Hollywood turns camera on hometown hero

Pitsenbarger film draws A-list stars

By Belinda M. Paschal - Civitas Media



PIQUA — Several big-name stars — Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Fonda among them — have signed on to appear in a long-rumored political drama about of Piqua’s own Airman First Class William Pitsenbarger.

According to a press release from production company Foresight Unlimited, “The Last Full Measure” follows a Pentagon investigator (Sebastian Stan) as he “unravels the injustice and battles the political machine to uncover what really happened in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War” — Operation Abilene.

“The rumor of the movie has been around for quite a while,” said Jim Oda, and director of the Piqua Public Library.

Despite his expertise in local history, Oda said he wasn’t consulted for information about Pitsenbarger, who is set to be played by Grant Gustin of “The Flash.” Oda said he’d merely heard the film was more about political aspects of the airman being awarded the Medal of Honor than about his actions in Vietnam.

In “The Last Full Measure,” the investigator and survivors of Operation Abilene face another battle as they fight the political machine in Washington to convince Congress to award Pitsenbarger, an Air Force medic, the Medal of Honor for continuing to save lives even after the last helicopter to safety left the battlefield.

Pitsenbarger was wounded three times before he was killed. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously on Dec. 8, 2000.

Ruth Koon of the Friends of Piqua Parks, who raised funds to have a statue of Pitsenbarger erected in 2015, said she is “thrilled” about the film coming to fruition.

“I had heard about it, but it was just hearsay,” Koon said. “It’s quite an honor for someone from Piqua to have a movie made about him, and it’s long overdue. The friends of the Piqua Parks are thrilled about it.”

In addition to Jackson, Fonda and Stan, the star-studded ensemble cast of “The Last Full Measure” includes Amy Madigan, William Hurt, Christopher Plummer, Bradley Whitford and Michael Imperioli. The project is currently in production.

Pitsenbarger film draws A-list stars

By Belinda M. Paschal

Civitas Media