Fresno veteran featured in Afghan War documentary

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno veteran is one of several former soldiers being featured in a war documentary. The gritty and raw footage is taken from helmet-cam videos during their time in Afghanistan.

Living in the Pech River Valley means fighting the enemy every day. Right at the mouth of the Korungal Valley in Afghanistan, it's considered one of the most dangerous places on Earth. This video documents one platoon's time over a year and the death of one of their own.

"It was mainly just for our families and his family as well, and slowly like posted up a video I think on that GoFundMe website and we were averaging like 100 views per minute," said veteran Richard Sandoval Jr.

The 24-year-old lives in Fresno and served with this platoon in April 2010 for one year. It was just before they were about to come home when Spc. Brian Tabada was killed.

"It was just that one lucky shot, and it just sucks because we had one month left. Stuff like that it just lives with you forever," said Sandoval.

He and the other veterans suffer from PTSD he said, so watching this raw footage can be difficult. But his girlfriend, Nicole Santillanez, hopes getting the word out about the film will help bring peace to turbulent memories. "I don't think I'll ever understand what it was like to be there as much as I've seen all the videos, I've seen all the pictures, I've heard all the stories," she said.

The documentary makers need help finishing the film and are raising money to bring the memories to life.

"You feel like your story is never going to get told. You feel like why are you even out there? No one cares. But it's a blessing to actually have somebody go out and make this for us," said Sandoval.

A tribute to Spc. Tabada the platoon always deserved but never thought they'd get. The $6,000 they're hoping to raise is purely for the creation of the film and is a nonprofit project.

Click here to donate to the GoFundMe account for the film

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