“Lieutenant Dan” to attend alum’s war film screening
May 20, 2010 By Leigh Ivey
D.C., Honor in the Valley of Tears will next be shown at
the 2010 Dances with Films festival in Los Angeles.
This June, a film that Centre College alum John Ponsoll co-wrote with Eric Dow will be featured at the 13th Annual Dances with Films festival in Los Angeles. Along with the film’s cast and crew, Gary Sinese, Forrest Gump’s Lieutenant Dan, will be on the red carpet to celebrate the film’s success.
Titled Honor in the Valley of Tears, the film premiered last week at the GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. The feature-length documentary was self-financed and was the outcome of Ponsoll’s desire to better understand his own father, Sam—who served in the Army and completed a tour in Vietnam—and to pay tribute to the soldiers who served with his father from 1965 to 1967.
The story centers on First Sergeant David H. McNerney, the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who trained and led his troops into fierce combat in Vietnam.
In an interview with Danville’s Advocate-Messenger, Sam Ponsoll said that the men McNerney led continue look up to him. “He was rough on us because he knew what we would be facing,” Ponsoll said, but “the bond we have now for him is unbelievable.”
McNerney, who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, will be in attendance at the June screening.
A 1999 graduate of Centre, John Ponsoll grew up in Danville, Ky., and has spent the past 11 years working as a strategic marketer in the pharmaceutical industry. Although he currently resides in Morristown, New Jersey, he keeps up with current events in Kentucky, where his parents still live.
Centre’s Clarence Wyatt, Pottinger Professor of History, special assistant to the president and chief planning officer, served as historical consultant for the film and is listed as such in the credits.
To read the Advocate-Messenger story about the film, click here.