American Medevac is an eye witness report about courage, selflessness, pain and recovery. The hour long documentary had its beginnings during the Vietnam War when correspondent Morton Dean and cameraman Greg Cooke, then on assignment for CBS News, flew on a harrowing medevac mission to rescue three wounded infantrymen from an enemy infested rice paddy. Dean says he knew at the time he’d witnessed something profound; an American ideal in action. Why? “When the call came in from the battlefield, the medevac crew responded immediately. No one asked who the wounded were, what color they were, what political party they favored, what religion they might have followed. All that mattered was an American needed help.” Dean long wondered what had become of the medevac crew and the bloodied men who were airlifted to safety on that January day in 1971. Had they survived the Vietnam War? Had they perished in subsequent wars and if not, then what kind of lives were they leading? Had the demons of wartime, including post-traumatic stress, followed them home? Now we know. The pilot and co-pilot had never ‘met’ any of the wounded they rescued. Now, more than 40 years later, they have! One by one, across the American landscape, Dean brought them together. And once again, Cooke was behind the camera. The result is, as you might expect, extraordinary. America has never seen this kind story. Their story. Raw. Surreal. From the heart. American Medevac reaches out beyond the Vietnam experience and speaks to those who have learned about war in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and who are now experiencing what post war life for a combat vet – and their families - is all about.
To download this program's 30-second promo, and a broadcast file with embedded captions, please download Additional Video Assets below.
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