The war movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever on AppleTV+ follows John “Chickie” Donohue, a 26-year-old US Marine Corps veteran who travels to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to visit friends stationed there.
Chickie wants to give them cans of beer as a token of gratitude and support from his New York neighborhood of Inwood. Based on a true story and directed by Peter Farrelly, the film gives a glimpse into the real life of Chickie, who risked his own life to meet up with four of his friends in Vietnam war zones. We found out where Chickie is now because the movie was so great. If you want the same, let us be your partner.
Who is “Chickie” John Donohue?
John “Chickie” Donohue is a US Marine Corps veteran. In 1967, when US soldiers died in Vietnam, he was working as a merchant seaman. Chickie realized his country should help the soldiers who were risking their lives in Vietnam after watching the funerals of two dozen soldiers who lived in his New York neighborhood of Inwood and anti-war protests that criticized the soldiers’ bravery. He packed a few Pabst Blue Ribbon beers in a duffel bag and got a job as an oiler on the Drake Victory, a merchant ship that transported weapons from New York to Vietnam so he could meet up with six friends who had fought in the United States Vietnam War.
When Chickie arrived at Qui Nhon Port and saw his friend Tom Collins, his two-month trip to Vietnam was finally over. After meeting Collins, Chickie continued his journey in jeeps and airplanes, stopping to see his friends one by one. After meeting Collins, Chickie met Kevin McLoone by chance while “walking alone down a dirt road through the jungle,” according to the book that Chickie and Joanna Molloy used as the basis for the film of the same name. Despite being just a normal person, Chickie was able to board a military mail plane to meet his friend and former neighbor, Rick Duggan.
Chickie wanted to visit more friends, but his journey was over when he met Bob Pappas, who was stationed at a Long Binh ammunition depot. After meeting his friends, Chickie gave them beers because, as he told McLoone, “the gang wants you to know how much we appreciate you.”
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Where is “Chickie” John Donohue?
People say that when Chickie returned to the US from Vietnam, he bought Doc Fiddler’s, the neighborhood bar where he often met his friends. He is said to have directed it for a number of years. He ended up becoming a “sandhog,” a laborer digging tunnels for trains and water in New York City. He then became the legislative and policy director of the Sandhogs of Laborers International Union of North America’s Local 147, a position he held for more than thirty years. As a union lobbyist, he was heavily involved in Sandhog politics.
Chickie also has a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Chickie and Joanna Molloy collaborated to write the book The Greatest Beer Run Ever. It is a detailed account of Chickie’s time in Vietnam and was used as the basis for the film. The book was published in 2017. After the book came out, he lectured at union meetings and veterans’ groups to spread the word. The incredible truth of Chickie’s story shocked Sandhogs at several New York bars and gatherings. Chickie was on the set of The Greatest Beer Run Ever at times during filming.
After Chickie stopped working as a Sandhog, he and his wife Theresa “Terri” O’Neill moved to Pompano Beach, Florida, where they now reside. When Chickie is not in Florida or New York, he lives in West Cork, Ireland. He also has seven grandchildren. Collins, McLoone, Duggan and Pappas still meet Chickie for dinner in New York. In September 2022, Chickie and his four friends attended the film’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The audience stood to applaud them. Chickie still says that “everything he did” helped his countrymen and that he wasn’t trying to “teach anyone”.
In November 1967, anti-war protests and George Lynch, a bartender at a local bar called Doc Fiddler’s, prompted Donohue to take a four-month trip to Vietnam to bring beers to some of his neighbors who were serving in the military there. He got a job on a merchant ship that brought munitions from New York to Qui Nhon in Vietnam. When he got there on January 19, 1968, he gave the first beer to Donohue’s childhood friend Tom Collins, who was in the 127th MP Company. He later went to A Shau Valley, where he brought beers to Kevin McLoone and Rick Duggan, two other Inwood folks. He also took part in the Battle of Khe Sanh for a short time. The next day he drove to Saigon, where he gave his last beer to an Army communications specialist named Bobby Pappas. Since he missed the return ship, he had to wait a while before he could get a passport and visa from the US consulate. The Tet offensive started the day he was supposed to leave Saigon, so he was stuck in the country. He later got a job as an oiler on a ship bound for New York. He arrived there on April 1, 1968.
Coming soon to Apple TV and starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever is the latest comedy viewers are looking forward to. Oscar winner Peter Farrelly’s war drama is based on a small but important event. The story centers on US Marine John “Chickie” Donohue, who traveled halfway across the world in 1968 to deliver a case of beer to his friends fighting in the Vietnam War.
Donohue’s act of kindness changed the story of the Vietnam War, and director Farrelly has captured that in his new film The Greatest Beer Run Ever, which tells the beautiful tale. Read on to find out more about John Donohue before the new film comes out.
Who is John “Chickie” Donohue? What has he done?
John “Chickie” Donohue, a former US Marine, surprised and delighted his friends at the Vietnam War scene when he showed up with beers, much to the delight of the weary soldiers.
Donohue’s search began in November 1967 in New York City at an Irish pub called Doc Fiddler’s. He was watching a news report about an anti-war rally in Central Park while the Vietnam War was still going on. When the bartender known as the Colonel said someone should go down and get the neighborhood boys some beers, Donohue had a great idea.
Donohue accepted the challenge and went in search of six local teams. He promised to bring them beer as thanks for their service in the war. Packing Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schlitz beers from the United States in his duffel bag, he got a job as an oiler on the Drake Victory, which was ferrying supplies from New York to Vietnam.
But bringing beer to a war-torn area in another country wasn’t all fun and games, and Donohue had to face the harsh realities of war. Two months into his journey, Donohue found himself in a war zone. All he knew about the people he was looking for were their names and their last known coordinates.
John “Chickie” Donohue used convoys, military planes and helicopters to get from Qui Nhon to Khe Sahn. When he finally arrived in Saigon, he arrived in the midst of the Tet offensive. He found four people on his list, and they all got together for a beer-drenched party.
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The kind act made the soldiers happy, and they got emotional as they got a taste of their old lives. After the war ended, John “Chickie” Donohue found four veterans living in his neighborhood. In 2015, they all reunited for a Pabst Blue Ribbon video.
This Friday, September 30, 2022, The Greatest Beer Run Ever will be available on Apple TV for the first time. The film’s main character, John “Chickie” Donohue, is played by Zac Efron. Russell Crowe, Bill Murray, Jake Picking, Will Ropp and Archie Renaux also appear in the film.
The story of The Greatest Beer Run Ever is based on Donohue’s famous beer run that brought relief, comfort and company to four weary soldiers during the bloody Vietnam War. Efron said the following about the story:
John “Chickie” Donohue served four years in the Marines but did not go to war. As a merchant seaman, he had only been to Vietnam twice, but he knew dozens of soldiers who risked their lives there. Enraged by the anti-war protests in his city, the New Yorker decided to return to Vietnam and bring cold beer to the troops.
It began on a winter night in November 1967. Donohue was having a drink at Doc Fiddler’s at 275 Sherman Avenue in his old Inwood neighborhood when a TV report came on about protesters in Central Park. People in the bar called them naïve idealists, and bartender George Lynch had a plan.
“Someone should go to Vietnam, find our neighborhood boys and get everyone a beer!” said Lynch.
In his book The Greatest Beer Run Ever, A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War, Donohue wrote about his ambitious four-month voyage that covered more than 8,000 nautical miles. From New York City to Qui Nhon, all he had was a list of names and a pile of beers rattling around below decks.
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