Vietnam War-era Navy SEALs rediscover their combat interpreter


After 45 years the US Navy SEALs finally rediscover their combat interpreter, fulfilling their creed to "leave no one behind"

The passing of Minh

December 24, 2019

It is with great sadness and deep respect we announce the passing of a true hero and wonderful man and friend, Nguyen Hoang Minh. 

We are grateful for his service, his loyalty and his smile. All of us involved in the making of this film and surely all who served with him will never forget him and his heroism and many acts of kindness. Sending messages of condolence to his family, friends and all whose lives he touched in person or through this film .



A BOND UNBROKEN screening at the Intrepid Museum

Monday June 24th, 2019


Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

includes light reception

Film will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, Navy SEALS featured in the film and advocates for wartime allies.

Free advance registration. For more information and to register visit

Onsite in Vietnam
Onsite in Vietnam

About the Film



A Bond Unbroken is a film that tells a rare positive story to come out of the anguish of the Vietnam War.

Narrated by world-renowned broadcaster Bob Woodruff, and featuring a song written for the film by Grammy winner Rob Thomas, A Bond Unbroken spans a period of war and culminates in the moving reunion of the U.S. Navy SEALS and their Vietnamese combat interpreter Nguyen Hoang Minh. Warriors reunited for the first time in more than 40 years at the Navy SEAL Museum in Ft. Pierce.

The SEAL Museum, the SEAL Foundation and UDT-SEAL Association all support the film project and have given the filmmakers extraordinary access to their archives and to the Little Creek, Virginia and Coronado, California Naval bases to conduct exclusive interviews. The film contains original film footage shot during the war by one of the SEALs who worked with Minh.


Director & Cast

Director Mary Ann Koenig working with cast members Captain Robert "Pete" Peterson US Navy SEAL (ret.) and Captain Rick Woolard US Navy SEAL (ret.) aboard a boat on the Ben Tre Canal, Vietnam


The History

This documentary came out of a recognition that the story was too special to be left untold. A Vietnamese combat interpreter who worked with the Navy SEALs during the war was about to meet them again for the first time in 40 years. Additionally, finding out that the battle-tough, super-covert warrior SEALs have hearts of gold, was an element that made the story particularly compelling. They raise money to support their old colleague and his family in Vietnam. The time-frame to film the reunion, interview many of those involved, and to take a crew and two SEAL officers back to Vietnam to see their old friend again, was over three years. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have access to the story and the people, full of admiration and gratitude for an old comrade. I just wanted the world to know about it. 


Minh's story, a remarkable tale of perseverance and a testament to combat brotherhood

About Us

Captain Robert "Pete" Peterson Navy SEAL (ret.)


SEAL Captain Robert “Pete” Peterson is a pioneer in development of Naval Special Warfare operational concepts. With two tours in Vietnam, with Special Operations Group and as commander of SEAL Team TWO 7th Platoon, he led approximately 100 combat missions. He received the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star with combat V, and the Presidential Unit Citation. He holds a Master’s in International Security Affairs from Naval Postgraduate School where he was selected as class honor graduate. He lives in Austin, Texas and Florida with his wife. They have a son and two grandchildren.

Captain Rick Woolard Navy SEAL (ret.)


SEAL Captain Rick Woolard joined the Navy after graduating from Colgate University and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. Over his 30-year Naval career he commanded SEAL Teams TWO and SIX and received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts. He’s the former President of the Special Operations Fund, a non-profit organization that supports widows and children of Special Operations units and serves on the board of the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he spearheaded the construction of the country’s only Navy SEAL Monument. 

About Us

Nguyen Hoang Minh


Nguyen Hoang Minh grew up near Saigon, he learned English in High School, and from his father who spoke the language well.  As a young man Minh joined the Navy and had the rank of seaman. He moved to My Tho, left the Navy in the late 1960’s and became a translator, and worked independently with the Navy SEALs beginning in late 1967 and continuing until 1971.  He still lives in My Tho where he is retired. 

Captain Ron Yeaw Navy SEAL (ret.)


SEAL Captain Ronald E. Yeaw A retired U.S. Navy captain within the Naval Special Warfare Community. His work included commands of Underwater Demolition Team 21 and SEAL Team SIX, the world’s premier maritime counter terrorist force. Served three combat tours in Vietnam, was chief of staff of the Counterterrorist Joint Task Force, earning Superior Service Medal, Navy Legion of Merit; Defense and Navy Meritorious Service medals; and a Purple Heart. He‘s a graduate of the National War College and the U.S. Navy Command and Staff War College, earned an M.A. in National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and attended several specialized training schools. 

John Donovan former U.S. Navy Lieutenant


Former U.S. Navy Lieutenant John Dononvan served in Vietnam in 1967 with River Section 531.  He first returned to Vietnam 1999 and has gone back nearly every year since. A consultant in corporate strategy in health care with international clientele, he helps promote business in Vietnam, including in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. He created the Loving House Project, (now Compassion House Project) a charity that raises funds to build homes for needy Vietnamese families.  

About the MUSIC & The Narration

Rob Thomas & Captain Rick Woolard US Navy SEAL (retired)


Multiple Grammy winning international star Rob Thomas contributed his haunting song THE GREAT UNKNOWN to the film. It is availalble on his album of the same name 

Ben Talmi


Ben composed and performs the original score

Bob Woodruff


Broadcaster and world  renown ABC journalist Bob Woodruff narrated the film and recorded his contribution from locations around the world

ABC News story by Bob Woodruff on This Week with George Stephanopoulos about A Bond Unbroken

Director Mary Ann Koenig interviewed by Donna Drake on Live It Up!

ABC News World News Tonight coverage of A Bond Unbroken

Links Below


Available on DVD and download


Distributed by Cinedigm

Get it at iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble (B&,,, and wherever you buy your DVDs and downloads.



The Filmmakers


Mary Ann Koenig is a writer and filmmaker and has directed, written and produced the documentary, A Bond Unbroken, the story of Vietnam War–era Navy SEALs and a reunion with their combat interpreter. She’s written for the Los Angeles Times and KOST Radio, and currently is a feature contributor for TCPalm Newsweekly (a regional USA Today publication.) She has co-authored, with former Navy SEAL and CIA operative James M. Hawes, a memoir entitled Cold War Navy SEAL, My Story of Che Guevara, War in the Congo, and the Communist Threat in Africa, published by Skyhorse Publishing in 2018. She has a BA in History from London Metropolitan University and a Master’s in Modern European Studies from Columbia University. She’s fluent in Spanish, has lived and worked in Mexico, Spain, Israel and the U.K., and has volunteered at the Bronx VA Hospital for more than 10 years.


Rick Dobbis is an entertainment executive with global experience, advancing the careers of such artists as Beyonce, U2, Andrea Bocelli and the Rolling Stones. From the U.K. he headed PolyGram’s European operations, and as President of Sony Music International, based in New York, he led a reorganization of Sony’s affiliate and management structure ensuring successful competition in the digital world. He is an Executive Producer and Producer of A Bond Unbroken, a feature-length documentary. His independent company, R-DOG, produces live music, animation, television and supports music education.

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A Bond Unbroken