Franklin World War II Veteran Focus of New Documentary - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Franklin World War II Veteran Focus of New Documentary

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by Emily Luxen

FRANKLIN, Tenn.- A Franklin man now has the distinction of being a member of the Greatest Generation, a war hero, and now a movie star.

A new full-length documentary, called "Jimmy Gentry's  Tribute To The Foot Soldier," debuted at the Franklin Theatre Monday night.  It features the story of Gentry's service in World War II.

Most know Gentry from Gentry's Farm in Franklin, but his emotional firsthand account of his time serving in World War II continues to captivate people across the country.  Cameras rolled as he made his speech to a group of Fort Campbell soldiers recently in Franklin.  Now the story is preserved on film for future generations to hear.

"I am just sharing history with people," said Gentry, "I went 40 years without talking about it, and now I'm sharing it with everybody."

Gentry was a member of the 42nd Infantry Division with the Army, and was one of the first foot soldiers to liberate thousands of prisoners from the infamous Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

"It was an unbelievable scene that I didn't fully understand until later."

At age 87, Gentry said it is becoming harder to accept all the speaking requests he gets each week.  He hopes having his story preserved on film will ensure more people get to hear it.

 "I lived through the depression and World War II," said Gentry. "I can't think of anything more important to modern history than those two eras."

The documentary should be finalized by November 20th.  Producers hope the film will be used primarily by schools, but they hope to eventually have a version available for purchase.

Last year, the Franklin Theatre also honored Gentry on Veteran's Day.  His first documentary, "An American Adventure: The Living Legacy of Jimmy Gentry," was featured.

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