Monday, August 17, 2015

Synopsis:  "One More Christmas - The Shadow Man"

A Top 10 Finalist at the GI Film Festival 2015, “One More Christmas” is a coming home story that explores important themes around Post Traumatic Stress and recovery.  The story also investigates the generational aspects of war and manhood while representing a return to family values. It also brings a strong morale message; that helping others is a way of helping yourself.
            Leo Harper is a wounded warrior who struggles with recovery until he finds a connection with some Tejano veterans who make it clear that, “PTSD ain’t no excuse bro.” "You can't drink your problems away. You've got to find a new purpose for your life Mijo!"  Leo gets it and begins speaking with his doctor about his life.  We go back in time as he explains the story of his mother and how he was raised by his grandfather Vernon Bode.
Bode is a grizzly ole veteran with a soldier’s heart who grieves for his friend from Vietnam “Sugmanitu Tonka” (Big Wolf) who was a full blood Lakota warrior and is now the Guardian Angel who watches over the family.  Bode lives by the tradition of the Wolf’s Code and after Leo’s mother passes away, Bode uses the code to teach Leo and his older brother to be men of their word, to treat others with respect and dignity.  Bode teaches the young boys frontiersman-like self-reliance, to recognize love and what it means to be a warrior.  “Did you know there are no orphans among wolves?”
After showing signs of improvement, the Army allows our wounded warrior to come home for Christmas.  Surrounded by family, he finds love and starts to overcome the emotional scars of war as he and Bode explore their connection as fellow soldiers. They come to understand that part of themselves, the warrior within who is always there. “The Shadow Man is what the Indians called him.” 
The extended Bode family gathers around fire and decorated tree in a visionary Christmas scene of long ago and images of those loved and lost appear faintly around them like after a summer rain, in the palest edges of a rainbow. Leo has come full circle having discovered his true purpose in life is to help others.
Smoke swirls from the chimney as cold wind howls and snow flurries shift across an icy pond.  On the hillside, under snow draped evergreens, amorphous and diffused remembrances are shaped in stone. The sun sets; lights flicker and sparkle around farm and distant village.   “We all pray for at least one more Christmas with those we love, with those who live in our memories, our hearts, and our soul.”  

111 Pages

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Top Ten Finalist!

Well, looks like I"ll need to add "Award Winning Screen Writer" to my resume.  I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself so I'll just through it out there.  My screenplay, "One More Christmas" has been selected as a Top Ten Finalist at the GI Film Festival, 2015!  My wife and I will be traveling to Washington D.C. for the festival and celebration.  

The reality of this hasn't really sunk in and I have a feeling this is a big deal, but I don't want to get to overly excited.... Oh hell, who am I kidding!  We are in the Top Ten!  

Thanks everybody!  


Sunday, April 5, 2015

"Seven Six Five"

Now available for review on and The Black List, "Seven Six Five" is a true story about a team of Green Berets in combat.  


A battle-tested team of Green Berets and their Afghan National Army brothers fight to the last bullet against a hardened Taliban force. A true story with rights as revealed on CBS News 60 Minutes.


In June of 2006, Captain Sheffield F. Ford III led his unit into a contested region southwest of Kandahar. They entered a Spartan Afghan village of mud huts where a Taliban force of unknown strength was hiding.  The Taliban had one thought on their minds: to kill or capture Americans and the Afghan soldiers with them.

As darkness fell, all hell broke loose from all directions enemy rifle, machine gun, and rocket-propelled grenade fire landed and exploded.   The adversaries fought so close to one another the Taliban called out to the Afghan soldiers, "We can forgive you; just put your weapons down and walk away. We want the Americans alive." The Afghan soldiers alongside the Americans responded to the Taliban’s offer with well-aimed shots and an unbreakable defense. 

That’s when forty-seven-year-old Sergeant First Class, Brendan O’Connor, the team’s senior medic, disregarded three enemy machine-gun positions, removed his body armor, dropped to his stomach and began an arduous 200-foot crawl under constant enemy fire to where Staff Sergeant Matthew Binney and Sergeant Joseph Fuerst lay wounded.  Sergeant O’Connor singlehandedly moved the two soldiers to safety, but not before Master Sergeant, Thom Maholic, the Team Sergeant, was mortally wounded.

During the two day battle, the team defeated a multitude of determined enemy attacks; Captain Sheffield F. Ford III devised an astonishing plan and led the team and their Afghan brothers to safety using an AC-130 gunship to illuminate their route with an infrared spotlight, allowing the friendly element to slip away under cover of darkness.

For his actions Sergeant O'Connor was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Captain Ford received a Silver Star.  In addition, four other men on the team were also awarded Silver Star medals, Sergeant Joseph Fuerst and Sergeant Thom Maholic received the Silver Star posthumously.

This is a true story as revealed by CBS News 60 Minutes.