DocFilm and the Veteran Documentary Corps is excited to announce the release of their newest film about Vietnam War veteran, John Baumhackl. Drafted in January 1969 John was originally sent to the 58th Signal Battalion at Fort Lewis Washington, but then quickly volunteered for a deployment to Vietnam. Upon his arrival in Vietnam John was reassigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry, Air Cavalry Troop, 33rd Chemical detachment. While in Vietnam John’s interests in photography and film were piqued. He amassed a collection of 35mm slides, and was able to shoot 8mm footage with a camera he purchased from the military store on his base. John has found a renewed interest in sharing this footage and photography as his connection to fellow Vietnam veterans has grown through the emergence of social media sites and veteran forums. John enjoys engaging with the veteran community, and spends much of his free time volunteering for the VA in San Francisco. He believes in the healing power of sharing experiences and stories with the veteran communities. After watching the final film, John commented on the use of his footage, “I watched the film and it was great! A very good job, and your use of film and pictures were excellent.”
“Like all of the films produced by the Veteran Documentary Corps the collaborative process is an important one- the team worked seamlessly with John, said Michael A. Behrens, Director of the DocFilm Institute and VDC Producer. Director and Iraq War vet Adan Pulido and VDC Production Manager Robert Barbarino echoed, “It was both a privilege and a challenge to sift through John’s large collection of important photos and 8mm footage.” Robert said, “John’s collection is such an integral part of his story and experience in Vietnam- it was important for us to incorporate his footage in a way that gives the general public access to John’s memories and experiences in Vietnam. It was a privilege to have access to John’s footage. It allowed us as filmmakers to help meet VDC’s goal of ‘facilitating a greater understanding of the diverse personalities, struggles, and successes that define the veteran experience.”
You can enjoy John’s film at the Veteran Documentary Corps website: veterandocs.org. Next month VDC filmmaker David Washburn’s film on Tian Soepengat, a Muslim Navy Reservist will be up on the site. Keep checking the site for updates!