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National Geographic Film On Santa Clarita Vietnam Veteran's Unit To Air

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.
Several 2nd Platoon troopers take a break while on patrol in the Mekong Delta, May 1967. Top (L-R): Bob Ehlert, Bill Reynolds, Jerry Farber and Donald Jackson. Bottom: Ronnie Bryan, Bill Varsafsky and Ronnie Reynolds.

Related article: National Geographic In Santa Clarita To Recognize 'The Boys of '67'

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.”

Related article: SCV Vietnam Veteran To Speak At Vietnam Memorial Wall Opening Night

“‘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 National Geographic channel was in Santa Clarita last year filming a two-hour documentary that focuses on the service of 12 veterans from Charlie Company, a platoon from the Vietnam War. (Reynolds is in the top row, second from the left)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."

Related article: Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Speech By William L. Reynolds

 

 

Reynolds and several other Vietnam veterans who now call the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and Antelope valleys home were members of the legendary Charlie Company, which was profiled in “The Boys of ’67” (Osprey Publishing), a gripping new book by noted military historian Dr. Andrew Wiest, a professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.


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National Geographic Film On Santa Clarita Vietnam Veteran's Unit To Air


Article: National Geographic Film On Santa Clarita Vietnam Veteran's Unit To Air
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith