The Vetters: All We Needed

DVD Release: June 14, 2013
The Vetters: All We Needed


In this inspirational true story of family survival, close-knit siblings of Mexican/Native American descent from Chardon, Ohio, reflect on the quiet heroism of their humble devoted father, and how they overcome incredible odds to become national champions, world record holders, and Olympic contenders as runners in the 1970s and ’80s. After the heartbreaking death of their mother when they were ages 7 to 14, their father, John Vetter, raised the six children on his own. Saddled with poverty and lack of extended family, the Vetters drew close in response to threats that Social Services would split them up. Through tender and compelling interviews, the siblings share their moving story of an extraordinary family bond and unflinching determination that nothing was going to tear them apart.

Dove Review

“The Vetters: All We Needed” is a powerful and inspirational documentary about the Vetter family. It shows how the now-grown siblings remember their father John and how he kept the six children together following their mother’s sudden death. The children went on to set records in cross country and wrestling and participate in sports, including baseball. Theirs is a remarkable story.

The six kids—Greg, Mark, Janis, Debbie, Diane, and Juanita—all remember October 8, 1969, when they learned their mother, Marie Vetter, age 42, died suddenly. Social Services immediately became involved but their father made it clear: the family would stick together and not be divided. He was true to his word.

The family remembers how he was there for them by attending their sporting events, supporting but not pushing them, lending an ear, and working every day. As one of his children put it, “I just don’t know how he did it.” Juanita says, “Dad was the most unselfish person I ever knew.” Diane states, “He was my hero.” Footage of the kids competing in sporting events, as well as newspaper archives, presents the inspiration behind this remarkable family. They won collegiate and state championships. As each sibling except Greg—the reserved and quiet eldest—shares recollections, it becomes obvious how devoted this family was and is to each other.

This documentary will lift the viewer’s spirit because it shows ordinary people lacking in material wealth, pulling together to support one another. And we see the extraordinary mountains they conquered. We are pleased to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film for ages twelve plus. This film is well worth investing the 67 minutes to view it!

Content Description

Sex: None
Language: G-1; D-1; Butt-1.
Violence: None
Drugs: Photo of man with a cigarette in his mouth.
Nudity: Photo of shirtless man; athletes in shorts; shirtless young men and boys.
Other: Tattoo on man's arm in photo; death and grief.


Company: Wagon Wheel Films
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 67 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter