“Brian Dennehy, who plays the sheriff in [First Blood], served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was involved in a hostile shoot-out with the Vietcong the same night he was informed by his sergeant that a plane was leaving the day next day to take him home. It landed in San Francisco at midnight and they dump him out in the street. Twelve hours before that he was engaged in combat in another part of the world, now he’s wandering the dark street of San Francisco with no one to greet him.”
-Director Ted Kotcheff, during an interview at www.heyuguys.com
It was discovered years ago by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, authors of the book Stolen Valor, that Dennehy’s claims of Vietnam service were BS:
“The actor publicly maintained for years that he was a Vietnam veteran. Dennehy told a New York Times reporter in 1989 that he had suffered a concussion and shrapnel wounds during combat. In a Playboy interview in 1993, Dennehy was described as serving a ‘five-year’ tour as a Marine in Vietnam, where he suffered minor wounds in combat.”
“He was on active duty from September 15th, 1959 to June 4th,1963. His military record contains no Vietnam Service Medal, no Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, no Combat Action Ribbon, no Purple Heart, and no transit orders showing him going to Vietnam. His records show no indication Dennehy was ever wounded, unless he suffered a sprained knee from his duty on his only overseas assignment– as a Marine football player in Okinawa during 1962.”
The authors wrote a letter to Dennehy’s agent about the ‘discrepancies’ in Dennehy’s Vietnam stories. At the suggestion of the agent, they also wrote Dennehy, who never responded.