Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune-New River hosted an all-hands professional military education class at the Camp Lejeune Base Theater on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 31. Marines were allowed the opportunity to see the documentary, “Major Capers: The Legend of Team Broadminded,” and meet retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. James “Jim” Capers Jr.
“There were two important themes in the film, and that’s the theme of perseverance and faith,” said Ashley Cusato, director, writer and executive producer for the documentary. “Throughout all of the different challenges in his life, even when he was up against insurmountable obstacles and challenges, he and Team Broadminded just continued to persevere.”
According to Capers, the documentary tells his story as a Marine, and as an African American joining the Marine Corps at a time when the country was still showing signs of segregation.
Capers was one of the Marine Corps’ first African-American reconnaissance Marines and the first African-American Marine officer nominated for the Medal of Honor. He earned two Bronze stars, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts for his actions in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Capers took part in Operation Deckhouse, an amphibious assault to clear the DMZ of Viet Cong forces where he rescued 16 Marines, a B-57 aircraft recovery mission, and the Battle of Phu Loc on a search and destroy patrol in an effort to locate an NVA regimental base. During his last firefight in Phu Loc, Capers was gravely injured.
Capers and his 10-man team were looking for Viet Cong when the unit got ambushed by the enemy. Capers sustained broken limbs and the blast of a claymore before he ordered his team to evacuate as he returned fire to the enemy.
“I’ve seen most of the world, in places that it’s dark, it’s dangerous and even today I bear the burden. I have 22 holes that I bled from and I still have nightmares on occasion, but am I afraid? Hell no, not afraid. We all do our duty, and if we get together, there’s no finer fighting force in the world.”