The inspiration for this script was simply that actor Eric Bruskotter had an
identical twin brother. From a point of view of accuracy, however (which was
my job), this script created a serious problem.
After WW II, and a few real incidents like the fictional subject of "Saving
Private Ryan", the Defense Department no longer permitted more than one
family member at a time to serve in a hostile fire zone. This Combat
Exclusion policy applied to all the Armed Forces and was VERY specific. It
applied only to blood relatives in the immediate family: father and sons,
siblings of either sex. Husbands and wives, for example, were NOT included
(and I personally know of one such couple who served in Vietnam at the same
time). Quite a few brothers and fathers, and even some sisters, served
multiple tours in Vietnam (usually in rear area jobs) to protect a son or
brother from having to serve in-country. This was well known in the military.
If you mentioned having a family member even in another service, people would
immediately remind you of the policy.
When I first heard about the script I realized there was no way around this.
There were some exceptions to the policy, for example if you were sent to
Vietnam as part of a unit. The script expressly lets this out. Possibly
neither brother had heard of the policy? No, the second brother is obviously
a REMF (pronounced "Remph" = Rear Echelon Mother... well.....) clerk who
would know things like this. When the episode aired, I nervously awaited the
avalanche of calls and letters from veterans. Oddly, none came.
Other issues, As I recall, the Army PAO protested the "party" with the girls,
wanting it clear this was NOT policy. Very, very few Americans captured by
the Viet Cong or NVA ever managed to escape, but all who did, did it very
soon after capture.