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Documentary Tells Stories of Vietnam, Korean War Vets

Documentary Tells Stories of Vietnam, Korean War Vets

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Carole Mikita ReportingAmerica today honored its military veterans--those who have served, and thanked those who are still serving, and shed tears for those who have died.

Around Washington people paused to remember at places like the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, and at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. President Bush laid a wreath at the tomb and left a message to the country's 19- million veterans.

President Bush: "America is grateful for their daring, grateful for their honor, and grateful for their sacrifice."

The president said America's will and resolve are being tested now in Iraq, where 398 soldiers have died since the US invasion began. Many veterans say faith is what helped them survive the horrors of war.

A new documentary focuses on the stories of -Latter-day Saint soldiers from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The first 'Saints at War' project was about veterans of World War II, but so many of them were then called upon to fight in Korea five years later there was an automatic sequel. In it they remember the best and worst of human experiences.

“Saints at War in Korea", Courtesy: Blue Moon Productions, BYU: “’The times that try men's souls' are certainly wars... this new documentary looks at Korea - the Forgotten War from the perspective of Latter-day Saint servicemen...”

Elder Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "Dr. Simeone and I learned how to share a foxhole and we shared faith in our heavenly father, even though his channel was Catholic and mine was Latter-day Saint."

Some of those who served in Korea also went onto Vietnam -- from one frustrating conflict to another. They want the truth told.

Virgil Kovalenko, Korean and Vietnam War Vet: "Vietnam is the only war that America lost. We didn't lose, we walked away. The politicians said, ‘You're done, go home.’ so, we went home."

Thomas Lee Tyler, Army Public Information Specialist Vietnam: "And we think about the veterans today, and oft times my heart goes to the families of those who paid the price and the immense price they have paid..."

So many stories to tell; so many who have not told them. This was the goal for the producers....

Robert C. Freeman, 'Saints at War' Co-director: "World War II’s generation are dying at the rate of about 15-hundred a day. And so we worry always capturing their voices and understanding the experience and passing the legacy on..."

'Saints at War: Korea and Vietnam' will air on cable BYU-TV Dec. 7th and on KBYU-TV, Channel 11 December 8th.

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