‘Battlefield Rescue: U.S. Army Medevac’ includes replica surgical tent, film screening
Vanderbilt University will commemorate Veterans Day with several events highlighting the unique roles and sacrifices of military medical workers, with a special focus on those who served during the Vietnam War.
Acclaimed war journalist Morton Dean will be on campus Nov. 11 for a late afternoon screening and discussion of his documentary American Medevac, which follows Dean’s efforts to reunite Vietnam War U.S. Army medevac pilots and crew members with soldiers they rescued in 1971. Dean and videographer Greg Cooke had flown alongside the medevac workers on that same harrowing mission 48 years ago.
“We are honored that Morton Dean, one of the nation’s most prominent war correspondents, can attend the screening of his recent film, which documents a fascinating yet perhaps overlooked element of conflict, the medical rescues and how those operations play an important part in a veteran’s life both during and after the conflict,” said Jim Duran, director of the Vanderbilt Television News Archive.
The university’s Veterans Day commemoration will begin earlier that day on Library Lawn with the Mobile Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter, a replica demonstration tent with surgical equipment for caring for wounded personnel used by the Army’s forward surgical teams. The exhibition will be open from noon to 4:45 p.m. and staffed by Army medical staff for students to engage with during the demonstration.
The commemoration then shifts to the Central Library, where American Medevac will be screened at 5 p.m. Following the 56-minute documentary, there will be a Q&A and panel discussion with Dean, who became one of the nation’s best-known network correspondents while working for CBS News for two decades and then ABC News for 14 years.
Dean’s extensive coverage of wars around the globe included reporting from the Middle East during the Gulf War, and he was on the scene of the first ground battle of Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. Dean also reported on the Kosovo War in 1999, which helped ABC News win an Emmy for its coverage of the conflict. In addition, Dean has written commentaries for National Public Radio and worked on History Channel documentaries and the A&E Biography series. The Vanderbilt Television News Archive previously interviewed Dean about his career for their podcast series.
The panel discussion with Dean will be led by Brandon Hulette, a military science professor and Army Reserve Medical Department officer. His first assignment was as a field medical officer with the 429th MEDEVAC Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia.
Mandi Mizner, a former Army medevac helicopter pilot and current student at the School of Nursing, will be among other veterans on the panel. Mizner is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Bass Military Scholars Program.
“I’m honored to be a part of this exciting opportunity to help bring the personal stories of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save lives on the battlefield to the Vanderbilt community,” Hulette said. “This panel brings together medevac pilots from Vietnam to modern conflicts with flight medical staff, a medical historian and a world-class journalist to provide such a unique insight into this often-overlooked aspect of military operations.”
A reception will follow the program at 6:45 p.m.
The Vanderbilt Veterans Day events are sponsored by the Department of Army Officer Education and the Vanderbilt Television News Archive, with support from the Department of History, Cinema and Media Arts, American Studies and Center for Medicine, Health and Society in the College of Arts and Science; Army Medical Department, Annette and Irwin Eskind Family Biomedical Library and Learning Center and the Wild Bunch.