War Is Hell ….. Freedom Isn’t Free

September 9, 2008

Those words are ones that filmmaker Larry Cappetto has heard over and over again in the 600 plus interviews that he has conducted with US military veterans over the past 6 years. Cappetto is in the process of documenting the words of war veterans for his “Lest They Be Forgotten” series.

Cappetto has traveled around the United States, documenting the stories of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq veterans for the documentary. On September 11th and 12th, he plans to be at the Hall-Wynne Funeral Service in Durham, N.C. to record even more stories of veterans. While Mr. Cappetto himself is not a veteran, his family has a history of military service. His father and uncle were both in the military. Six years ago, he began the project by interviewing veterans of World War II. To him, the project is a labor of love.

Mr. Cappetto has filmed other documentaries, such as the story of Loyd Lewis, who was a rifleman in the 4th Marine Division. In that documentary, Lewis described his experiences at Iwo Jima. At the time, Lewis’s brother Boyd was serving as well, almost literally beside him. Loyd survived, Boyd did not. In the film, Loyd speaks about gathering pieces of his brother’s body. As he speaks, he does so with tears in his eyes.

Cappetto also created a documentary about the Korean War. Veterans of that war speak of how much the American flag, the symbol of our country, means to them. Others recall things such as the severely cold winters during the war. In his documentary about the Vietnam war, one veteran describes himself, as a then 21 year old lieutenant, writing letters to the loved one of his men who were killed during the war.

Cappetto is a very patriotic man. He flies the American flag daily outside of his home in Colorado. He often thinks about the veterans he’s encountered. He thinks about the World War II veterans, how they’re slowly dying, at an average of about more than 1,000 each day. Cappetto is very thankful for the veterans he’s met with and the reception that they’ve given him. He considers it an honor. On his website, he displays portraits of veterans, as well as photographs of more recent veterans. I’ll include a link to his website at the end of the story.

“I want to tell their stories. There have been some amazing stories, some telling me things they never told the4ir family members,” he said. “I feel like a guardian for their history. When these veterans die, they have a legacy for their families.”

“The documentaries are a thank you to the veterans for what they’ve done,” Cappetto said. “When they get recognition, it makes me happy and proud.”1

This will be the first time that Cappetto has made a trip to North Carolina. He’s looking forward to meeting the veterans and being able to visit with them and hear their stories. Following his trip to North Carolina, he has scheduled a trip to Ohio to attend a Battle of the Bulge reunion.

“It’s brought out in me a greater respect for all veterans and the freedoms we have in this country,” he said.2

If you’re a veteran and are interested in being interviewed by Larry Cappetto, you can call him at (970)254-9262 or you may email him at . Please be aware that the interviews will take approximately 1 hour. If you’d like to order a copy of the documentaries he’s made, please visit the website, and do so there.3

This is a fantastic project. One that will enable the stories of our veterans, to live on for many years after they’re gone. I wish something like this was available when my grandfather was alive, or my great-grandfather … both veterans of World War I and the Civil War respectively. These are definitely documentaries that I will be obtaining copies of and will probably review later here.

Veteran’s History

  1. http://www.military.com/news/article/filmmaker-calling-all-war-vets?col=1186032310810 []
  2. http://www.military.com/news/article/filmmaker-calling-all-war-vets?col=1186032310810 []
  3. http://www.military.com/news/article/filmmaker-calling-all-war-vets?col=1186032310810 []


2 Responses to “War Is Hell ….. Freedom Isn’t Free”

  1. Joan Blaankenship on October 17th, 2008 12:08 pm

    I was wondering if you could tell me how to get ahold of Mr.Cappeto. The phone number that is on his website is no longer in order and the email I sent him at his email address did not go thru. I noticed where he was going to be in Wichita, Kansas in November and my father who is 97 lives in Wichita in an assisted living center. He is a veteran of World War 2 - he was a recon pilot in the 45th Division under General Patton and he also helped liberate Daschau as his unit was the first to arrive there. He is of very sound mind - really a marvel. I feel sure he would agree to be interviewed as he has quite a story to tell as all of our veterans do. My phone number is 480-656-3326. Thank you so very much. Joan

  2. Terri on October 17th, 2008 2:19 pm

    Ms. Blaankenship, I don’t have an updated phone number for Mr Cappeto. I do also have an email address posted in this story. You might try contacting him that way.

Got something to say?