Box-office hit has warriors in tears, finally gives them celebration they deserve
WESTMINSTER, Calif. – “I’ve been waiting 40 years for this film!”
That was a common refrain among the Vietnam War veterans and the South Vietnamese Americans – most with tears streaming down their faces – who gathered here on March 27 and 28 to witness their powerful story finally making it onto the big screen at the wildly popular premiere of “Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory and Betrayal,” a film that exploded at the box office and ranked as the top movie in the nation in per screen revenue this weekend.
Some South Vietnamese attendees recalled their own heart-wrenching memories of more than a decade of starvation and torture in prison camps after they fought to keep their country free of communism. Separated from their wives and children, they saw friends and loved ones brutally murdered by North Vietnamese guards during their communist “re-education.”
And 40 years after the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine and Army veterans remembered harrowing fire fights alongside their South Vietnamese brothers in arms – and their return to a nation that turned its back on its own freedom fighters.
But this momentous event wasn’t about re-opening old wounds.
Instead, it was a heartfelt celebration of brotherhood, a long overdue welcome home…
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