Special Memorial Day Screening
The story of an American hero who is rescued from the flaming wreckage of his battle-damaged B-52 and continues to serve his country until his life tragically ends with the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Director’s Statement 29 Years, A Second Chance at Life
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that coincidences have meaning and that we are all connected in some way. Creation of 29 Years, A Second Chance at Life crystalized that thought for me. What started out as an introduction to new friends led to learning about Robert Hymel’s life through his widow, Pat Hymel Lipinski. Bob’s second chance at life is unique, his death ironic, and his story and the story of the other heroes involved is captivating. When Pat told me that Bob was rescued from the burning wreckage of his battle-damaged B-52 in 1972 and that he lost his life in the terror attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, I was hooked. She told me that nothing had come of an attempt to create a movie about his life. I knew that none of those involved were getting any younger and I told Pat that we should at least get both her and the other’s stories recorded. As I said, I believe that coincidences have meaning. I am a retired U.S. Army Major General, Bob was a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. I met Pat through mutual friends from my last military assignment in Washington, D.C., Bob’s bomber group was part of the Strategic Air Command headquartered just south of Omaha, Nebraska. I am originally from the Omaha area and live in that city now. By researching Bob’s story and conducting the interviews, what started as a simple attempt to capture Bob’s story for Pat ended up with my being compelled to create this documentary. 29 Years is not a Hollywood production. It comes from the heart. I hope that it does justice to the Hymel family and to all of those who were part of this remarkable story. – Steve Saunders