Thursday, Nov. 6, Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St., downtown Rockford, will open its doors at 5 p.m. for a free showing of We Were Soldiers and a book signing by Joseph L. Galloway. The movie starts at 6 p.m., and refreshments will be available for purchase along with Galloway’s book, We Were Soldiers Once … and Young.
Galloway, who co-wrote with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Hal Moore the national bestseller We Were Soldiers Once … and Young, which was made into the critically acclaimed movie We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson, will be in attendance and available to sign purchased copies of his book.
Galloway was one of America’s premier war and foreign correspondents for half a century. During the course of 15 years of foreign postings — including assignments in Japan, Indonesia, India, Singapore and three years as UPI bureau chief in Moscow in the former Soviet Union — Galloway served four tours as a war correspondent in Vietnam and also covered the 1971 India-Pakistan War and half a dozen other combat operations.
In 2013, Military History magazine polled 50 leading historians to choose the 10 Greatest Books Ever Written on War. We Were Soldiers Once … and Young was among those 10 books.
In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the La Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only 2-1/2 miles away, a sister battalion was massacred. Together, these actions constitute one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War, one in which Americans faced what seemed to be certain destruction. Moore and Galloway, the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting, have interviewed hundreds of men who fought there. How these heroes persevered makes a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring.
The event is presented by the Winnebago County Veterans Association.
From the Nov. 5-11, 2014, issue