Film Premiere: Apache Warrior

U.S. Veterans Magazine team members attended the premiere screening of Apache Warrior at The Lido Theatre in Newport Beach, CA. The event was presented by City National Bank (An RBC Company) and hosted by VetNet, an in-house program of our strategic partner, nonprofit organization Working Wardrobes.

The feature length documentary chronicles the initial sweep of U.S. forces into Iraq in March 2003. Audience members were captivated by stories about the mission from members of the elite U.S. Army aviation squadron who launched the attack. The crew dubbed themselves apache warriors as a nod to the combat helicopter model used to carry out their mission, The Boeing AH-64 Apache.

In a series of candid confessionals, front and back seater crew members detailed how fuel and constant communication between teams were key in navigating their way through the hot, humid skies. All the while, they kept a simple mantra in mind: “We’re out here to support the soldiers on the ground.”  Once retaliation began, bullets and ammunition sprayed them from virtually every direction. As a crew member says, “The hunter became the hunted at that point. Besides that, Apache pilot Capt (R) Carrie Buhl, also the only female on the crew expressed, “More terrifying than being shot at was trying to land the helicopter safely amongst the dirt blowing like talcum powder dust everywhere.”

During a panel discussion after the screening Buhl was very impressed with the portrayal of their story- mainly the seamless way footage was pieced together. Nothing was glorified or made to look like a glamorized Hollywood production with exaggerated stunts and props. Director David Salzberg shared that film editor Jason Mergott spent six months in his editing bay pulling/reviewing raw footage of video clips and photos from three recovered tapes.

VetNet has served nearly 2,000 veterans since 2012. Services for Veterans and military service members through the Working Wardrobes Career Success Institute include full wrap around case management, job training and access to job placement services. The focus is on the military service member, transitioning veteran, or those at risk of becoming homeless as well as the reintegrating or recovering veteran. To connect with the VetNet Team call 714-210-2460, www.workingwardrobes.org/vetnet/ .

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