Hacksaw Ridge

(From left) Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson at the joint opening session
(From left) Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson at the joint opening session  (Photo Credit – Getty Images – Branden Camp)

A small audience enjoyed a private screening of “Hacksaw Ridge,” a Mel Gibson-directed film based on the actions of the late Desmond T. Doss—a DAV Life Member and the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield plays the role of Doss in the film, which is scheduled for release in November.

DAV Past National Chaplain Ron Ringo is one of the individuals leading the film’s “mission.” This team is working to ensure the film sparks a discussion with the public about the service and sacrifices of veterans and their families. They are committed to making sure opportunities to support veterans are known to those who’ve served and those who want to support them. DAV is working with the film to promote the free services and volunteer opportunities the organization provides.

After the screening, Gibson and Vince Vaughn, who plays the role of Doss’ drill sergeant, came out for a Q&A with the audience. They addressed the convention the following morning.

“It’s my hope that this film will bring awareness to the plight of veterans,” Gibson said.

“I was thrilled to be included in this, with such a great director as Mel bringing attention to these stories,” added Vaughn. “Hopefully, in a small way, this will bring awareness. It’ll be a celebration of all the great sacrifice and all the great things that all of you have given to us.”

Ringo reiterated Gibson’s remarks that the producers and cast of “Hacksaw Ridge” are committed to using the movie to make communities aware of the issues veterans face after surviving the horrors of war.

The film opens Nov. 4, with special engagements Nov. 2 and 3 to honor veterans.

God Bless the Broken Road

Film Director Harold Cronk
Film Director Harold Cronk

Members were also treated to a sneak peek of another upcoming film, “God Bless the Broken Road.” DAV as an organization is on display in the film and even part of the storyline, which focuses on a young widow’s journey as she struggles to raise a daughter after losing her husband, who was serving in Afghanistan.

“The director wanted to ensure that the piece not only told an inspiring story, but that it would ultimately contribute to an effort to help veterans, their families and—of course—their survivors,” said then-DAV National
Commander Moses McIntosh. “We’re grateful for the partnership with DAV. We’re all looking forward to seeing the movie.”

“It is my sincere hope that ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ will remind our fellow Americans of the needs of our soldiers and their families, as well as shine a light on the amazing work
DAV is doing,” said Harold Cronk, the film’s director. “There is not a more perfect example of people who put their love into action every day than DAV.”

Cronk went on to announce that 5 percent of the film’s total profits will go to military charities—with the largest portion going to DAV. The film is set to be released in early 2017.