Benchmade Knives presents "Shepherds of Helmand."

by
posted on January 14, 2011
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Freedom isn't free, and this documentary demonstrates that fact by following Oregon National Guard soldiers who, in 2008, are deployed to Afghanistan to train a battalion of the Afghan National Army.

Before you think this is purely marketing, consider that a portion of the proceeds from the screening and DVD sales will support Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA), a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization formed to raise awareness and assist disabled active-duty military and veterans through active outdoor sports activities.

The film depicts the unit's mission to conduct counter-narcotics patrols in the deadly Helmand Province, an opium-rich region that's also a Taliban stronghold. "Shepherds of Helmand" is the true story of one of the most decorated units in Oregon National Guard history.

"I am very passionate about preserving our veteran's legacies and supporting programs that help support our wounded veterans," said Gary Mortensen, Director of Shepherds of Helmand. "This film couldn't have been possible without the support of Benchmade."

Mortensen worked on the project for more than two years and utilized photos and video clips provided by the soldiers. "Shepherds of Helmand" is narrated by Don Trump Jr. and features music by Zac Brown Band. Both were thrilled to be involved and support this powerful documentary about the soldiers who served in Afghanistan.

"We're extremely proud to support the making of this film," said Rob Morrison, Benchmade's director of marketing and strategic planning. "These stories help us understand what the soldiers go through on a daily basis when at war, bringing us closer to their personal sacrifices."

Shepherds of Helmand will have its Portland, OR, screening on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at The Hollywood Theater. The showing is open to the public and will include an introduction by the director, as well as a question and answer session with the six soldiers who appear in the film. Tickets will cost $5 and are available from The Hollywood Theatre.

Purchase your own DVD of "Shepherds of Helmland" to help this worthwhile cause.

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