APACHE BLUES:

Welcome Home

Two filmmakers set out to talk with Vietnam veterans in the hope of learning more about a war that happened before they were born. Thinking this will be an exercise in education, they soon realize it may be even more important for the veterans. This realization turns a quick trip of discovery into a 30,000 mile, multi-year journey into these veterans’ lives, revealing the healing power speaking about their experiences, both overseas and back home, had for them and their families.

Now Streaming

 

HISTORY

The 1st Squadron of the 9th Cavalry Regiment (1st of the 9th) was the first Air Assault unit in history. The 1st of the 9th was made up of gunships (the Reds), scout helicopters (the Whites) and infantry (the Blues). 

the VETERANS

LT. GENERAL PAUL FUNK (RET)

LT. GENERAL PAUL FUNK (RET)

Apache Troop Commander. He went on to become a Lieutenant General (3 Stars) and led the attack that crushed the Iraqi Republican Guard in the first Gulf War.

LT. JACK HUGELE

LT. JACK HUGELE

Apache Troop Platoon Leader. It was his job to make sure they all made it home at the end of each mission.

LT. RB ALEXANDER

LT. RB ALEXANDER

RB was the Platoon Leader before Jack Hugele. He retired from the Army but then served in Iraq as an adviser in 2004.

LT. GARY QUALLEY

LT. GARY QUALLEY

Lt. Qualley served as the Apache Troop leader in between Lt. Alexander and Lt. Hugele. He was shot several times during combat, suffering serious wounds that required months of hospitalization.

CSM TONY CORTEZ (RET)

CSM TONY CORTEZ (RET)

After Vietnam, Tony stayed in the military and went on to fight in Panama, Grenada and the first Gulf War before retiring as a Command Sergeant Major.

SGT. JOE SANCHEZ

SGT. JOE SANCHEZ

Wounded on the same day as Lt. Qualley, Sgt. Sanchez served four months with Apache Troop. In that time, he was in 78 firefights.

SGT. KREGG JORGENSON

SGT. KREGG JORGENSON

An Army Ranger before joining Apache Troop. He loved walking point and being out in front of the team. A strategy that backfired on March 25th, 1970.

SGT. ED BEAL

SGT. ED BEAL

A veteran of two tours of duty. He was a Ranger before joining Apache Troop where he served as Assistant Team Leader and Point Man.

SGT. CHARLIE OCHOA

SGT. CHARLIE OCHOA

Sgt. Ochoa served as an Army Ranger team leader for seventeen months. 

SGT. JAMES BRAUN

SGT. JAMES BRAUN

Company Radio Telephone Operator (RTO). The last line of defense, he called in chopper and artillery support on their position.

SPEC. 5 RICHARD “DOC” DEL VALLE

SPEC. 5 RICHARD “DOC” DEL VALLE

 Company medic. He routinely risked his own life to run into fire to help wounded and fallen soldiers.

SPEC 4 DUANE BLOOR

SPEC 4 DUANE BLOOR

 Company heavy machine gunner. Duane received a Silver Star for his actions during their battle on March 19th, 1970. They call that “the day they should have died”. In Kregg’s view, if it wasn’t for Specialist Bloor, many of them them would have.

the CREW

DAVE MERLINO

DAVE MERLINO

Writer | Director

 is a former federal law enforcement officer with a focus in counterterrorism. He left the government in 2011 to cofound Rainbows and Unicorns Entertainment, LLC with his friend and business partner, Dustin Sweet. 

It is Dave’s relationship with Kregg Jorgenson that has been the driving force in bringing this project to life. 

DUSTIN SWEET

DUSTIN SWEET

Writer | Director

an animation artist with work in the film, television, and music industries.

DR. JACK FARIS PH.D

DR. JACK FARIS PH.D

Producer

Jack Faris holds the Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. His dissertation was on Basic Combat Training in the Transition from Conscription to the All-Volunteer Force. After a successful academic career, with promotion to associate professor with tenure at Towson University, Jack moved to Seattle and took a position with the city’s largest advertising agency. 

CHARLES SCHAEFER

CHARLES SCHAEFER

Director of Photography

In love with the process and those he meets along the way, Charles has been documenting stories that renew the spirit and capture the unseen.

CHRIS DUERKOPP

CHRIS DUERKOPP

Additional Camera

(Additional Camera) has worked with Dave and Dustin on every project since their beginning and served as Director of Photography on their short HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. 

THE TEAM

RANDALL WALLACE

RANDALL WALLACE

Randall Wallace is an Academy Award nominated writer and director of several Hollywood blockbusters. (WE WERE SOLDIERS, BRAVEHEART, PEARL HARBOR).

DR. ROY CLYMER PH.D

DR. ROY CLYMER PH.D

Dr. Clymer graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1967 and served four years active duty, including a one year combat deployment to Vietnam.

NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR MUSEUM

NATIONAL VIETNAM WAR MUSEUM

We visited the museum in Mineral Wells, TX to get a better sense of the history of the war. Founded and run by Vietnam Veterans, the museums artifacts and vehicles on display offered us a greater perspective on the war as a whole. We would also like to thank museum treasurer, Jim Messinger, for sitting down for an interview with us.   

APACHE TROOP 1/9 REENACTMENT SOCIETY

APACHE TROOP 1/9 REENACTMENT SOCIETY

The Apache Troop 1/9 Reenactment Society invited us to their reenactment weekend at the Tigerland Training Ground (where many Vietnam veterans went through training) in Louisiana.

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