A Documentary Directed By Andrew J Gonzales and Produced By Laura Varela
PBS TELEVISION BROADCAST 2024
American Sons centers around Cpl. JV Villarreal, from the Westside of San Antonio. While at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, his leadership helped create a close Marine brotherhood with other young recruits.
Following their training, JV and his brothers were assigned to India Battery 3/12, attached to the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines. In May 2010, they deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Later that year, at only 22 years old, JV was killed in action after stepping on an IED, the youngest of four casualties in his unit.
During his combat journey, JV used a personal video camera to document his experience and share it with his family and friends back home. His intimate and heartfelt video diary accentuates both the tragedy of a life lost so young while painting a picture of events his surviving brothers endured.
JV and his Marine Brothers’ story lies at the heart of American Sons, exploring war combat’s lasting effect on communities and soldiers’ transition to civilian life.