Air Force veteran John Pierson of Roseburg poses for a photograph at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex in December. Pierson, a U.S. Air Force search and rescue Vietnam veteran has a small role as a bagpipe player in the film, “The Last Full Measure,” a movie based on the true story of U.S. Air Force Pararescueman William H. Pitsenbarger, who helped save as many as 60 men during the Vietnam War.

”The Last Full Measure,” a film about an Air Force hero with Douglas County connections, will have its final showing Thursday in a two-week run at Roseburg Cinema.

The film tells the story of Air Force Airman First Class William H. Pitsenbarger of Dayton, Ohio, who descended from a helicopter April 11, 1966, into one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Despite being repeatedly shot, he refused to be helicoptered to safety, choosing instead to drag wounded Army soldiers to a litter to be lifted to safety. He never returned home.

Pitsenbarger, known as “Pits,” received a Medal of Honor 34 years after the fact, after survivors fought to ensure he received the award.

1957 Roseburg High School graduate Dave Milsten was on the same mission in another helicopter and helped ensure Pits finally received the medal. In the movie, Milsten and another person are mingled into the character Tulley, played by William Hurt.

John Pierson of Roseburg makes a brief appearance in the movie, marching with his bagpipes. Pierson is president of Military Honors by the Pipes, Inc.

The last showtimes for the movie are at 3:40 p.m. and 9:35 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Roseburg Cinema Vice President of Operations Daryn McLennan said the movie was well attended, and that two weeks is a pretty standard run.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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