Radioactive Veteran” tells the story of the military’s nuclear testing and its consequences for one veteran and his widow. The filmmakers hope “Radioactive Veteran” will raise awareness of the legal challenges radiated veterans have faced and compel viewers to demand justice for all veterans.
About The Project
“Radioactive Veteran” is a documentary short that offers a new look at nuclear fallout in America.
Donald Guy was a Marine in the early 1950s when the military ordered him to the Nevada Test Site, where they had begun conducting nuclear testing. Along with thousands of other Marines and soldiers, Donald was assured he was safe as he gazed at the billowing mushroom cloud and marched through the desert toward the atomic blast. Within only a few years, however, Donald began experiencing serious medical issues resulting from radiation exposure and soon became disabled. For the rest of his life, he fought for disability benefits with Veterans Affairs, but in 2009 he died before receiving his due compensation. For the next seven years, Donald’s widow Mary continued his fight for justice.
After veterans attorney and law professor Craig Kabatchnick began representing Donald and Mary in 2007, Kabatchnick became convinced the story of America’s radiated veterans needed to be told on a broad scale. He published a widely cited law article in 2013 and then began assembling the resources for a documentary film. In 2014 his student Mark Wampler, a Marine Corps veteran himself, joined the project as director. Two years later filmmaker Bradley Bethel came on as producer, and the team decided to begin with a short film.
“Radioactive Veteran” tells the story of the military’s nuclear testing and its consequences for Donald and Mary Guy, and the filmmakers are currently raising funds to complete postproduction. After releasing the short film, they hope to extend the project into a feature,Radioactive Veterans. The production team hopes the films will raise awareness of the legal challenges radiated veterans have faced and compel viewers to demand justice for all veterans. Both the short film and the planned feature are projects of the American Hero Legal Defense Fund.
About This Team
Mark Wampler (Director) served in the Marine Corps Reserves and is a recent graduate of North Carolina Central University School of Law. He began working on “Radioactive Veteran” while in law school, studying under executive producer Craig Kabatchnick.
Bradley Bethel (Producer) is the writer and director of the award-winning documentary feature Unverified: The Untold Story Behind the UNC Scandal. In addition to “Radioactive Veteran,” Bradley is currently producing a documentary short about the first black mayor of a white town in the South.
Craig Kabatchnick (Executive Producer) is the Director of the Veterans Law Program at the North Carolina Central University School of Law. “Radioactive Veteran” is based on Professor Kabatchnik’s widely cited law review article “Radioactive Veterans: A New Look at the Nuclear History of America.”
Ned Phillips (Associate Director & Cinematographer) is a Durham-based filmmaker who has been the director of photography for multiple documentaries, and this summer he will be directing a documentary about Costa Rica’s last tradional midwife.
Caleb Childers (Editor) is the creative director of Malachi Films and is the director of photography for a documetary feature about the families of the three Muslim students murdered in Chapel Hill.
Gabriel Pelli & Mark Simonsen (Composers) are longtime friends and bandmates in the seminal pop noir band The Old Ceremony and have have been composing, performing, and recording original music together for many years.
Charlie Morris (Assistant Producer) is a self-taught photographer and videomaker who enjoys creating content for small businesses, social movements, humanitarian causes, and environmental groups.