Press Release

July 28, 2004

No. 04-036

Mokie Porter

(301) 996-0901



(Washington, D.C.) – Cheryl and Patrick Fries, who created the stirring documentary In the Shadow of the Blade, will receive an award at Vietnam Veteran’s National Leadership Conference at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel on Friday, August 6. The President’s Award will recognize their acclaimed feature-length film that documents the travels of a restored Vietnam War Huey helicopter and its impact on Vietnam veterans across the country.

In the Shadow of the Blade is an excellent film. It’s a true tribute to Vietnam veterans,” said Thomas H. Corey, VVA’s national president. “Cheryl and Patrick did an amazing job and we’re pleased to honor them with this award. We have presented arts awards since 1987 and are proud that VVA, alone among the national veterans service organizations, recognizes contributions to American culture by Vietnam veterans and by others whose work is influenced by the Vietnam War and its veterans.”

The film, which won the grand prize at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival in 2004, will be shown several times at the VVA National Leadership Conference, which begins on Wednesday August 4. The conference brings together several hundred Vietnam veterans, who will attend seminars, hear from an array of speakers, and take part in other activities.

The President’s Award also will be presented to the legendary country music singer George Jones in honor of his recording of “50,000 Names,” and to the renowned choreographer Twyla Tharp, for her creation of the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. Tharp and the Fries will attend the conference to receive their awards; George Jones will send a videotaped acceptance speech.


Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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