendation
for a posthumous Medal of Honor
for William H. Pitsenbarger is
now heading to The Oval Office
and President Clinton is
expected to sign that bill.
- Hi. Thank you. Thank you.
- Good afternoon, sir.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
An airman named
Bill pitsenbarger
will be awarded the Medal of Honor
today for his service in Vietnam.
He gave his country what
Abraham Lincoln once called:
"The last full measure."
The US Air Force Museum
I'll be right back.
- It's good to see you, man.
- It's good to be here.
So.. the..
lady in red behind me,
she is,uh,
the address on this letter.
Bill gave me this.
He asked me to give it to you.
I'm sorry I took so long.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Amid the gloom
and waste of war,
we occasionally witness a brief but
brilliant flash of
personnel valor
so radiant it becomes
impossible to ignore.
Such is the heroism
of William Hart Pitsenbarger,
who was moved by
higher angels of duty,
courage and sacrifice
to make on behalf of
men he did not know
and a nation that until now
did not know his story.
The most supreme sacrifice.
Frank, Alice,
on behalf of the President of the
United States of America
in the name of Congress
for conspicuous gallantry,
extreme valor and intrepidity,
at the risk of his own life
above and beyond the call of duty,
I award the Medal of Honor
to airman first class
William Hart Pitsenbarger.
Alright, now, this-- this isn't
on your program,but
if you could give me just
moment more of your time,
I'd like to recognize some guys
who are going to
hate me for doing it.
Now we have with us today some
of the veterans of Operation Abilene.
Charlie Company,
Second of the 16th Infantry.
Now these man were the witnesses
to Bill Pitsenbargers heroism
and they've worked and worked
for 32 years
to see this day come.
Would you honor us, please,
by standing
and being recognized?
And with the Airman of Pits's unit,
The Airspace rescue
and recover service,
also please stand.
And any other PJ's from Vietnam,
would you rise?
If there are any other US veterans
here today, will you please stand?
If there are wifes or parents
here, would you stand?
And any children or grand-children,
would you join us?
And other friends or family
anyone who has been touched
or moved in any way
by the actions of this
Medal of Honor recipient
would you also stand?
Look around.
This is the power
of what one person can do.
Thank you, son.
So you don't forget us.
Thank you.
- Daddy!
- Hah!
Hey, little man.
I'm glad we got to come.
Oh, me too.
Where is your mommy?
Looking good in
that uniform, Jimmy.
This is my son, Luke.
Nice to meet you, soldier.
I wanted to say
I wanted to say thank you.
You understand
what I'm saying, sir?
Your welcome, Jimmy.
But, you really don't
have to call me sir.
Sure, I do.
Why is that?
You earned it, sir.
Yeah, you take care now.
Because there is
a jungle out there.
What's your name?
I'm Tommy.
Early on,
you said
there was nothing
in this for you.
Subtitled By NILNUWAN
Of the millions of men and women who served in the
American military, 3,498 received the medal of honor
18 of them were from
the United States Air Force.
Three of them were Airmen.
One of them was William Hart Pitsenbarger.
On April 11th 1966, when we
took off on that mission,
Pits made a statement, he said:
" Sir, I don't feel good
about this mission."
They were prepared for us,
they knew we were coming.
They were in ground holes,
in trees
in underground and
as we walk they just simply
closed the back door.
So they started calling us to help
them get out the wounded,
and Pit said let me put me on the
ground, I can organize this much better.
I said: sI don't want
to lose you, Pits.
And it's hotter than hell down
there because the war, and
fire fights going on all the
time, you could hear the stuff.
So down he went.
My initial thought when
I'd seen him repelling out--
coming out of the helicopter was
"What in the hell this guy is
thinking coming down here?."
There is not a one of us that
wouldn't have left there if we could
and the only guy that could leave
is Pitsenbarger, and he didn't.
Marty Collin was on the
ground and he sent for me
he said "I want somebody
to know what Pits did
so that he get to reported
it back in case I die."
At that time Marty had
been shot five times.
When we found
out the next morning
that he had been killed,
we were just...
it was a sad time
To me, this is one of the most
important thing I did as
The secretary of the Air Force.
Well' it should have been
humbled by itself
It was just a fundamental wrong
It was wrong to Bill Pitsenbarger,
it was wrong to his family
wrong to the airmen
who supported him.
And when we think about
it was extraordinary to
have people worked for
it over 30 years
to get this done.
I mean, these people had their own
lives, wives, children, grand children.
And this was a passion for them,
and I just thought
that was extraordinary.
And I just, I felt
and I ordered to Pits.
Not just myself, there were other
people who feels the same way,
specially our whole crew.
We owe it to him.
Bill's blood is mixed
with ours forever.
I mean, he is our brother.