West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War
With special funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Humanities Council partnered with West Virginia military veterans to produce a six-part web series titled West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. Lost Valley Studios filmmakers Calvin Grimm and Tyler Miller, both veterans, produced six 30-minute episodes focusing on the stories of West Virginia veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, the First Gulf War, and post-9/11. Episodes feature narration, on-camera interviews with veterans, film from each conflict, and contextual commentary.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 1: World War II
World War II veterans Petty Officer Jackson Jones (U.S. Navy, from South Charleston), Corporal Technician-Five John Belcastro (U.S. Army, Shinnston) and Brigadier General J. Kemp McLaughlin (U.S. Army Air Corps, later U.S. Air Force, Braxton County) share their accounts of D-Day, The Battle of the Bulge, and other major events of the war. Historian Billy Joe Peyton provides commentary.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 2: Korea
Korean War veterans Sergeant Harvey Hill (U.S. Army, from Saint Albans), Sergeant James Vickers (U.S. Army, Lorado), and Sergeant Jim DeCarlo (U.S. Army, Weirton) detail their experiences at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, Inchon Bay landing, Battle of the Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir, Battle of Pork Chop Hill, and their return home following the war. Historian Billy Joe Peyton provides commentary.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 3: Vietnam
Major events of the war are discussed along with the personal experiences of Vietnam veterans Delmer Byrd of Clay County, Newman Jackson of Charleston, and Robert Fields, III of Nitro. The episode includes photographs and remembrances by Dan Ringer of Morgantown of a 1970 war protest by students at West Virginia University.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 4: The Cold War
The decades-long period of military and political tension from the end of World War II through the 1980s, known as the Cold War, is examined. U.S. Army Russian Linguist Lew McDaniel of Point Pleasant, who served in West Berlin; Dan Ringer of Morgantown, who served in the Strategic Air Command of the Air Force; and Doug Day of Charleston, an Army medic in Honduras and the Korean DMZ during the 1980s recount their experiences. Historian Billy Joe Peyton provides commentary.
Viewer discretion is advised due to graphic content.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 5: Desert Storm
When Iraq invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990, Operation Desert Storm was the ultimate response by U.S. and international coalition forces in early 1991. West Virginia Desert Storm veterans Robert Dennis of Harrisville, Eric Grandon of Wallback, and James McCormick of New Haven remember their service in the war including the “Highway of Death,” preparing for chemical attacks, Scud missiles, the use of new technology called GPS, and their return home.
West Virginia Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War Episode 6: After 9-11
In this final episode of the series, West Virginia veterans Jessica Homeres of Charleston, Richard Ojeda of Logan, Robert Pauley of Nitro, Casey Phalen of South Charleston, and Frankie Williams of Huntington reflect on their roles in the War on Terror in places like Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Afghanistan, and Iraq after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Performance of duties, relentless heat, challenges of multiple deployments, the capture of Saddam Hussein and death of Osama Bin Laden, ongoing fighting in the region, as well as the physical and psychological difficulties faced by men and women who served are discussed.
Lost Valley Studios is a West Virginia based, veteran-owned video production company. Producers Calvin Grimm and Tyler Miller are both military veterans who met and first collaborated through audio and video classes at West Virginia State University. In 2014 the team went on to produce the feature length documentary “37 Fallen,” which tells the stories of the 37 West Virginia veterans lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11th, 2001.