RANGER AGAINST WAR: Same Same But Different <

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Same Same But Different

So good to see men who were former enemies

come together in harmony

--NLF General Monh’s toast
to Deryle,
Nha Trang

It is with great pleasure that we introduce our readers to "Same Same But Different" a documentary project in production by RangerAgainstWar's good friend, Deryle Perryman and co-producer Moises Gonzales.

They are conducting a grassroots fundraiser on Kickstarter
HERE, and hope to release their film Fall 2012. They have a little over a week remaining to raise their goal of $25 K; they either reach it, or they get nothing. It is a worthy project and we hope our readers will be able to help them summit the peak.

"Same Same But Different" is the story of
veterans returning to their former battlegrounds to clear unexploded ordnance, work with victims of Agent Orange, and build schools, clinics and orphanages. It includes interviews with Vietnam veterans both abroad and stateside, archival footage, rarely seen photographs and original music. The documentary showcases the remarkable work of these VN vets whose story is still largely untold.

Perryman was a 20-year-old Army Sergeant in 1968 during the Tet Offensive in the Central Highlands. He served his
1967-68 Vietnam War tour as a crew chief on a 175mm howitzer with the 5th Battalion, 22nd Artillery and later in the 6th Battalion, 84th artillery. For him, the documentary is a both a healing and a benediction.

leave Deryle to tell the rest of his story:

"I was born in Alabama. Southerners like to fight. Since everybody's Daddy was in the Big War, I grew up in a culture that didn't leave many options when the bugle sounded. So when the time came--just after HS graduation, along with three of my best childhood buddies -- I signed up to fight to keep the Commie hoards from taking San Francisco.

"Since then, as with veterans from any war, the rest of my life has been informed by that decision.

"Ever since my first trip to Vietnam, I'd always wanted to go back, especially when the trees and the earth weren't trying to kill me. So I returned to Vietnam in 1995 and I've been back several times since. Knowing that I can't reclaim my innocence or honor or that class ring I lost in 1968, I kept feeling the weight of a story I needed to tell.

"I’ve written thousands of journal entries and notes. I’ve read all the articles and books, seen all the movies. Well… most. Over the past four years, I’ve interviewed veterans and activists by the dozen from Gloucester, Massachusetts to Nha Trang. I put together a music library with thousands of cuts referring to Vietnam. But the more I tried to tell the Vietnam story, the more I realized there isn’t one.

"Sure you can retell the historical account, drag out the footage of the jungle exploding, straw hootches in flames and door gunners shooting at fleeing women and children. You can play raucous rock and roll over footage of soldiers with peace signs on their helmets. You can explain what made this particular war the worst war: lies, obscene warmongers, profiteers. Truth is: the worst war is the one you're in.

"Each return to Vietnam, I ran into other guys like me who found themselves drawn back. Some have gone back to Vietnam for good, living as expatriates. Fewer still have taken that extra step and are working to heal the wounds they opened all those years ago. I want to follow the example set by those few largely unknown heroes who understand that wars don't stop with peace treaties.

"I’ve come to realize that’s the story I want to tell--life as it is, not as it was, a story of possibility rather than despair.

"We need to return to Vietnam one more time in April where we'll accompany a group of veterans returning to Vietnam for the first time after the war. We'll shoot footage of them as they tour the country.

"This two week tour is guided by Vietnam Veterans who live in Vietnam full time or most of the year where they work with programs clearing unexploded ordnance, or working with Agent Orange victims. They put the tour together under the auspices of their Veterans for Peace Chapter 160 Hoa Bien (Peace), the only VFP Chapter located outside the US.

"Personally, I want the film to reach out to Vietnam Veterans who may be searching for ways to heal themselves, maybe seeing the work of their fellow vets as a path they might want to undertake.

"There's a lot of healing still to be done from all of this nation's wars. Maybe 'Same Same But Different' can be an inspiration for others to get on with their own."

Deryle's next goal is to build a school up in Vietnam 's Central Highlands for the Montagnard people, "who aren't prospering as well as some of the Vietnamese. I'm hoping the film can be a vehicle to help that happen. Politically, it's about showing that former enemies can forgive each other by re-humanizing each other through working in common on helping projects."

We wish Deryle and
Moises great success in completing and getting exposure for their worthy project.

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Anonymous Deryle said...

Hey Lisa and Jim,
Thanks so much for the big shout-out.
One of your faithful readers committed $1000 to the film yesterday,

I'm impressed..and most thankful.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 2:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

My hat is off to your efforts, and i hope your rewards are commensurate.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 5:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yay, Deryle and thanks to our generous reader :) I'm rooting for you and Moises.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 6:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

Deryle next time you see NLF General Monh, please ask hjm for me where they buried the bodies of the tens of thousands of South Vietnamese the NLF and NVA killed in the communist gulags after 1975 ?

This is a sample of the present odious Vietnamese communist regimes thinking on the subject of friendship:

"Vietnam, however, does not support calls by other ASEAN member states for Myanmar (Burma) to free Aung San Suu Kyi, state media reported Friday, 14 August 2009. The state-run Việt Nam News said Vietnam had no criticism of Myanmar's decision 11 August 2009 to place Aung Suu Kyi under house arrest for the next 18 months, effectively barring her from elections scheduled for 2010. "It is our view that the Aung San Suu Kyi trial is an internal affair of Myanmar", Vietnamese government spokesman Le Dung stated on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Does Rangers readers have any idea why the Montagnard people "... aren't prospering as well as some of the Vietnamese. " I know why, do you ? They were brutally repressed after the war, because some Montagnard tribes supported the fight against the NLF and the NVA. Thus all the Montagnards were collectively punished.

Deryle I wish you well in your project and do send a photograph of the Generals face should you choose query him on the various subjects this Vietnam Veteran (66-68) has most inconveniently raised.

My post is not about bitterness or hating the enemy, but I do feel I've earned the right in this public forum to point out all is not what it appears in the 'Democratic' Republic of Vietnam.

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 3:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

A clarification is needed here. You do not need to earn the right to express your viewpoint here on RAW. This is the right of any free person.(Hell a VN communist is also welcome.)
As for DP-we all handle our stress in different ways, and this is D's. Well and good.
I have no hatred of the VN fighters who opposed us, but i'll never go back, but mainly b/c i try not to go back as a life policy. I compartmentalize which is not the healthiest of survival schemes, but that's my technique.
If you want to ask the old Gen'l your question then that is fair, but let'd have a seance and ask Westy and Abrams and all the Air Force bombadiers where we buried millions of VN in unmarked graves.
If you remember ,we buried NVA/VC in unmarked graves in violation of the GC's.Pls. remember that we were the good guys.Gasp!!!!?!
I hate to be Clintonian, but not only do i feel your pain but i also share it.Same same DP.
Both of you are examples of why i write, and we are obligated to share our experiences and life force dramas with the world. Even when they don't care.
Yesterday i bought some new underwear and they were made in VN, and to me this says it all.I wear them as a symbol to where my left nut once used to hang from my young infantry body.
Every time i put them on i'll think of the dead that we left behind, and the pain and suffering of all of us involved in that goat screw, and my personal involvement.
The gen'l included.
I love you and DP more than i could any family member.

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 6:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

Jim, Lisa, & Blackhawk,

We all play the hand that was dealt. God knows there ain't no clean sheets on this corpse.

All the years trying to understand how this country, and I, got involved in the morass in Vietnam, few things have become clear.
On the political level, the whole affair remains a fucked-up mess and nothing any of us can do will correct that.
It remains a matter of belief /dogma:
"Who's to bless and Who's to blame?"
Doubtful of any change on that level.

Jim's right that we're no saints here. Neither are the Commies.
But they didn't venture half-way around the world to destroy our homes. That's our sin, if you will. They've got their own version to deal with. And I daresay it doesn't measure up to what we did to them.

Their approach appears to be relief that they're not fighting ANYONE for the first time in a long time. They're also willing to forgive us for what we did to their homes and their families.
After forty plus years of that whole sordid mess swirling in my head, I'll take forgiveness where'ere I can find it.

I'm no commie-lover, but over 50% of the population in Vietnam is under 21 and even tho the war's ancient history to them, it's effects aren't. We did that, under a lying premise--like most wars.

It's effects aren't over for us either.

And that's what the film's about.

I'll ask the General for you BH, tho I can already tell you his answer. He'll say something like: "So good to see you again. So good the war's over. Welcome."

They won. We didn't.
We play the hand that was dealt.

The montagnards?...now there's another story entirely.

Jim & Lisa...thanks so much for the support...again

All best,

My underwear story: When we were given jungle clothes, I looked at the label on the t-shirts..made in my hometown at a knitting mill where my mom ran a sewing machine.
Glad she didn't work in the M-16 factory.

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 4:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


All reasoned views welcome, esp. informed ones, such as yours. Through input from many perspectives we may arrive at a whole, or close to it.

I hope we're non-partisan here. We can't claim to be "post-partisan", as we're partisans for our beliefs, but not exclusively so, and we certainly don't toe any particular party line.

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 4:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

Jim and Daryle,
I thought long and hard when I sent my 4am reply to your posts. The truth of the matter is that I'm having technicolor bucket of blood dreams every night lately. I wake up my skin screaming. I remember the dreams, then try all day to forget them, but they don't obey verbal or chemical commands......

I dreaded the return trip to the RAW today and avoided it until a few minutes ago when 'I booted up'. I found myself crying when I read your reply's to my blistering post. How stupid of me to doubt the power of the bonds of the Brotherhood we share. There is a lot of love in this 'hood' Jim, Deryle. Thanks reminding me of something I always knew, but often forget to remind myself of.

Lisa what can I say ? lol

Friday, April 6, 2012 at 8:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I hope I made you smile, BH.

I love you, too, BH-brother, if I may call you that, though in a way different than the others.

Buenas noches y dulces sueños,


Friday, April 6, 2012 at 9:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...


Goddam bro...If this round of posts is what it's all about....then Jim and Lisa have done their part, and done it well.

And so have you.

Go on and check it out..and figure out how we can get this film made..for all of us.


Here's my other email: dpderyle@gmail.com
Talk to me.


Friday, April 6, 2012 at 9:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim hruska said...

This site ain't Melissa Etheridge singing that our love is only skin deep.
There are so many scars that cover so many wounds, but all of us, including our former enemies, are in the same perimeter.
It's called man hood/ humanity.
My Dad's battle group 22.3 Guadalcanal Carrier ASW grp. invited German U boat survivors to the US conventions starting back in 1968.
That was 22 years after the shooting stopped. I'd say after 40 plus years we should take down our concertina.
One of the germans Hans Goebeler even formed a friendship, and knew my Dad by name. If Nazis could do this then so too can we.Now all the Germans are dead and few Amies left-at least they reconciled.
Please remember that the U 545 killed 105 US sailors in apr 45. That's a hard pill to swallow, but it has to be done.
Soldiering is a transient state and must be left behind if one wants to survive.
Let's direct our fire outside the perimeter.
Frenchie- give a donation.

Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 12:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...


That was one helluva generous--and healing-- gesture your Dad and his colleagues did with their former Nazi enemies.
I can only imagine what anxieties arose in the discussion and planning of the invite and that first meeting must have been like for both groups of men.

I'll be getting a chance to find out as next week meet with some former PAVN vets who killed 9 of my colleagues one night in May of '68. Forty-one of them lost their lives.
Oh boy....

We'd all be better if more stories like your Dad's were told.
I tip my hat.

just sayin'


Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 12:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Last montn Naval History did a piece on a Nazi U boat Cdr captured after some heavy doo doo and he and the Destroyer Cdr became life long friends.
In the art. he stressed that hatred is not a part of soldiering.
Our point i believe.
btw -the year was 64 not 68 for the Germans attending their first u505 reunion.If u think about it the u505 memorial is also about them.

Monday, April 9, 2012 at 6:52:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

I'm getting here a bit late and hope the goal was reached. Couldn't have been any financial help until now anyway and not much even now but will kick a little into the kittie in the hopes it does help.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 3:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Hans Goebeler's u-boat is on display in Chicago Illinois.



Friday, April 13, 2012 at 7:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I had the pleasure to meet HG years ago and he told me stories.
He made his living going to gunshows and selling Nazi u boat memorabilia.
Only in America.
He always wore shorts and sandels like he was on tropical duty.
He emigrated to the US and lived out his life in South FL.

Friday, April 13, 2012 at 7:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Some while ago, I got an itch to research HG's story for some odd reason, I forget why. Just for curiosity.
It seems he became well-disposed towards Americans when he was held as POW, in Louisiana, IIRC.
How times and people have changed. We seemed to have regressed to a more primitive and brutal state, fearful of every shadow.
No leadership worthy of the name or up to the task.
ISTM that you and Lisa and the rest of the crew that post here are doing God's work. "Love one another as I have loved you" & "Forgive one another, as you have been forgiven".
It can break a heart of granite to know what we do to each other every day.
Please keep writing, eh?


Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 5:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem healing the wounds of war by traveling to Vietnam and visiting with former enemy.
I commend you for much of the work you have done especially with the land mine projects and your general good will.
I believe you are involved in a great healing process.
My objection is apologizing for the USA for being the big bad villain and the cause of all Vietnam's suffering from the war.
You may apologize for your actions to work on your healing, but nobody gave you permission to apologize for me or the USA.
John Donaldson - Yep ... that pain in the ass
An ole 68-Bulldog to your 66-Yellow Jacket

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 9:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

John Donaldson,
Nobody GAVE you fucking permission to use my blogsite as your email carrier.
A real man would go directly to Derryl rather than indirectly , like a woman would do.
Just for a clue,Derryl and i were soldiering before your parents were out of grade school and WE DON'T NEED PERMISSION to speak.
jim hruska

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 4:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

More cmts are req'd.
i don't claim to be non violent IF I HAVE TO BE.
to boot i'm a nasty fucker, and i will not accept bullshit from ass holes like this troll.
although anyone can speak freely, we have earned our ability to do so b/c we lived to 65.
Fuck the nva-our country killed more of us with agent orange than were killed by hostile action. We die every day from that poison so i'll say what the fuck i want.,as long as i'm sucking air.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 5:08:00 PM GMT-5  

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