Production Wrap-Up: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

Contributed by Michelle Tsiakaros

This past weekend, NLP traveled down to New York’s scenic Hudson River Valley to interview some of the Nation’s bravest for a short film for the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, debuting this Veteran’s Day.

IMG_6706The business owners of the area kindly welcomed our cameras and crew on the bustling Saturday. The team started off the day at the perfectly old-school Richard’s Barber Shop in Newburgh. Amongst the chatter and buzzing of clippers, Purple Heart recipients Terry Rathbun and Jim Martinez spoke with each other about th  eir service in Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Though they had only met that morning, the sense of brotherhood they shared made it appear as if they were old friends.

IMG_6735This trend continued as the crew headed to the Castle Point Campus of the VA Hudson Valley for a gathering of three generations of Purple Heart recipients. Ranging from the Vietnam War to Operation Enduring Freedom, the veterans sat together in camaraderie, exploring the meaning and personal significance of the medal. Though these stories are hard to tell, the veterans graciously shared their experiences. While story was different, the veterans agreed that their medal was foremost a reminder of the fallen soldiers who had given the ultimate sacrifice.IMG_6813

The day finished up at a Beacon favorite, the charming and delicious Beacon Bread Company. The coffee shop and bakery generously let us set up in their dining area after it closed to the public. Over coffee and pastries, Vietnam veterans John Fratangelo and Tony Lassiter reminisced over their service and medals, expanding on their thoughts and stories. Even the weather cooperated: the rain held off all day until, with perfect timing, it ushered the crew out of Beacon and back to Boston.

Ready to look back and relive the authentic and touching moments, we’re beginning post-production on this thoroughly rewarding project. We’re excited to share these stories of bravery, selflessness and solidarity with the public!

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The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, NY. Its mission is to honor and preserve the stories of Purple Heart recipients in recognition of the extraordinary sacrifices of America’s servicemen and servicewomen who were killed or wounded in combat.

Visit them at www.thepurpleheart.com

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