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Honor in the Valley of Tears

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The November 10, 2011, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with documentary film Maker John A. Ponsoll, the executive producer of Honor in the Valley of Tears.

Program Date: November 10, 2011

Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC

Topic: Honor in the Valley of Tears

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About the Film

A feature length documentary about Congressional Medal of Honor recipient 1st Sgt. David H. McNerney and the men of A-Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry of the 4th Infantry Division that he trained and led into a bloody, yet forgotten battle near Polei Doc in the Central Highlands of Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War. This area was later known as The Valley of Tears.

In the men's own words, through the stories they recount, the film gives us insight into the time these men spent together and the bond they formed that remains unbroken to this day. The men of A-Company trained together for eleven months and served together for one year. Their story begins with basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1965 and continues 40 years later at their most recent reunion in September 2007. The highlight of the film is a detailed, first-hand account of their intense combat encounters, including the events of March 22, 1967 (for which Sgt. McNerney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor). He is celebrated by the men he trained and served with and whose lives he saved on March 22, 1967.

Conceived by Executive Producer John A. Ponsoll, whose father served with A-Company and who documented his tour of duty with a Kodak slide camera, the film honors the memory of A-Company 1/8 and their incredible courage and dedication to one another.

Honor in the Valley of Tears
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About the Guest

John Ponsoll is a native of Danville, Kentucky. He graduated from Centre College in 1999 with a degree in English and Spanish. For the last 11 years he has worked as a marketer in pharmaceutical industry and has lived in Morristown, New Jersey. During this tenure, John's love of film collided with opportunities for film production when in 2006 he met Eric while working for a marketing agency in New York City.  Growing up, John used to climb into the attic and explore his father's Vietnam memorabilia, including the pictures he took while in the Army. John made this film initially as a means to better understanding his father and as a tribute to the men his father served with in Vietnam from 1965-1967.

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