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"The Battling Baker Brothers"

Episode#3

By Lee Russell

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.

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About the Music....The midi's are songs from the original episodes


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