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Doc Block: True Stories of Survival and Heroism


This selection of shorts includes documentaries spanning from the Civil War to present day conflicts.

In this program

Team River Runner – Beyond Paddling

Directed by Kirk Hewitt, Takayuki Yamato

The film tells the story of a group of wounded Raleigh veterans who found healing in the rivers of North Carolina, and in the support of fellow veterans and volunteer whitewater paddlers who are grateful for their service.

Ocean Station November

Directed by Damon Stuebner

While patrolling an area of the Pacific Ocean designated “Ocean Station November,” the daily routine for the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Pontchartrain included launching weather balloons and conducting lifeboat drills. But in the early morning hours of October 16, 1956, the Coast Guardsmen prepared for the possibility of a mid-sea rescue when they received a distress call from a trans-oceanic airliner with multiple engine failures.

The Invalid Corps

Directed by Day Al-Mohamed

In July 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early launches a surprise raid that takes him to the very gates of Washington DC. The city is in panic. Almost every able-bodied soldier from the Union has already been sent south for the siege of Petersburg, more than 100 miles away. The only defenders remaining are clerks, government officials, and the Invalid Corps. Made up of men injured in battle or by disease, these “hopeless cripples” must hold out for a desperate 24 hours until Union General Grant can send reinforcements. With Lincoln himself on the ramparts, they cannot afford to fail.

XVII Carvings

Directed by Jesse Larvick, Manny Marquez

A Marine Corps veteran, Anthony Marquez, is on a quest to create a memorial for the 17 fellow Marines that his unit lost in Afghanistan. Anthony is doing this by carving with chainsaws a “Battlefield Cross” for every Gold Star family affected by that loss. He then hand delivers the carvings to the families. To some, this may just be folk art…to Anthony it’s his new mission in life, to honor the fallen.

Under the Needle

Directed by Lee Robinson

A short documentary about the therapeutic effects of tattooing and PTSD.


Directed by Jondaniel Cornett

Bonded in valor but separated by war’s chaos, a retired soldier must find his military dog, Satan, in order to find himself again. He searched relentlessly to find his brother-in-arms, his battle buddy, and his friend. From hot deserts to dark caves, they served side-by-side each day, saving lives in war. But when a final bomb blast sent Sgt. Ryan Henderson home from Afghanistan, he was separated from his loyal military bomb detection dog Satan, and would not see him again for years. FINDING SATAN relays a story of an unbreakable bond between soldiers — one human, one canine — forged in the heat of battle and remaining forever; and shows the power of healing that comes when two American war heroes are finally reunited. The courage of these canine soldiers who protect us, serve us, and save us is undeniable. In return, from a grateful nation, they deserve the same from us.

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