“This is the man who has possibly led to the killing of my father. Do I want to deal with him?"
Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 09, 2015
The cost of a plane ticket to the United States was the equivalent to the annual salary of an average Vietnamese, but It was the price Du Pham gladly paid to visit the country, and the brother he had fought against during the Vietnam War. For Du Pham, this trip was about more than reconciling with family. It was also a chance to make peace with a former enemy, by visiting with US Air Force Colonel Wilmer Newlin Grubb, an American POW pilot who had been shot down and held in captivity by Du Pham’s North Vietnamese Army anti-aircraft unit almost 50 years ago. It wasn’t until Du Pham began his search, however, that he learned that Col. Grubb had died while in captivity and never made it home to America.
Fruits of Peace is a documentary film produced by Napkin Sketch Productions (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/978086187/fruits-of-peace), who are returning to Vietnam for the third time in four years to meet once again with the former Vietnamese forces that have brought this story to the forefront.
Quang Binh Province, Vietnam (January 26, 1966) - Col. Grubb's plane was shot down in Vietnam while on a reconnaissance mission. Weeks later, pictures of him being held at gunpoint were released and published in print media around the world. In some of the pictures, a Vietnamese nurse is attending to what appears to be a superficial wound on his knee. He left behind a pregnant wife and three sons--Jeffrey, Roland, and Stephen; his youngest son, Roy, was born 182 days after Col. Grubb's capture. Told to remain home and await more information, Evelyn Grubb, his wife, endured the long arduous feeling which she coined, “The limbo of anguish.” However, she refused to sit idly any longer. She banded together with other families of the imprisoned and missing, mostly wives, and brought the conversation onto the international stage. Evelyn Grubb became a founding member and eventually Coordinator of the National League of POW/MIA Families. It was during her leadership at the League that the symbolic POW/MIA flag, entitled “You Are Not Forgotten” was chartered. Unfortunately, despite all of there efforts, Col. Grubb did not come home alive. Nearly eight years later, the Vietnamese finally reported his death as being caused by injuries sustained during the ejection out of his jet. The Grubbs find this information difficult to believe based on the pictures of him standing and walking.
For 50 years, the Grubb family’s limbo of anguish continued. It was only recently, after receiving a letter from the other side, inviting them to Vietnam, that the Grubbs began to think they could finally ask their questions. “It dredges up the past in a lot of ways, not all of which are good, but getting the honest truth on the table is important,” said Jeffrey Grubb, oldest son of the four brothers. “This is the man who has possibly led to the killing of my father. Do I want to deal with him? That’s an honest response I had. The thinking part of me is, of course, saying I want to deal with this man. These are events that happened 50 years ago, and he is offering a view into a period of my life that has always been a mystery,” Jeff added.
Watch and listen to the sons talk about receiving Du Pham’s letter, and accepting the invitation to meet those responsible for shooting down and capturing their father. Their remarkable story is summarized in a short video posted at the following website: http://www.vimeo.com/117869047
“I believe the general public looks at the POW/MIA flag and recognizes it for what it is; a symbol for the important sacrifice that many have made, but I am unsure if people really know the story behind it. I don't know if people they really know the struggle incumbent upon families of the missing and imprisoned, and if they also know that this flag originated from their effort. It is not a government or federal flag. It is the flag for families,” said Kevyn Settle, the film’s director and co-producer. “There is a real human experience that will be shared in this film. I think the intersection of these two families’ narratives will start a dialog that hasn’t taken place before, and one that could possibly present opportunities for other families to do the same.”
Now, almost 50 years later, the Grubbs finally have the opportunity to ask questions to those that were involved the events in 1966. They have accepted Du Pham’s invitation to retrace their father's footsteps, together with him and other members of his unit that were present that day in 1966. They will visit Vietnam for the first time along with the filmmakers in April 2015.
A Kickstarter campaign has been opened to raise funds for travel and production expenses for the family and filmmakers, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/978086187/fruits-of-peace
About the Filmmakers:
Kevyn Settle and Michael Chiplock and their production team have received multiple individual awards during their twenty-year careers. They reside in the Washington-DC Metro area.