NECN PREMIERES DOCUMENTARY MEMORIALIZING NEW ENGLAND'S WAR CASUALTIES
"Remember Us'' is a deeply-moving film about the servicemen and women from the region who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, and about the struggles of their loved ones left behind.
(12/13/07 9:49 p.m.) Pfc. John Hart, a soldier from Bedford, MA alerted his father that he and his fellow troops were riding dangerous roads in Iraq without armor for their humvees. That information prompted Brian Hart to fight for additional funds for up-armoring vehicles; that effort saved many lives, but it was too late for John.
(12/12/07 10:30 p.m.) Sgt. Richard Ford of East Hartford, CT deployed to Iraq three times in three years. After his death, his family learned that he was not required to go on his third deployment but chose to go so he could be with the men in his unit.
(12/11/07 9:59 p.m.) Capt. Benjamin Sammis of Rehoboth, MA always dreamed of being a military pilot. Just several months into the war, he and his co-pilot ventured out to protect Marines stranded on the ground. He and his fellow Marines saved their stranded comrades, but Benjamin Sammis never made it back to base.
(12/10/07 9:50 p.m.) Spc. Chris Gelineau of Portland, ME and Starksboro, VT was a computer whiz who used his skills to create an online communication website to minimize dangerous travel in Iraq. Ironically, it was traveling on one of these roads that he lost his own life. After Chris' death, his family and friends had to contend with another overwhelming and tragic loss.
(12/6/07 10:06 p.m.) Capt. Doug Dicenzo of Plymouth, NH always dreamed of becoming "a leader of men". The academic star and talented athlete realized his dream when he joined the Army and lead Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion in Iraq. But in doing so he paid the ultimate price, leaving behind a beloved wife and child.
(12/5/07 4:12 p.m.) LCpl. Eric Valdepenas came from a Seekonk, MA family of eight children. He made the commitment to join the Marines after 9/11. During his stay in Iraq he repeatedly risked his life to ensure that a sick Iraqi child was kept alive so she could eventually come to the US for life-saving surgery. An IED killed him, but the child was saved.
(12/5/07 4:13 p.m.) Sgt. Daniel Gionet of Pelham, NH returned safely from a tour in Afghanistan and then re-enlisted to do more to help. He re-trained as a medic and deployed to Iraq, but this time he was not so fortunate. As he lay dying after an IED explosion, he shouted orders to try and save his imperiled comrades.
(12/5/07 10:21 p.m.) Corporal Holly Charette of Cranston, RI surprised her family when she joined the Marines. The young vivacious athlete and cheerleader committed to the military post-9/11. She was killed in an attack that has since raised many questions.
"Remember Us,'' the new NECN documentary, chronicles the lives of New England's sons and daughters who have been lost since the wars began.
It is a powerful reminder that these men and women are not statistics, but real people with hopes and dreams that will not be fulfilled, who leave behind loving families who must now cope with their loss and keep their memories alive.
"Remember Us'' profiles eight New Englanders whose life stories are remarkable not only because of how they died, but because of how they lived.
In addition to the in-depth profiles, "Remember Us'' also honors every New Englander killed in Iraq and Afghanistan - approximately 205 troops - in a dramatic, moving montage that shows his or her photograph, name, age, hometown and date of death.
CONTRIBUTIONS HONORING FALLEN NEW ENGLAND SOLDIERS CAN BE MADE TO:
The Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund helps children of fallen military personnel attend college. www.mslfund.org
Douglas DiCenzo Memorial Camp Fund - In honor of Captain Doug DiCenzo, the fund sends children of NH in grades 1-12 to summer camp
42 Eagles Nest Rd.
Plymouth, NH 03264
Sgt. Richard L. Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o Lenore Beebe
44 Whapley Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Donations to the Lance Corporal Eric Paul Valdepenas Scholarship can be sent to the following address:
Isenberg School of Management
121 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01007
(Please be sure to designate the Valdepenas Scholarship on the memo line)
or directly online using the following link:
Donations to the Eric P. Valdepeñas Memorial Scholarshiop Fund can be made to:
Bishop Hendricken High School
2615 Warwick Ave.
Warwick, RI 02889
Donations to the Daniel Gionet Memorial Fund and scholarships can be sent to the following address:
DVDs of "Remember Us'' can be purchased for $20 each.
Please make checks out ot NECN and send to Doreen Vigue, Director of Communications, NECN, 160 Wells Ave., Newton, MA 02459.