A locally produced documentary about a Vietnam War veteran will debut Wednesday with a free screening at the Crest Theatre at 5 p.m. NPR host Beth Ruyak partnered with DosEckes Productions to make “Lady Jessie: A Vietnam Story,” which focuses on Reno’s Jessie Beck and retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard Perry, who develop a friendship during the Vietnam War. Perry flew from the USS Oriskany, a Navy aircraft carrier that was based in Alameda, and from Travis Air Force Base.
The documentary follows Beck and Perry’s relationship, which evolved from Beck simply sending care packages to Perry to Beck sending thousands of packages to troops in Vietnam.
“Jessie Beck gave encouragement and hope to those who were fighting in an unpopular war. Her generosity forged enduring and life-changing friendships. She had such a positive impact on troops,” Ruyak said in a news release. “This story reminds us that the Vietnam War experience has an important place in modern culture and cannot be lost to time.”
Ruyak is the executive producer, with co-producers Suzanne Eckes-Wahl and Jim Eckes. The film was edited by Eckes and written by Eckes-Wahl.
“From the very first time we heard this story, we knew it simply had to be told,” said Eckes-Wahl. “It is an honor to bring the story of Jessie Beck and Dick Perry to a wider audience, as well as shine some light on the men of Carrier Air Wing 16, whom these two remarkable people inspired so many years ago.”
The show at the Crest is free but tickets are required. The documentary film will also broadcast on KVIE during a four-night run in November in advance of Veteran’s Day.
If you go
When: 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 30
Where: Crest Theatre
Tickets: free, reserved at https://bit.ly/2MXb4xO