Below is a note Julie Moore sent to the director of We Were Soldiers during the filming.
As I watched the filming today on Miller Loop of the telegrams I was deeply touched by Madeleine and Keri’s emotional connection to the scene and so grateful you even included the wives in the movie!
As you know I have fussed at you about all living together on one street, my receiving the telegrams since I was only able to follow where they were delivered but realize now after 2 weeks of watching the care and expertise that goes into the making of a movie that continuity, money and time are involved. Knowing all that I was still in tears today when I realized that “the Colonel’s lady” was only calling on WHITE, OFFICER’S wives. In truth, not one of the officer’s wives who stayed here in Columbus with me received a telegram. All 13 for the Columbus area came to my enlisted wives! Black, White and Hispanic. And not on a lovely, tree lined quiet street. They were in trailer courts, tiny houses, shacks (remember the south wasn’t integrated back then) and tacky apartments.
Randy there MUST be some way you can bring them in to this movie. You have Alma Jivens in one early wives scene and her husband was killed – she was the last to receive a telegram. Sgt Jivens was with Bob Edwards C Co. You are the writer but can’t you put in just a quick scene of Madeleine going to a door and Mrs. Jiven’s reaction – very dignified and accepting, or a young black girl (17 years old) sitting by herself in a room the size of a motel room holding a telegram – or my Puerto Rican wife fainting when she received hers from the taxi driver. Just snapshots. You have GOT to have the black enlisted wives in these scenes somehow. They took so very many of the casualties…
I know you are snowed under with a million things to think about and you know I wouldn’t bother you if I didn’t think this is a REALLY important point. We all want this to be THE movie to tell of the many different kinds of heroes of the Vietnam War.