Vincent Gabriel’s – 11 Bravo Vietnam – A Soldiers Story Documentary — Vincent Gabriel, Jr returned from his tour of duty in Vietnam after having fought fought in the Tet offensive of 1968.
Now Gabriel, a noted Midcoast Maine musician, has committed his experiences to songs and a series of spoken vignettes. The result is the moving documentary, 11 Bravo Vietnam , A Soldiers Story. The 55 minute presentation consists of songs and spoken memories with a multimedia accompaniment of documentary footage and personal photographs.
11 Bravo Vietnam , A Soldiers Story is a virtual scrapbook of one young man’s experiences in combat from the day he receives word of his induction to his homecoming. He sings of terribly brief friendships on the battle field, the searing awareness of his mortality and the random forces which preserve one life and take another. He tells of the importance of family and humor.
It’s a deeply personal tale. A tale, he notes, which is only one among a million others. And now that American men and women are again deployed half a world away in Iraq and Afghanistan , Gabriel’s memoir is more relevant than ever. As the news media flash footage of anonymous warriors and cite statistics, 11 Bravo reminds us that each one of those figures on the screen has a dream for the future, hopes and loved ones, and a constant fear.
Gabriel’s documentary is not about policy, or politicians, or generals. 11 Bravo is about the combat soldier’s day to day struggle for survival in the chaos of a war – survival of the soul as well as of the body. Vincent Gabriel served as a pointman, radio operator with Charlie Company, Second Battalion, 18th Regiment, First Infantry Division during the 1968 Tet Offensive.