The true story of Richard Pimentel, a brilliant public speaker with a troubled past, who returns from Vietnam severely hearing -impaired and finds a new purpose in his landmark efforts on the behalf of Americans with disabilities.
This story reflects the struggles in the life of Richard Pimentel, a charismatic public speaker and personnel management consultant, who virtually single-handedly ram-rodded the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) through Congress. Pimentel left a promising college pursuit of excellence in speech and debate to enlist in the U.S. Army during the mid-1960s. He was trained as an infantryman and sent to Vietnam where an enemy rocket blast permanently deafened him. His battle to resume his education, recapture his skill as a public speaker and find help for his deafness and maddening tinitis makes an appealing study in courage and tenacity. As a result of his empathy and first-hand experience with the hurdles facing disabled people in the American workplace, Pimentel became the prime mover and champion in the fight to push the ADA through Congress and into the laws of the land.
This is an excellent telling of an interesting story and I was glad to be involved as it will tend to dispel many of the ‘psycho-vet loser’ and ‘ticking time bomb’ myths concerning the men who fought in Vietnam. As a multi-tour Vietnam veteran those misperceptions, often advanced by the very industry in which I work these days, have always upset me. Any chance I get to dispel them is welcome. Hopefully, this film will garner attention and a wide release. Veterans will welcome it across the board. I applaud Director Steven Sawalich who is to be praised for his efforts to get it right in the military and Vietnam sequences of this story. He cares and that goes a long way.