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					Dan Rather Reports
Episode Number: 328

Episode Title: A Sudden Explosion

Description: Why are consumer gas cans exploding? There are millions of them in
homes all across the country, but critics charge they can easily explode under the right
conditions and that most of the cans could be made safe with an inexpensive filter; also,
recruiting US Marines in wartime.

A SUDDEN EXPLOSION:

                            DAN RATHER (ON CAMERA)

GOOD EVENING. TONIGHT, YOU WILL HEAR DISTURBING CHARGES ABOUT
A PRODUCT THAT’S IN HOMES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. A PRODUCT THAT
MANY SAY IS UNSAFE AND IS CAPABLE OF EXPLODING… SEVERELY
BURNING OR KILLING ADULTS AND CHILDREN WITH NO WARNING.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THE PRODUCT IN QUESTION IS THIS RED, PLASTIC CONTAINER USED
MOSTLY FOR HOME STORAGE OF GASOLINE. EVERY YEAR, THERE ARE
MORE THAN A MILLION GAS CANS SOLD FOR ANY WHERE FROM TWO TO
FIFTEEN DOLLARS IN STORES LIKE WAL-MART.

                               RATHER (ON CAMERA)

CRITICS ARGUE THE GAS CANS ARE TICKING TIME BOMBS BECAUSE, THEY
SAY, AN ESSENTIAL SAFETY COMPONENT IS MISSING THAT WOULD MAKE
THEM MUCH SAFER. THAT COMPONENT WOULD COST LESS THAN A
DOLLAR PER CAN TO MAKE AND INSTALL SAY THE CRITICS. THE GAS CAN
MANUFACTURERS, AND THOSE WHO SELL THE PRODUCT SAY PLASTIC
CONTAINERS ARE ONLY UNSAFE WHEN PEOPLE MISUSE THEM OR WHEN
PARENTS AREN’T WATCHING THEIR CHILDREN. BUT FOR ANYONE
BURNED BY GASOLINE, THE LEGAL AND SCIENTIFIC DEBATE OVER WHY
TAKES A BACK SEAT TO THE EVERY DAY REALITY OF TRYING TO HEAL.


                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

FROM A DISTANCE, LANDON BEADORE LOOKS LIKE ANY OTHER EIGHT-
YEAR-OLD BOY BRIMMING WITH SO MUCH ENERGY HE CAN HARDLY
STAND STILL.

                                            1
                       PAUL BEADORE, LANDON’S FATHER

You almost landed on your feet, dude.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

LANDON’S FATHER PAUL BEADORE SAYS, LIKE MOST YOUNGSTERS HIS
SON’S AGE, LANDON IS A BUDDING ATHLETE.

                                   PAUL BEADORE

Landon likes his bicycle. He has two or three of them actually. He’s a very smart child.
He does very well academically. He’s a wiz at math. And he’s a very magnetic
personality.

                        LANDON BEADORE, BURN VICTIM

Stop

                                LANDON’S BROTHER

Are you ok Landon?

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BUT LANDON IS NOT LIKE MOST KIDS. HE WAS SEVERELY DISABLED FIVE
YEARS AGO WHEN A GAS CAN EXPLODED SETTING HIM ON FIRE, BURNING
47 PERCENT OF HIS BODY.

                                        LANDON
Stop!

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THE DAY THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED, PAUL SAYS, WAS A DAY LIKE ANY
OTHER FOR THE THREE-YEAR-OLD.

                                   PAUL BEADORE

Landon is mom’s official little helper . His duty when Mom begins to mow or gets ready
to mow, is to pick up toys off the yard.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)




                                            2
LANDON CARRIED HIS TOYS AND HIS SISTER’S TRICYCLE TO THE CELLAR
RIGHT NEXT TO THE YARD AND, LIKE MANY PEOPLES’ BASEMENTS, IT
ALSO INCLUDED THE WASHER AND DRYER, TOOLS, A WATER HEATER
AND A GASOLINE CONTAINER.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

Landon was putting the bike in the cellar way, accidentally tipped over a gas can. Vapors
from the gas can went along the cellar floor and there was an ignition and a fire occurred.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THE EXPLOSION WAS HEARD BY HIS UPSTATE-NEW YORK NEIGHBORS
AND HIS MOTHER MELISSA, WHO WAS A FEW YARDS AWAY. SHE TURNED
TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED AND SAW THE CELLAR ENGULFED IN FLAMES.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

He was trapped in the cellar screaming for his mom and he couldn’t move, that’s what he
told me. “I couldn’t move dad.”

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

LANDON’S SHOES AND FEET MELTED INTO THE FLOOR HOLDING HIM
CAPTIVE TO THE RAGING FIRE. HIS MOTHER CARRIED LANDON’S BURNING
BODY OUTSIDE AND SOON AFTER THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ARRIVED.
LATER THAT DAY, AMONG THE SCATTERED AND CHARRED REMAINS OF
TOYS AND FURNITURE, PAUL SAW SOMETHING THAT CAUGHT HIS EYE.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

It was laying on the ground, I saw it plain as day a huge hole in the side of the gas can.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

LANDON’S FATHER SAYS THE ACCIDENT WAS A CONFLUENCE OF EVENTS.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

Landon’s accident was caused by many, many different things or situations. A faulty gas
can is one of them.

                            DIANE BRENEMAN, LAWYER

Vapors from the gas can got back to the hot water heater pilot light. It flashed back
inside the can and then the can itself exploded

                                              3
                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)


DIANE BRENEMAN IS A PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY BASED IN KANSAS CITY,
MISSOURI WHO HAS REPRESENTED SEVERAL CHILDREN BURNED OR
KILLED BY GAS CAN EXPLOSIONS. AND THIS TEST VIDEO, SHOWS WHAT
SHE MEANS BY EXPLOSION. IT’S MUCH MORE THAN JUST ROARING
FLAMES FROM POURING GAS ON AN OPEN FIRE. BRENEMAN SAYS THE
EXPLOSION SPRAYS BURNING GASOLINE ON ANYONE NEAR BY.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BRENEMAN REPRESENTS LANDON AND HIS FAMILY. SHE THINKS A GAS
CAN IS THE CAUSE OF HIS BURNS.

                                  DIANE BRENEMAN

There’s actually a round hole in the back of that can that you can see. And once that can
exploded, then not only is Landon in the midst of a flash fire, but he’s covered in
gasoline, he’s immolated. And there’s nothing worse.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

LANDON WAS AIRLIFTED TO WESTCHESTER BURN CENTER NEAR NEW
YORK CITY.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

Some of the burns were so severe they call them “full thickness burns.” Full thickness
burns are where the fire burns through every layer of your skin and burns into your tissue.
He had full thickness burns on his right side and his chest, his right leg, his right arm and
his right hand were severely burned disabling him severely. After about six to seven
weeks, they had to remove Landon’s right ear because they couldn’t save it. But they
saved his life. They saved his life.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BRENEMAN HAS A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON THESE CASES. AS A FORMER
DEFENSE LAWYER FOR A UTILITY COMPANY SHE FOUGHT AGAINST
PLAINTIFF LAWSUITS THAT INVOLVED CHILDREN WHO WERE BURNED.
SHE SAYS THAT PLASTIC GAS CANS ARE NOT BUILT FOR SAFETY.

                                       BRENEMAN




                                             4
They really don’t have any additional safety features on them that you would expect that
the can or container for the most toxic and flammable substances used in and around our
home would have. There’s really been little safety engineering go into the design of
those cans.

                                          RATHER

Frankly before we got in with this story, I had only vaguely, if at all, heard about this
problem. How big a problem is it? Or is it a big problem?

                                       BRENEMAN

Well, it is an incredibly serious problem. And it’s not just serious because of numbers,
but it is serious because of the extent of the injuries. These injuries are the single most
devastating injuries that you can imagine a human being could suffer. One of them is too
many.

                                          RATHER

Well, do we know how many there are each year?

                                       BRENEMAN

Unfortunately, we don’t. And the reason that we don’t, in part is because the
manufacturers don’t report them to our government. So unfortunately, we can’t fully
quantify the extent. I can tell you there have been lots of lawsuits.

                         DAVID JONES, BLITZ USA LAWYER

All of these accidents can be avoided if the consumers heed the warnings; if they use
common sense with respect to gasoline.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

DAVID JONES IS A LAWYER FOR OKLAHOMA-BASED BLITZ USA, THE
LARGEST U.S. MANUFACTURER OF CONSUMER-STYLE GAS CANS.

                                           JONES

The only proper use for gasoline is to run an internal combustion engine. That’s the only
proper purpose. And always store gasoline outside of the reach of children whether you
have kids in the home or not. Keep the gasoline can out of the home. Keep it away from
ignition sources. And don’t pour it on a fire or use it to start a fire from a can, from a tin
up, it doesn’t matter.

                                          RATHER

                                              5
When we talk about what you consider to be improper use of the cans, the reality is that
people do use these containers and the gasoline in them to help start campfires, to burn
wet wood, trash and a whole host of other things that they use them for. You know that, I
know that, Blitz knows that. So question: why not make the gasoline containers as safe
as possible for the kind of use that so many people put to them?

                                          JONES

The gasoline containers are made in the safest manner possible, even understanding the
potential misuse of using gasoline to start or accelerate a fire. There’s no design
modification that would make this gasoline container any safer than it is right now.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JUSTIN HOWERTON DISAGREES. HE WAS A 12 YEARS OLD BOY WHO LIVED
ON A MISSOURI FARM WHEN ON MARCH 17, 2002, HIS LIFE CHANGED
FOREVER. DIANE BRENEMAN REPRESENTS JUSTIN AND HIS MOTHER IN A
LAWSUIT AGAINST BLITZ.

                                       BRENEMAN

There had been a bad ice storm and he had helped his mom gather up all of the branches
and make a big pile of them. And he got the bright idea that he was gonna go out and
help his mom, be a big kid and burn the pile for her. So he went outside and he put
gasoline on the pile and he lit it. And the wood was wet, so nothing happened. So he
picked up the can again to pour some more gasoline on it and unfortunately the vapors
ignited, flashed back to that can, and he did something that I think you can imagine
almost any small child doing. The nozzle was on fire and he leaned forward to it, whoo,
and he blew at it like you’d blow out a candle.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JUSTIN SAYS HE NEVER READ THE WARNING ON THE GAS CAN NOT TO
USE GASOLINE AS A FIRE ACCELERANT. HE SAYS HE WILL NEVER
FORGET WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.

                         JUSTIN HOWERTON, BURN VICTIM

It sounded like a bomb you see on movies, it sounded really loud, take an M80 blow it up
right next to your ear, that what it sounded like, you just couldn’t smell any thing, but you
could taste the gas.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)




                                             6
JUSTIN’S MOTHER LORI RAN OUTSIDE, JUMPED ON HER SON AND ROLLED
HIM ON THE GROUND TO EXTINGUISH THE FIRE. THEN SHE PUT JUSTIN,
WHO WAS IN SHOCK, IN THE CAR AND DROVE TO THE NEAREST POLICE
STATION.

                                           JUSTIN

I really couldn’t feel it until I got there, that’s when it started burning. Kinda looking
down and you see all the skin coming off my hands and looking in the mirror and my
face is just melting off. So it’s kind of - that’s what scared me the most.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JUSTIN WAS TAKEN TO CHILDREN’S MERCY HOSPITAL BURN UNIT IN
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI WHERE HE STAYED FOR THREE MONTHS WHILE
DOCTORS AND NURSES TRIED TO TREAT HIS WOUNDS. BUT ALL THEIR
EFFORTS SEEMED TO FALL SHORT.

                                           JUSTIN

I wanted the pain to go away, so I just wanted to give up, I was tired of it. Tired of
fighting it, so just ready for it to go away, so I figured it’d be time for me to go away, just
go ahead and quit now. But of course I didn’t.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JUSTIN FACES A LIFE TIME OF PAIN NOT ONLY DUE TO THE NUMEROUS
SURGERIES TO STRETCH HIS BURNED SKIN, BUT ALSO FROM THE
EMOTIONAL UPHEAVAL THAT GOES ALONG WITH BEING DISFIGURED. ALL
BECAUSE OF A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT THAT COULD BE FIXED, SAYS
BRENEMAN.

                                        BRENEMAN

The fix is something called a flame arrestor. It’s been around for about 200 years. And
all it is is a piece of either mesh or metal with holes poked in it.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

FORENSIC ENGINEER LORI HASSLEBRING WITH HOUSTON-BASED STRESS
ENGINEERING SERVICES SHOWED US HOW A FLAME ARRESTOR IS
SUPPOSED TO WORK.

                     LORI HASSELBRING, FORENSIC ENGINEER




                                               7
So if you turn the flame on, you’ll notice it goes right through this screen. So you’re
gonna get burned and the gas can’s gonna explode. So we don’t use it with these wide
holes, wide mesh. Now if you go to a finer mesh, the big flame will turn into smaller
flames. It dissipates the heat.

                                        RATHER

And the flame doesn’t appear on the other side.

                                    HASSELBRING

It doesn’t come on the other side. I can actually make it go out. And the flame – it will
go out every time.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

OVER TWO CENTURIES AGO, HASSELBRING SAYS, SIR HUMPHREY DAVY
SET OUT TO PREVENT MINING EXPLOSIONS CAUSED BY MINERS LAMPS.
MINERS WERE KILLED WHEN THEY HIT POCKETS OF EXPLOSIVE GASES IN
MINES THAT WERE IGNITED BY THE FLAMES IN THEIR LAMPS. AFTER
DAVY EQUIPPED THE LAMPS WITH FLAME ARRESTORS THE LAMPS NO
LONGER CAUSED EXPLOSIONS. TODAY FLAME ARRESTORS ARE USED ON
MANY DIFFERENT THINGS INCLUDING CERTAIN BACARDI RUM BOTTLES
LIKE THIS ONE.

                                    HASSELBRING

Now, this is one of the latest ones and novel ones that I’ve seen. And I’ve only seen it on
the Bacardi 151 rum.

                                        RATHER
So it’s 151 proof.

                                    HASSELBRING

Right. Which means the alcohol content is 75.5 percent. And they even call it flame
arrestor. They’ve got little arrows that point up here. And they said “Do not Puncture.”
And what they’ve done is they’ve put a little piece of metal they’ve got perforations
there. So if you wanna make a flaming dessert, you know, and you’re gonna pour rum in
it, you don’t have to worry about the flames going into the bottle and having the same
kind of explosion.

                               RATHER (ON CAMERA)

ENGINEER HASSELBRING SAYS THAT WAS THE KIND OF THING CONSUMER
REPORTS MAGAZINE WAS WORRIED ABOUT WHEN THE MAGAZINE WROTE

                                             8
ABOUT THE SAFETY OF CONSUMER GASOLINE CANS IN 1973 QUOTE -
SHOULD FUMES OUTSIDE THE GAS CAN IGNITE AS YOU POUR OR FILL, A
FLASHBACK FIRE IS POSSIBLE THAT COULD IGNITE THE CONTENTS OF THE
CAN ITSELF. SUCH ACCIDENTS CAN BE PREVENTED BY A FLAME
ARRESTER, WHICH WE THINK SHOULD BE LEGALLY REQUIRED IN ALL
OPENINGS LIKE THESE - END QUOTE.

                              RATHER (VOICE OVER)

EIGHT YEARS LATER, THE MAGAZINE WROTE ABOUT THE PROBLEM
AGAIN SAYING THAT QUOTE - POURING GASOLINE IN THE PRESENCE OF
EVEN THE SMALLEST OPEN FLAME IS ASKING FOR TROUBLE. SHOULD THE
GASOLINE IGNITE, FLAMES COULD RACE UP THE STREAM OF FUEL AND
INTO THE CONTAINER, CAUSING A DEVASTATING EXPLOSION. A FLAME
ARRESTER - A FINE WIRE MESH IN THE POUR OPENING – COULD PREVENT
THE HAZARD - END QUOTE.

                                      RATHER
And was anything done about it.

                                    BRENEMAN

Not a thing.

                                      RATHER

Any idea why it went unheeded?

                                    BRENEMAN

I don’t know why it went unheeded. I mean one would have hoped that the Consumer
Product Safety Commission would have also encouraged them or forced the industry to
do the right thing here, and they didn’t.
                                          RATHER

One would have hoped, but did they in fact do anything?

                                    BRENEMAN

They didn’t do a thing.

                              RATHER (VOICE OVER)

ENGINEER HASSELBRING WAS HIRED BY THE PLAINTIFFS TO FIGURE OUT
THE “WHERE, WHEN, WHY, WHAT AND HOW” OF GAS CAN EXPLOSIONS.



                                          9
                                     HASSELBRING

Well when I first started the research I looked up gasoline and how flammable or how
easily does it burn. And there’s what’s called the flammability range or explosion range.
And if gasoline is 1.4 percent in oxygen or 7.6, any where in that range in oxygen, you’re
gonna have an explosion or a fire. So for example, I did the calculations and I found a
five gallon gas can, that’s only a teaspoon of gasoline, so I actually did the experiment. I
put a teaspoon in a five gallon container, I shook it up. I put a candle wick in there, you
know, ignited it and stood back. And sure enough one teaspoon in a five gallon can, it lit
up like a jack o’lantern and it moved about five inches, you know, and I heard a noise.
So I said ok well the flammability range is right.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THE GAS CAN COMPANIES AND SOME OTHERS SAY THAT INTERNAL
COMBUSTION IN A GAS CAN CANNOT OCCUR IF THERE’S MORE THAN A
LITTLE BIT OF GAS IN THE CONTAINER. SO THE SCIENTIFIC PUZZLE
BEFORE HASSELBRING WAS THIS: MANY, IF NOT ALL OF THE ALLEGED
EXPLOSIONS WHERE PEOPLE GOT KILLED OR HURT, HAPPENED WHEN THE
CANS HAD MORE THAN A LITTLE BIT OF GASOLINE IN THEM.

                                     HASSELBRING

And it has to do with the pouring motion. When you pour gas and the gas comes out,
oxygen will come back in. And you will change the concentration above the gas and you
will somewhere in that can you may have just the right, just the right flammability range
and it will ignite and explode.

                                         RATHER

So when you pick up the can to start pouring, maybe you haven’t even started pouring
out yet.

                                     HASSELBRING

You don’t think you are pouring, but vapor might be coming out.

                                         RATHER

So the liquid hasn’t started moving out, but the vapors have started moving out, so if you
have the embers, much less a flame over here, the vapors get to that and then the flame
comes back along a vapor trail to the can and inside the can.

                                     HASSELBRING




                                            10
That’s right. Cause oxygen has been coming in as the vapors have been coming out. And
it’s turbulence in there, you know, the concentration changes.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

HASSELBRING REPLICATED 96 TIMES CONDITIONS THAT CAUSED
INTERNAL COMBUSTION INCLUDING A FLAME SHOOTING OUT OF THE
SPOUT, MOVEMENT OF THE CAN OR, IN ONE CASE, WHERE THE CAN
RUPTURED.

                                          JONES

You know, she opines that she has created internal combustions in gasoline containers on
a regular basis. I have – I have seen Laurie Hasselbrings work. Laurie Hasselbring has
been able to replicate an internal combustion and a rupturing of the can in one instance in
all her tests. People are getting burned when they use gasoline near an open flame, but
they’re getting burned not by reason of a combustion inside of the can and a rupturing of
the can.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

ATTORNEY JONES INVITED US TO TOUR BLITZ’S FACTORY IN MIAMI,
OKLAHOMA WHERE THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE OVER A MILLION
GAS CANS A YEAR DEPENDING ON DEMAND. WE ALSO DISCUSSED WHAT
BLITZ SAYS IT BELIEVES IS GOING ON WITH THESE GAS CAN ACCIDENTS.

                                          JONES

Gasoline is a unique fluid. It is very rich in vapors. In a five gallon can, if there’s more
than one tablespoon of gasoline, it is scientifically impossible to have an internal
combustion of those vapors in that can. And likewise, if there is less than one teaspoon
of gasoline, the vapor mixture in the can is too lean to burn. If you have a five gallon
container with a gallon of gasoline, with a half a gallon of gasoline, with a cup of
gasoline, there’s no way that there can be an internal combustion of the vapors in that gas
can.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JONES SAYS THAT FLASHBACK FIRE INTO THE GAS CAN CAUSING AN
EXPLOSION DOES NOT HAPPEN.

                                         RATHER

So if these explosions are not happening because of flashback, why are they occurring?

                                          JONES

                                            11
Why are the injuries occurring? Well one situation is that people will create a pool of
gasoline around an open flame, external to the can. When the vapors of that pool of
gasoline evaporate and that gasoline ignites that explosion external to the can propels
droplets of gasoline outward. Another thing that has been happening is, if you start a fire
and you leave a gas can near the fire, that gas can is going to heat up…ok. Often times a
fire will die down, people will think that the fire is out, when in fact it’s not out. But that
gas can that sat next to that fire and rapidly heated up, now has a very, very hot gasoline
in the can, hotter sides of the gasoline can. It’s called a BLEVE, type phenomena which
is boiling liquid, expanding vapor explosion. When that happens there can be an over
pressurization of the can by reason of that very rapid vapor expansion and then in that
instance the can can rupture. But it would not be prevented by a flame arrester. There’s
no migrating flame into the can.

                                          RATHER

I wanna understand their point of view, Blitz USA. I have a small plastic gasoline
container. But their contention is that external heat on the container causes the container
to explode from within if you will.

                                      HASSELBRING

Right. And that’s possible, only possible in a metal container and usually when it’s
sealed, okay. But it’s not possible in a container made out of polyethylene and that’s
open.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BUT ATTORNEY JONES SAYS HASSELBRING’S SCIENCE IS WRONG.

                                           JONES

I disagree with the experts that you have talked to. I’ve talked to many experts who’ve
opined that in fact, this is a phenomena that has occurred and that has resulted in injuries
to people.

                                          RATHER

Would you care to name any of those experts?

                                           JONES

You know we’re involved in some litigation. The experts will be called to come testify
in defending Blitz’s product. So I’m not comfortable with talking about exactly who the
experts are or specifically what their opinions are.



                                              12
                                        RATHER

I understand, but you say you don’t think the experts we’ve talking to here are correct.
That you believe you have experts that will prove that they’re not correct.

                                         JONES

Correct.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

SO WE TALKED TO A FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS EXPERT ABOUT THE SAFETY
OF CONSUMER GAS CANS. ARTHUR STEVENS IS AN ADVISER TO THE
NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION.

               ARTHUR STEVENS, FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS EXPERT

Mr. or Mrs. Consumer, going into the store to purchase a can does not know in reality
what he’s purchasing. I believe internal explosions can and do occur in consumer gas
cans.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

STEVENS ALSO IS A FORMER PRESIDENT OF JUSTRITE MANUFACTURING, A
SAFETY GAS CAN MAKER – THE KIND OF GAS CANS USED IN WORKPLACE
SETTINGS LIKE FACTORIES.

                                        STEVENS

The things basically that make the safety can a safety can is the cap which is spring
loaded. You can not walk away from this container with the cap open. As soon as you
let it go it slams shut.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THE OTHER THING THAT MAKES A SAFETY CAN SAFE, ACCORDING TO
STEVENS, IS A FLAME ARRESTER.
.
                            STEVENS

And it is inserted in the spout of the can. And you can see the wire mesh construction. It
will absorb heat from an outside ignition source, so that the vapor space beneath the
arrester in the can will be kept cool and won’t reach the temperature where it could
explode. The typical consumer gasoline can does not incorporate any of those safety
features.



                                            13
                                           JONES

There’s a difference between the consumer style can that we talked about that is used
exclusively to store gasoline and the cans that you are referring to with respect to the
workplace cans, which retail for some where between 40 to 50 dollars. They are not
limited to the storage of gasoline. In fact, there are multiple flammable liquids that may
be stored. These other flammable liquids that can be stored in these workplace style cans
have different flammability limits. And so that- that is really these cans- it’s like
comparing apples and oranges.

                                          RATHER

With the flame arrester, what would it cost to put the flame arrester in the gas can
container?

                                           JONES

I can tell you that I purchased some cylindrical-style flame arresters for use in the
workplace can. For the flame arrester itself it’s 22 dollars.

                                          RATHER

That’s for a workplace can.

                                           JONES

That’s right. That’s right. That’s a true flame arrester which is what the plaintiff’s are
suggesting.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

STEVENS SAYS SAFETY GAS CANS ARE SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE TO
PURCHASE THAN CONSUMER CANS BECAUSE OF THE CAP, NOT THE
FLAME ARRESTOR.

                                         STEVENS

It would cost less than a dollar to manufacture this and install it in the spout of a can of
this type.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

ATTORNEY BRENEMAN SAYS BLITZ COULD GO WITH A SIMPLE PIECE OF
METAL WITH SMALL HOLES. SHE SAYS IT WOULD DO THE TRICK.

                                          RATHER

                                              14
How much would it cost to put a flame arrester in a plastic or otherwise one, one and a
half gallon, two gallon gasoline container?

                                      BRENEMAN

Oh, two to three pennies if you just put the little round piece of metal in the spout. I
mean it’s nothing. And I can’t imagine that consumers would say, “Gee, I don’t want to
spend two to three cents more so that my gas can won’t blow up.”

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

STEVENS RECENTLY BECAME AN EXPERT WITNESS FOR THE PLAINTIFFS
ON A GAS CAN CASE. HE SAYS AMONG THE KEYS TO PREVENTING THESE
ACCIDENTS IS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT WHAT GASOLINE CAN
REALLY DO.

                                       STEVENS

I believe if the consumer were educated and really believed what can happen, he would
spend the extra money to buy a protected can. What mother would not wanna spend an
extra $10, $15 whatever number of dollars it is to protect her children from a possible
catastrophe around the house?

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BUT THE REALITY FOR LANDON IS THAT HE WILL FACE A LIFETIME OF
PAIN AND HEARTACHE.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

Getting burned as severely as Landon did, it’s not like having a broken arm or a leg. You
go to the doctor, they cast you, they fix you up, in a little while, you’re good to go.
Severe burns that he has are a life long battle, a life long process of surgeries.

                                    PAUL BEADORE

What parts did we fix last year?

                                   LANDON BEADORE

I forget.

                                         PAUL

Remember you had all those itchy stitches in you face? Where else?

                                           15
                                          LANDON

I forget. Right here.

                                            PAUL

On his hand.

                                          LANDON

And, on my chest.

                                           JONES

What this litigation about, Mr. Rather, is that plaintiff’s counsel have people that have
been significantly burned. The damages that these people have suffered are significant.
When you put a burned victim up on a witness stand, juries feel sorry for those people.
They wanna help them. That’s just the natural tendency and plaintiff’s lawyers know
that. And they know that despite the liability or the lack of liability to these gas can
manufacturers if I can find an expert that can manipulate the parameters and rupture a can
at minus 25 degrees and I can put a plaintiff up there with significant, horrific, and
painful burn injuries that jury’s gonna feel sorry for them and award them some money
and I’m gonna get rich and so will my expert. And that’s what these cases are about.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

ACCORDING TO ATTORNEY BRENEMAN, ALL OF THE GAS CAN CASES
HAVE BEEN SETTLED OUT OF COURT TO DATE. BUT, SHE SAYS, SHE IS
MOTIVATED BY SOMETHING BESIDES MONEY.

                                        BRENEMAN

I can close my eyes and see the pictures of every kid I’ve ever represented laying in a
burn unit. I don’t wanna do any more of this work, cause I don’t want it to exist any
more. I really wish that they would do that and that’s a big part of the point of this, is to
try to get them to change.

                                            PAUL

He’s doing ok right now. But how is Landon gonna be in ten years down the road?
Twenty years down the road when Landon can think more like an adult and say you
know why? Why did this happen to me? Why have I gotta be so much different than
other people?

                                 RATHER (ON CAMERA)

                                              16
WHEN OUR INVESTIGATION CONTINUES, HOW THESE PLASTIC GAS CANS
ARE BEING SOLD BY THE LARGEST CORPORATION IN THE WORLD. THAT’S
NEXT.

                               RATHER (ON CAMERA)

THE LARGEST CORPORATION IN THE WORLD, WAL-MART, HAS SOLD AT
LEAST HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF GASOLINE CANS OVER THE YEARS.
LAWYER DIANE BRENEMAN AND OTHER CRITICS SAY WAL-MART KNOWS
THEY ARE SELLING AN UNSAFE PRODUCT. WAL-MART FLATLY DENIES IT
BUT BRENEMAN SAYS SHE HAS VIDEOTAPE PROOF THAT THE COMPANY
KNOWS ABOUT THE PROBLEM. AND THAT WAL- MART HAS THE POWER
TO FORCE THE MANUFACTURER TO CHANGE THE CAN DESIGN TO MAKE IT
SAFER.

                                       RATHER

You hold not only the makers of the gasoline containers responsible for making a
dangerous product and having a dangerous product but the sellers as well.

                                      BRENEMAN

Absolutely.
                                       RATHER

Objectively counsel, going too far?

                                      BRENEMAN
Mmm, I don’t think so.

                               RATHER (VOICE OVER)

THAT’S BECAUSE, BRENEMAN SAYS, WAL-MART CAN AND HAS IN THE
PAST REQUIRED ITS SUPPLIERS TO MAKE CHANGES IN PRODUCT DESIGNS
WHEN CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OR THEY THINK IT’S NECESSARY. IF THE
SUPPLIER CAN’T OR WON’T MAKE THE CHANGES, THEN WAL-MART FINDS
A SUPPLIER WHO WILL. THAT WAS THE CASE, SAYS BRENEMAN, WHEN
WAL-MART ASKED BLITZ, THE GASOLINE CAN MANUFACTURER, TO
CHANGE THE DESIGN OF A GAS CAN SPOUT SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

                                       RATHER

What was wrong with the spout?

                                      BRENEMAN

                                          17
Well, Blitz had a design called the “Pull n’ Pour” spout where basically the spout was
inside and you took your finger and you stuck it in and pulled the spout out. The gasoline
would get on your hands when you did that. There were problems with those spouts
leaking. And Wal-Mart went to Blitz and said, “Fix it or we’ll find somebody else.” And
so Blitz did.

                                         RATHER

They have that kind of power because they buy in such mass quantities.

                                       BRENEMAN

Absolutely. That’s part of their business model.

                                         RATHER

And your point is?

                                       BRENEMAN

I mean, here know that we have kids and adults being severely burned or burning to
death. They have the market power to go to Blitz and say, “Fix this.” And there’s no
doubt in my mind that if they did go to Blitz, that Blitz would do it.

                                         RATHER

And if Wal-Mart says we haven’t had any customer complaints to speak of and these
gasoline containers have been selling quite well, thank you.

                                       BRENEMAN

Well, I don’t think that people realize that their container could blow up in their face and
if they did, they would certainly be complaining.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

WHEN WE VISITED THE BLITZ FACTORY IN OKLAHOMA DAVID JONES,
BLITZ’S LAWYER, SHOWED US THE PULL N’ POUR SPOUT.

                                         RATHER

And the complaints about this were, among other things, that you get gasoline on
yourself.

                                          JONES

                                             18
You get gasoline on your hands when you, you know, if this- if the can has appreciable
gasoline this nozzle is recessed into the gas. So you pull it out and twist, then your gonna
have- get some.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BUT BLITZ SAYS WAL-MART HAD ABOUT AS MUCH INPUT IN THE CHANGE
OF THE CAN DESIGN AS DID OTHER CUSTOMERS AND FACTORS,
INCLUDING A NEW STATE EMISSIONS REGULATION AND ADDING A CHILD-
RESISTANT CAP.

                                          JONES

Blitz makes its own business decisions. You know when your customer says, “I’m having
some trouble with your product, its not working as we had hoped it would work. If you
don’t redesign or rework your product, I’m gonna have to buy it from someone else,” and
so the manufacturer redesigns the product. I think that’s probably a responsible business
decision.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

BRENEMAN SAYS, HER CASE WAS STRENGTHENED WHEN SHE LEARNED
WHAT COMPANY EXECUTIVES WERE SAYING AMONGST THEMSELVES
ABOUT THE PRODUCT. BRENEMAN FOUND WHAT SHE CALLS A GOLD MINE
AT FLAGLER PRODUCTIONS. THE COMPANY WAS HIRED TO PRODUCE AND
VIDEOTAPE WAL-MART MEETINGS FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS AND WAS
SUDDENLY DISMISSED IN 2006. THE PRODUCTION COMPANY HAS
AMASSED AN ENORMOUS VIDEO LIBRARY THAT CHRONICLES THE
GROWTH OF WHAT IS NOW THE LARGEST CORPORATION IN THE WORLD.
SURPRISINGLY WAL-MART HAD NO WRITTEN CONTRACT WITH FLAGLER.
BRENEMAN SAYS, SHE WAS STUNNED WHEN SHE LEARNED THAT THE
PRODUCTION COMPANY HAD VIDEOTAPE OF EXECUTIVES TALKING
ABOUT THE BLITZ GAS CANS, INCLUDING ONE VIDEO THAT LOOKED LIKE
A LATE-NIGHT TELEVISION SKIT.

                                      BRENEMAN

Wal-Mart has its four top executives making a mock commercial, something like what
you might see on Saturday Night Live about this Blitz gas can that injured these children.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

HERE’S ONE OF THEM.

                               WAL-MART EXECUTIVE

                                            19
If we could roll that video.

                               WAL-MART EXECUTIVE

So I went camping with my buddy Don a few weeks ago. We’re trying to start a fire. But
the wood was too wet. Don suggested that for kindling we use his VPI mattress pad. So
I told Don to put your little blankie away. And I got out my I-GAS. Torched it. Boom, it
fired right up. Later, we made some smores. It was really good times. My name’s Bob.
I sell money orders. Eat cheese nips. And start fires.

                                       BRENEMAN

They showed that mock commercial not only to their managers, but they showed it to all
of their suppliers at a supplier meeting. So they did intend for people outside of the
company to see it and they were quite proud of it apparently.

                                         RATHER

A lot of people see this and say, “Well, its just company guys, you know, doing their
thing on the inside.”

                                       BRENEMAN

The significance is, they say, “we can’t imagine that a consumer would ever be so stupid
as to use a gas can to start a bonfire. What was this twelve year old boy thinking about?”
Well, their own executives are joking around about doing exactly the same thing.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

AND THAT 12 YEAR OLD BOY WAS JUSTIN HOWERTON. HE TRIED TO BURN
A PILE OF WET WOOD USING GAS FROM A BLITZ CAN AFTER A BAD ICE
STORM. HE POURED SOME GAS ON THE WET WOOD AND WHEN IT
WOULDN’T BURN HE STARTED TO POUR AGAIN, BUT FIRE FLASHED BACK
INTO THE CAN AND IT EXPLODED, SAYS BRENEMAN, BECAUSE IT DID NOT
HAVE A FLAME ARRESTER. JUSTIN ALMOST DIED AND HAS SEVERE
BURNS ALL OVER HIS BODY.

                                          JUSTIN

At 12 years old I wouldn’t have thought gas could explode like that you know. I didn’t
know anything about the vapors. You ask a grown man now, he still won’t know about
it. I didn’t know at 12 years old I didn’t think it was supposed to do that. If I would have
known that I wouldn’t have done it.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

                                             20
WAL-MART SPENT MUCH OF 2003 TRYING TO BOOST THE SALE OF THE
BLITZ GAS CAN. EXECUTIVES PUSHED THE PRODUCT AT ONE OF THE
ANNUAL SALES MEETINGS.

                                            RATHER

It was to be one of those things that gets traffic through the store and everybody comes in
the store or a lotta people say, “Boy, that’s a good price on that. I’m gonna pick it up.”

                                           BRENEMAN

Exactly. I mean the idea is that they have products in their store that they don’t think are
performing as well as they can, and so they target them, and get everybody excited about
selling them and see if they can increase the sales.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

AT THIS ANNUAL MEETING, WAL-MART EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING A BIG
SHOW OF THE BLITZ GASOLINE CANS WHEN A WAL-MART EMPLOYEE
CRASHES INTO A GAS CAN DISPLAY.

                                WAL-MART EMPLOYEES

Oh no. Ohh.

                                 WAL-MART EMPLOYEE

Whose gas can was that?

                                WAL- MART EXECUTIVE

It’s a great gas can. It didn’t explode.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

IF YOU MISSED THAT. HERE IT IS AGAIN.

                                WAL-MART EMPLOYEES

Oh no. Oh.

                                 WAL-MART EMPLOYEE

Whose gas can was that?



                                              21
                                WAL-MART EXECUTIVE

It’s a great gas can. It didn’t explode.

                                           BRENEMAN

Wal-Mart claims that these cans can’t explode. But apparently their executives know
other wise.

                                            RATHER

Because he said “It didn’t explode,” that he knew there’d been complaints that it did
explode.

                                           BRENEMAN

I can’t imagine that he didn’t. I mean Blitz was their supplier of gas cans. This was the
Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Blitz had been sued repeatedly for this
problem at the point in time that he made that statement. Their position that gas cans
can’t explode really isn’t credible. Their own executives know that that’s not the case.

                                 RATHER (VOICE OVER)

WAL-MART DECLINED TO DO AN INTERVIEW WITH US. BUT DAPHNE
MOORE, WAL-MART’S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR SENT US THIS E-
MAIL. QUOTE - PRODUCT SAFETY IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR US, AND WE
REGULARLY WORK WITH SUPPLIERS AND REGULATORS TO DELIVER SAFE
PRODUCTS TO OUR CUSTOMERS. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE
HOWERTON CASE ARE VERY SAD. BECAUSE OF THE ONGOING
LITIGATION, I CANNOT GO INTO FURTHER DETAILS OF THE MATTER - END
QUOTE.

                                            RATHER

Now let me stand back from the company’s position and take the - what must be going
though some people’s minds. But these accidents were caused by parental neglect or the
people that actually got hurt. It was their responsibility to know that gasoline can cause
trouble and this is life. They made bad decisions.

                                           BRENEMAN

Well, you know, that’s just it. This is life and in life as much as we all try we can’t watch
our children 100 percent of the time. In life every once and a while the phone rings, you
have a yard to mow. These were the crimes that these ordinary consumers committed on
those days just basically attending to the duties of life. And now they suffer and their
children suffer for the rest of their lives for it.

                                              22
                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

FIVE YEARS AFTER JUSTIN HOWERTON WAS BURNED, HE IS DUE FOR
ANOTHER ROUND OF NECK SURGERY THIS FALL.

                                          JUSTIN

I got it done twice, I’m gonna have to get it done a third time because it’s keeping me
from mobility from side to side and up and you know and just like I can only go so far
without it starting to pull and stretch hard. Feels like you’re just pushing and pulling or
pushing more than likely against a brick wall. So it just aint’ gonna happen.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

JUSTIN’S DOCTOR TELLS HIM THE SURGERY IS RISKY AND THAT THE
RECOVERY WILL BE PAINFUL EVEN THOUGH HE IS AN ATHLETE AND IN
COMPARATIVELY GOOD SHAPE. JUSTIN WANTS TO DO THE PROCEDURE
SOON BEFORE HE TURNS 19 AND, HE SAYS, POTENTIALLY LOOSES HIS
HEALTH INSURANCE IF HE DOESN’T GO TO COLLEGE. HE’S NERVOUS
ABOUT MOVING AWAY FROM HIS SUPPORTIVE RURAL COMMUNITY AND
HOW PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW HIM WILL PERCEIVE HIM.

                                       HOWERTON

You got little kids running around kinda pointin’ at you sayin’ or askin’ the family what
happened. You know, they don’t bother you so much as what the older people do when
they sit there and star at you and kind of whisper under their breath at the same time.


                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

ATTORNEY BRENEMAN SAYS THAT INSTEAD OF DOING SOMETHING
ABOUT THE PROBLEM, BLITZ AND WAL-MART HAVE COUNTER-SUED
JUSTIN’S MOTHER.

                                         MOTHER

Let’s go Justin.

                                RATHER (VOICE OVER)

FOR NEGLIGENCE SAYING THAT SHE WAS AT FAULT FOR HIS ACCIDENT,
NOT A DEFECTIVE PRODUCT.

                                       BRENEMAN

                                             23
I mean I wish that I could tell you that I thought that tomorrow they would stand up and
do the right thing. I think it will be in their financial best interest. It would certainly be in
the interest of their consumers because I can guarantee you that there will be another
child and another family on my door step with a story that sounds just like these all too
soon and they know it too.

                                 RATHER (ON CAMERA)

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHAT IF ANY, THE GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IS
WHEN THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT A PRODUCTS SAFETY. IN A
UPCOMING DAN RATHER REPORTS, WE’LL GIVE YOU LOOK AT THE
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION AND HOW CORPORATE
AMERICA INFLUENCES THE NATION’S PRODUCT SAFETY. JUST AHEAD,
RECRUITING NEW MARINES IN WARTIME, YOU’LL MEET ONE OF THE BEST,
SO STAY HERE WITH US.

THE MARINE RECRUITER:

                                 RATHER (ON CAMERA)

THE UNITED STATES MILITARY HAS BEEN TAXED BY TWO WARS – IRAQ
AND AFGHANISTAN - AND LONG DEPLOYMENTS. BOTH PRESIDENTIAL
CANDIDATES, ALONG WITH MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM BOTH
PARTIES, HAVE CALLED FOR GROWING THE SIZE OF THE MILITARY. MORE
TROOPS MEAN MORE RECRUITS. TONIGHT WE MEET A MARINE RECRUITER
WHO CALLS HIS DUTY THE TOUGHEST JOB IN THE CORPS. HE'S A MENTOR
AND CONFIDANTE TO HIS MARINES-TO-BE … GUIDING THEM THROUGH
THE END OF HIGH SCHOOL, AND GETTING THEM IN SHAPE, BOTH
PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY, FOR BOOT CAMP.

                 SGT. FRANKY RODRIGUEZ, MARINE RECRUITER

I can’t say that I saw it, but I heard a shot gun. I’ve had dogs come to the door. I’ve had
moms say get away from me, get out of my house. But usually, usually they’re very
receptive at the very least, and I let them know from the very beginning hey I’m not here
for any other reason but to introduce myself and because your son or your daughter asked
me to come here, to talk to you a little bit about the Marines. My name is Sergeant
Franky Rodriguez. And I am a United States Marine, the Marine Corps representative
Marine Corps recruiter. I'm currently the number one recruiter in the state of New Jersey.
I have been the recruiter of the month-- for the district and have come out in first place in
several district recruiting awards. I attribute all of my success on recruiting duty to my
work ethic and my sincere commitment to every single applicant that I put in the
Marines.

                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING TO APPLICANT)

                                               24
 “Just want to make sure you’re OK man, figure out what’s going on at home. I’m not
trying to get in your business, but I want to make sure you’re alright.”

                                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ

You know, I'm kind of a big brother, maybe even a dad to some of them. My schedule
revolves around my applicants. A typical day usually lasts anywhere from 12 to 14 hours,
if not a couple more. For example, this morning I've been up since about 3:30 this
morning. And I probably won't leave the office ‘till about 10:30 tonight.

                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING ON THE PHONE)

“Hey Patrick, this is Sgt. Franky Rodriguez I’m with the Marines. How you been? It’s
been a while since I talked to you back in the beginning of the summer time. How’s your
summer going so far?

On any given day I could be making phone calls… exercising, doing physical training
with some of my guys. We keep fresh blood pumping in the veins of the Marine Corps.
Without us representing Marines and recruiting future Marines- there would be no
Marine Corps.

                           SGT. RODRIGUEZ (WORKOUT)

How we feelin’ planks? How we doing over there?

                                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ

A lot of times when you go up to someone and introduce yourself, right away they stand
off just cause they see the Marine coming, ‘What’s going on’… before you even say
anything, ‘Nah nah nah, not for me man, not the Marines.’ ‘Well why not.’ ‘Oh, I’m not
trying to serve my country’, I’m good. I’m not trying to die.’ ‘Alright. I could understand
that. Doesn’t know much about the marines. Well what are you planning on doing?’ ‘I
don’t know.’ ‘And I’ll ask them, I’ll say, look little brother, I don’t know about you, but
I’d be a lot more scared, a lot more worried about not doing anything with my life, than
being preoccupied with you know what may happen if I do something else with my life.’
I came into the Marine Corps as an 18-year-old young man, Jersey boy. Never been
outside of New Jersey. I wanted to go as far as possible. I wanted to leave New Jersey
and see the world. So I was lucky enough to get stationed in San Diego as an
administrative clerk. Once the war started, I changed my job into the infantry. Learned
how to fire many different weapons. I learned a lot about leadership and small unit
tactics and was able to be stationed around a great group of guys and, be deployed
overseas, see the world. You get a big appreciation for being an American, you know?
Your patriotism definitely goes up a notch when you see the way the rest of the world
lives.

                            SGT. RODRIGUEZ (OUTSIDE)

                                            25
I used to come here in high school, to the waterfront, and hang out with friends, and look
out to the water, and wonder how far it went, you know? How far the Marine Corps
gonna take me? Where am I gonna go? I think every kid in high school knows they
wanna do something they wanna be somebody, but the missing link is, how they’re gonna
to get there? And I like to think in a little way that’s what I help them to do.

                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING TO APPLICANT)

Obviously you won’t go to boot camp or anywhere until you graduate high school. But
you can enlist now, and solidify your spot.

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

Every single applicant that we put in is, and could be, a future president of the United
States. Our job is the most important job in the Marine Corps. We are about 187,000
strong total which is by far the smallest branch of the military. We've been given a
mission to try to get our numbers up to 220,000 by the year 2011. We typically like, per
recruiter at the very least, two future Marines a month. I, myself, put anywhere from four
to five a month.

                             SGT. RODRIGUEZ (OUTSIDE)

This little thing here, they gave it to me to drive around for the month. The recruiter of
the month for the state, our CO’s put out a little bit of incentive. The recruiter of the
month not only gets recognized in front all of us, but he also gets the keys to this nice H3
Hummer to drive around. Recruiting hasn’t changed, our standards are actually going up,
but yet we still want to boost our numbers. Being back home as a Sergeant now is a big
responsibility because a lot of people remember me for who I was, not for who I am. But
they quickly realize within the first five minutes I’m not that kid that left here eight years
ago. I think the fact that I’m recruiting out of my home town, I take pride in the kids I put
in because they’re little versions of me. I mean they didn’t look as good, but they try.

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I’m not gonna pressure anyone to join the Marines, that’s not what we do here at all. But
you kind of have to look at this as a business. We are selling the Marine Corps. It’s not
something that’s tangible. If a young man walks into a car dealership, it's because he
wants to buy a car. We walk around and we are walking billboards. We represent the
Marine Corps. So what I sell, or what I talk about is the intangibles in life, a future, an
idea, a goal, a dream.

                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING TO APPLICANT)

Do me a favor. Check on that board right there. You tell me what stands out to you.



                                             26
                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I think the fact that we're at war doesn't affect the applicants so much as it does the
society as a whole and- and probably dealing with their parents.

                         SGT. RODRIGUEZ (ON THE PHONE)

I want her to come. How about that? Alright please. I’m- I’m- yes I do. I’m inviting your
mom to come, alright? Don’t worry about that, I’ll wear my helmet. I’ll wear my Kevlar.
Alright…

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I would never tell an applicant, no, you're not going to war, because that would be a lie. I
would tell them the chances are you would probably find yourself deployed overseas at
some point in time in your career. But even though it might wind him up somewhere in
Iraq or in a combat zone, doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be kicking down doors.
The infantry’s only one of over 300 different jobs.

                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING TO APPLICANT)

“Who needs a ride home? Who’s riding with me?”

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

The best part of my job is when a young man or young lady comes back from recruit
training and says "Thank You." When they shake my hand, when I see their parents'
face, when- when I get a letter from boot camp and that first letter says, "I hate it here. I
wanna go home." And then shortly after I’ll get another letter a week later and it says,
"Hey, it's not that bad. I'm sorry I was-- it was just pretty tough last week. I'm
motivated. I can't wait to come home.

                        SGT. RODRIGUEZ (READING LETTER)

I can’t wait to get back. And look at you with that uniform and all. I’ll be waiting to hear
from you. Be safe, take care of you and your family. Sincerely, Recruit Kilbis.

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

Just basically to watch that progression from that civilian, that young high school kid to
the young Marine that hopefully one day I'll get to work with.

                    FRANCISCO TOMASSINI, MARINE RECRUIT

I know the Marines are the best. So I woke up one day and say I wanted to be the few and
the proud.

                                              27
                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I'm very involved in every applicant that I speak to.

                     SGT. RODRIGUEZ (TALKING TO RECRUIT)

This is your general orders. You need to know these before you go to boot camp. The
general orders and familiarize and yourself with the rank structure. Mom and Dad, this is
for you, basically a little parents’ guide to help you out.

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I just received a phone call from a young man's father who is very concerned. The young
man is being disrespectful at home. And his dad is just very concerned that since his
interest in the Marines has become stronger, that he feels that he’s already a Marine, and
he’s trying to conduct himself as such. I get these type of phone calls every day. And it's
important for me to guide my young applicants and let them know, remind them, "You're
not Marines yet. You haven't earned that title."

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

But we gotta get you there, alright? So you need to stop being a knucklehead with your
parents. Alright, I mean that.

                       FRANCISCO TOMASSINI, SR., FATHER

We will give them all the hope in the world, to help them out to go to the Marines, and
that’s what we’re doing.
                          JANEYRA TOMASSINI, MOTHER

You have our support, and we’re always here for you. And we’re proud. We want you to
be happy, and this makes him happy, so …

                         SGT. RODRIGUEZ (WITH RECRUIT)

Your dad your mom here, they care a lot about you. So, you need to show them that you
care back, you here me. It’s time to start acting like a man. You’re not a high school kid
anymore.

                                    SGT. RODRIGUEZ

I feel that it's every American's duty to give back in one way, shape, or form. I think it's
every American's duty to- to serve your country.




                                             28
                                MARINE CORPS VIDEO
“The Marine Corps is honor, courage and commitment, that’s what it’s all about. The
Marine Corps is all about patriotism. It’s all about red, white and blue.”

                                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ

If you haven't done anything for your city, if you haven't done anything for your state, if
you haven't done anything for your country, then how much appreciation do you have for
it?

                            SGT. RODRIGUEZ (OUTSIDE)

No Franky Rodriguez. Sgt. Franky Rodriguez. What do you mean occupation? There’s
only one occupation, real one in the world, and that’s Marines.

                                   SGT. RODRIGUEZ

This isn’t a job. We don't just wear a uniform. We live the Marine Corps. We're- we're
Marines, from the day we walk across that parade deck and that drill instructor called us a
Marine for the first time to the day, you know, we're pushing up flowers, we are Marines.
And that's something that we take to heart.

                               RATHER (ON CAMERA)

U.S. MARINE RECRUITER FRANKY RODRIGUEZ. AND THAT'S OUR
PROGRAM FOR THIS WEEK, FOR HDNET, TONIGHT FROM NEW YORK CITY,
DAN RATHER REPORTING, GOODNIGHT.




                                            29

				
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