Medic on Netflix

In March of 2018 Medic was contacted by GEP Umbrella Inc, which sought to license one of my war photos for the Netflix sci fi series The Umbrella Academy. In short order a sum was agreed upon, a contract was signed. Below is the image as used in the series. Beneath it, the actual photo. The sci fi show has been well received. Apparently a second season is planned.

The Umbrella Academy, 2019


Delta 1-7 Cav, third squad, third platoon, 1969

A short time after this photo was taken we were flown to a village newly destroyed by rockets and artillery fire. It was eerie to enter a place once home to families and livestock, now reduced to chaos and rubble. I can still see a rockets slender fuselage half-buried in wet red dirt. Like most grunts we knew next to nothing about Vietnam, cared little for its people. That day, we poked around, stole a few souvenirs, waited for the choppers to fly us back to LZ Compton.

Regarding the men in the photograph: I don’t know what happened to Shake ‘N Bake. Gary Williams lost part of his hearing from a machine gun burst during a fire fight in Cambodia. He lives in Tennessee and had a career in the phone company.  In 2000, I sent Gary a copy of The Real Deal. He said that after watching the film he went out to his back yard and cried. Jim Lamb, wounded before I met him, returned home safe. He and his wife are ER nurses. We met in Gloucester, MA in 2007. I don’t know what happened to squad leader Steve Melhop.  Ambushed in Cambodia Mike Derrig was nearly executed by NVA. I patched him up. After the war he worked with boilers and had a second career with the post office. We’ve met twice in Portland, Maine. The day after a Mad Minute Ray Williams stepped on a hand lume which ignited, launched into his face, ricocheted into the sky, floated and hissed back to earth. After I patched him up he was medivaced to the rear; two weeks later he returned to us, the scar spanning his nose barely visible. “Knuckles”, who took charge of log days, was finally promoted to sergeant after the captain saw that his real name was Lawrence Knowles. “Roop the Troop” made it home safe. He lives in Heavner, Oklahoma, where he made the railroad his career. Joe Dorio did a second tour with the Cav and was shot in the head. Recovered from his wounds, he married, moved to Long Island, NY and worked for a trucking company. His nickname, he told me 2008, is Chicken Legs.

As noted elsewhere, in 1998 I showed the third squad photograph to NVA veteran and author Bao Ninh. He gazed upon it, asked me a pointed question, accepted the photo after I wrote a brief message on the back of it.


The Umbrella Academy trailer