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"Blood Brothers"


By Lee Russell

The writer presented me with a problem here: he wanted Goldman to have a two part mission, with a gap in between. As we see in the show, his original decision is to be questioned, but he is later to be proved right. I suggested the scenario, the Army PAO suggested the "deux ex machina" second part.

There was quite a dispute over what retired General Goldman should wear on his visit to the firebase. The PAO wanted civilian clothes (current policy.) A summerweight suit perhaps? Happily, I had a photo of retired General, and author/historian, S.L.A. Marshall in Vietnam. Like all distinguished visitors to forward areas, he wore a jungle fatigue uniform with his former rank and combat insignia, as though he was still a serving officer. General Goldman is an interesting character. He had won the Medal of Honor in WW II, and gone on to high command. There were two routes to success after WW II, the "Paratroop" route (General William Westmoreland was a paratrooper) and the "Tank Commander" route (His successor, General Creighton Abrams, was a "tanker" who served under Patton.) Recalling Ernest Hemingway's comment that "all tank commanders have the personality of bullies," I decided that Goldman should be a "tanker." This is reflected in his uniform.

In reality, the Americal Division PAO would have set the whole thing up for a nice, photo opportunity. When a General visits, even a retired general, he "rides on rails." An excellent opportunity to pin a decoration on his son, in front of the cameras, would be arranged. Lt. Goldman would have been REQUIRED to participate. We did sort of a compromise.

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