It’s been fifty years since Ken Rodgers fought as part of Bravo Company 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division at Khe Sanh; we’ll get his reflections on those fifty years. We’ll also talk “war movies” with the LCpl turned documentary filmmaker — what he likes and doesn’t like. Finally, we’ll discuss the lack of mental health awareness during Vietnam and get Ken’s thoughts on the use of “Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor” as a tool to promote mental health awareness for Marines.
It’s very rare to find the intensity of the combat experience in an oral history, but “Bravo! Uncommon Men, Common Valor“ provides exactly that… it’s what makes it a different documentary.
As we look at the Battle of Khe Sanh through a lens of fifty years, audio from two events that the Marines and Sailors of B/1/26 fought through is riveting. I share it with you so that you can better understand them and to also provide lessons in post-combat related mental health — the memories are NEVER going away, so you need to learn to coexist with them.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at the age of 14 and held for nine months by her captors. During that time she was raped almost on a nightly basis yet she has been able to turn that pain & trauma into a positive, happy & productive life. How?
Ron Baczkowski was a 1stLt assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1/8 when they went ashore in Lebanon in 1983. He joined us to talk about the events surrounding the destruction of the BLT Headquarters Building on October 23, 1983.
We’ll talk about events just before and the day of the bombing in Part 2 of this interview.
Alex Hollings, former Sgt USMC was supposed to join us and talk about the gathering of clowns in Charlottesville VA over the weekend, but instead we discussed mental health and the absolute necessity for Marines and all veterans to stay plugged into their battle buddies.
GREAT STUFF from an candid writer who isn’t afraid of the truth.
Mike McDowell, LtCol USMC (ret), is the Executive Director The Soldiers Project whose mission is:
“We provide free, confidential and unlimited mental health services to any active duty service member or veteran who has served since September 11, 2001.
We provide services to families and loved ones too – wives, husbands, partners, parents and children.
We don’t turn anyone away based on discharge status, branch of service, or whether they saw combat.
If you served, you get seen.”
It’s ground breaking stuff and sorely needed… we’ll find out what’s going on at The Soldiers Project.