- Escort, hut! - Firing party.Donated by SergeiK
Please rise for the rendering of military honours.
Firing party, fire three volleys!
Take a breath. Stand by.
Ready! Aim! Fire!
Ready! Aim! Fire!
Ready! Aim! Fire!
This is Thor. We got a couple people hit here.
This is chop-2. I got Thorbear here, took two rounds in the chest.
-Roger that. -He's got one round in the right arm.
Roger that. What's gonna be the E TA back to dust-off?
Looks like seven minutes, if we push it.
Roger that. This is Trail. Trail's down to about nine.
Okay, let's get that guy onboard.
-Roger that. I'm on you. -Let's get him on and get out.
We can't take anyone else. Make sure that guy doesn't get on.
No civilians either. I'm not taking any interrogators.
-Medevac's down! Medevac's down! -Medevac's hit.
Roger. We got one down here.
Guidon. Parade, hut!
On behalf of the president, please accept this flag...
...in recognition of your loved one's faithful service.
On behalf of the Army chief of staff and the Arlington Ladies...
...we extend our deepest sympathies. God bless you.
Maybe this is my last letter to you.
I feel that it is.
- Rachel. -I lost three men today, good ones.
But that's the way it is. You always lose the good ones.
What do I tell their folks? What would you tell my wife?
It's funny, but I always thought I'd been here before.
I've been a soldier all my life. I mean it. All my life.
Even when I was a kid.
Well, I'm here, but it's all wrong. It wasn't supposed to be like this.
Sure, there was going to be blood and sacrifice and death.
I knew that, Sarge. But not like this.
You tried to tell me how it was.
Right from that very first day, you tried.
But I was so young. So sure I had the answers.
I don't think I have the answers anymore, only questions.
- Specialist Jack Willow reporting. - Pete Deveber, clerk.
- Nice to meet you. - Nice to meet you too.
- Your platoon's on a drop. - Drop?
Burial. That's what we do here.
Nam's made burial a growth industry. We're up to 15 drops a day. Bing, bing.
Since you missed this one, take the morning off. I'll cover it.
- That's real friendly of you. - I'm a friendly type.
- That the top kick's desk? - Yeah. Slasher Williams.
- Slasher? - He did some boxing in the Army.
- Yeah? - Yeah. That reminds me...
...I said I'd get someone for guard duty.
Oh, no sweat. I'll take it.
I think you're gonna like Top, man.
I think you'll hit it off. I really do.
- Hi, Top. - Hey! Hey!
- Who the hell are you? - Willow's pulling guard duty tonight.
Dildo, night-guard duty is the ugliest duty you can pull...
...and already had been pulled by little shit-for-brains.
I know, Top. He told me. It's okay. I volunteered.
You volunteered in my company?
A fudge-nose volunteer in my company?
Dildo, you've managed to top my shit list...
...in exactly 13 fucking seconds!
You got a problem with this boy, Top?
No, sergeant major. Not exactly.
I could hear you as far as the latrine.
This boy bugger your pet goat or something?
- Thought I'd drop by, catch the score. - I think it's a disgrace.
A disgrace that toy soldiers wear the infantry's crossed rifles.
Especially when the real infantry...
...is crawling through rice paddies and shit in Vietnam.
I've said it enough to make me unpopular here.
- Sergeant Hazard. - Sir.
What's the debate about?
I was telling the sergeant major, the best thing I could do for my army...
...is to get these snotnoses ready for the inevitable. I wanna teach...
Clell! You applied for a transfer and I denied it. Now that's it.
He's the best soldier on this post. Except for Sergeant Major Nelson.
- What's he doing here? - He served two tours in Nam.
Captain! New man. Wanted to meet you.
Outstanding. Come into my office. We'll have a chat.
- See me when you're through, dildo. - That's Willow, Top. Common mistake.
So you want to get laid tonight or you rather have some fun?
The foul mood I'm in, I'd even hang out with you.
- Sergeant major. Sergeant. - Sorry, sir.
- Have a seat. - Thank you, sir.
- Welcome, Specialist Dildo. - It's Willow. Specialist Willow.
Oh, so it is. So it is.
Home of record, Fort Huachuca. You an army brat?
My father is, or was, a master sergeant, sir.
- He's retired now. - I see.
College basketball, starting guard. Outstanding.
We could use another good player, especially a white one.
Work hard and you'll be an NCO yourself before you know it.
Sir, I was thinking of shooting higher than that.
I'm interested in applying for OCS.
I'd like to apply for a transfer to a line unit in Vietnam, sir.
You don't fully realize the privilege of serving in the Old Guard.
We're the escort to the president, the most STRAC outfit in the Army.
Now you listen to me, son. You got plenty of time for Vietnam.
As for OCS, do a good job for me here...
...show me you're officer material, and I'll see that you get a shot.
The Army could use another bright young shavetail.
- Yes, sir. - All right, that'll be all.
- See you around, Pete. - See you, man.
How you doing?
- Sergeant? - Yeah.
I can't figure this.
The shoes have little steel plates on the insoles.
Yes, that's right.
That's so when you bring your feet together, it makes a nice loud crack.
Welcome to show business.
It's a real honour to meet you, sergeant.
Is that right? Why?
For one thing, we're the only two men here who want out.
- Want out? To where? - Front line in Vietnam, sir, sergeant.
There is no front line in Vietnam.
It's not like other wars. Hell, it's not even a war.
Nothing to win. No way to win it.
If that's how you feel, why are you going back?
I'm not. There's nothing for me over there.
I know this unit in Nam. They print up little cards.
They say, " Killing is our business and business is good."
Here, burying is our business. Our business is better.
Don't you be in such a hurry to get yourself starched. Carry on.
You knew my father, didn't you? Shelby Willow?
We ran the gauntlet to the Chongchon River.
We were friends. He still raising hell?
He had two heart attacks. He's fine now. Retired, back in Kentucky.
He recalls you very fondly. Asked to be remembered.
He doesn't see the war like you. He has a conventional infantry view.
- I guess he's a more conventional guy. - Yeah, I see.
Well, I got funeral training in 10 minutes.
Son, if you think of it, tell your daddy hello for me.
I never tire of watching your mind at work.
If you're waiting for me to cheat, I got way too much character.
That kid made it to Delta. Thanks for double shuffling the papers.
He was heading for Honour Guard Company but I figure...
...why let them turn him into a fruitcake? You can do it just as well.
Whose kid is he, anyway?
Shelby Willow's kid. We helped each other in Korea...
...until we had to take care of you. - Oh, yeah, I remember him.
I got this letter here.
" Dear Clell," blah-blah-blah. His wife's in the nuthouse...
...and all he talks of is me and Linda breaking up, like it was yesterday.
And how rough it must be on me not seeing my boy, Mackie.
Anyway. And here, the last line:
" Maybe you could look after my boy, now and again.
- Where does a red jack go on a queen? - These are my oriental cards.
How are you?
Oh! Sun's gone.
- Help you with those, miss? - No, I'm fine. Thanks.
It takes forever sometimes, really.
- Thanks. - Thank you.
You're S. Davis, aren't you? Only women use initials, to fool people.
- Funny, worked fine until now. - Yeah.
- Stephanie? Sophie? - Sam.
It's a nice car.
The Corvair. I watch you come and go.
Look, I'm real sorry I said all those dumb things in there.
And I know how when a girl doesn't want to lead a guy on, she clams up.
- Yeah, well, girls are like that. - I know you're not a rude person.
My friend and his lady friend are coming over for dinner.
- Maybe you'd like to join us. - Thanks, but I'm expecting a call.
- What time? - Chico! Tonight.
Look, the thing of it is, you really don't have a call tonight.
I don't know why this is so damned important to me.
- Ma'am? - What time?
Well, 1930... Uh, 7:30 would be...
- Okay. - 7:30.
- Sergeant major. -Hey, good dog.
-You and Betty, dinner at my place? - Sorry. Paperwork tonight.
- I'm pretending to run the post. -It's a girl. We can't be alone.
Watch my lips, kid. No way, nohow.
I'm cutting to the bottom line, pal.
Na Trang, 1962. Did I not save your sorry ass...
...at extreme risk to my own? - You got a lot of nerve.
How big is this gal's booty, anyway?
Cut the goddamn crap. You owe me, and I'm calling in my marker.
Do I have your word I won't hear about ancient history again?
- You do, you do. -Okay, what time?
- You be here at 1930. - Okay. I'll call Betty Rae...
...because I gotta ogle that booty. - Watch your mouth.
- Fucking a. -Bastard.
- Hi. - Hi.
Come on in.
Sorry, my friends are a little late.
- A little white wine okay? - Fine, thank you.
I bought it special. Just showing off.
- What do you do? - I write for The Washington Post.
I came up from The Charlotte Observer in North Carolina.
- Will you excuse me a second? - Sure.
- This is beautiful. Is it Persian? - Oh, yeah.
They're all Persian.
This is called an Isfahan.
And this here is a Shiraz.
That faded red one over there is a Kilim.
This one here behind me is one I got in Kurdistan.
When your back was turned, I admired your book collection.
I write for papers, so I'm kind of an incurable snoop.
Interesting, or interesting for someone like me?
Is this another lesson about girls? We're condescending to soldiers?
I don't know how y'all survive in that hotbed of communism at The Post.
- Now, that's something. - Yeah, Pravda on the Potomac.
Working for Senator Ervin, I could ask the same thing.
Now, now, sugar. Sam Ervin prides himself in not being left of anybody.
- That's for sure. - Except maybe his mama.
Except these red-blooded American storm troopers!
Is that what brought you boys together? Right-wing politics?
So, what do you guys do on that Army post?
Clell, old boy, you mean you haven't told the lady?
Why, madam, we are the Old Guard. We are the nation's toy soldiers.
We march with rifles that can't shoot. We fix bayonets that cannot stick.
We're the Kabuki theatre of the profession of arms.
Jesters in the court of Mars, god of war, doo-da, doo-da.
Now, Goody Nelson, you just hush that up right now.
You're beginning to sound just like Clell...
...bitter and cynical and irreverent.
You have to be among the Army's top people to get in.
And it is a right nice honour, I think, and a privilege...
...for them to have been asked to join.
Wait a minute! We weren't asked. We were ordered.
We actually applied for a teaching position at the infantry school.
We thought we'd help some of them come back standing up...
...instead of stretched out in those boxes we plant.
You both sound like a couple of echoes to me.
Now, come on, you two! Where's the rest of this wonderful meal?
- So how did you meet Goody? - One day a constituent from home...
...came into Senator Ervin's office, wanting a tour of Fort Myer.
- I took him on the tour... - Clell, old buddy.
Your sudden good taste is surprising. That's a classy-looking woman.
- I could drag my balls over her... - You promised! Please! Stop, will you?
Okay. Let's get back in there...
...so I can ogle them gals some more. Yum, yum, yum.
I fell in love with the sergeant major on the spot.
As any well-bred, genteel Southern girl would have.
- That's beautiful. - Make a hole.
Make it wide.
There you have it.
Looks like these two are really getting along.
- To us and those like us. - Damn few left.
Most of them are dead.
Oh, can I serve?
- Is Goody always so...? - Oh, no, no.
He is when he likes someone, and he likes you.
Are all Army sergeants like you two?
- Well, no. - That's a shame.
I had a great time tonight, Clell.
- The best I've had in a long time. - Good.
- Thank you for asking me. - Thank you, Sam.
All right, let's go! Top of the morning, girls! Look alive!
Walters, get out of the rack here! Come on! Let's go, let's move.
Come on, get up! Wildman? Let's move, come on!
Up and at 'em, guys.
Put away the funny books and prepare for inspection!
- Trey, get down. Knock out 10. - Yes, sergeant.
One, sergeant. Two, sergeant. Three, sergeant...
Why are you looking at my head? I don't need a haircut!
- Permission to recover, sir. - Recover.
- Looking good! - Thank you, sir.
Fix that! Get that pant leg off the ground!
Why are you looking at the back of my head? I don't need a haircut!
Wildman, cool it! He's on you!
Wildman, you spastic son of a bitch! Get at parade rest right now!
This is the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Old Guard...
...not a three-ring circus!
This shoe looks like it was shined with a hot Hershey bar!
I guess I have to explain chain of command again! It's very simple!
The lieutenant chews out Sergeant Hazard! Hazard chews me out!
I chew out you! It's the chain of command!
Very simple! Shit rolls downhill. Do you understand?
- Do you understand me? - Hold on, sergeant.
Why don't you let me work with him? You've got better things to do.
Yeah, specialist-wannabe-private, you work with him.
I got better things to do.
- Taylor, got that bunk squared? - Let's see the shoe.
- Are you kidding? - Come on, I'll show you.
- You guys talking or working there? - You dickhead!
- You're using real spit, right? - It's a spit shine.
You need cold water and cotton balls.
Small circles. Gotta build up a base.
It's gonna take time. Give it a shot.
Pull those laces out and press them.
All right, all right, you heroes. Listen up!
Nothing but stocking feet until 0958 hours!
- How far away are we? - It's under control.
- He's in Bravo. - Right.
- I'll stall him. - Okay.
When the inspection begins...
... Colonel Godwin will chat with some of you troops...
...real homey shit. - Outstanding.
Don't step on your dicks. That is an order!
Just say you are from Asshole, Arkansas, or some fucking place...
...and you love the Army, and shut up!
If I find slobber in these canteens, you will drink it.
Make a hole. Make it wide.
You told the colonel you liked the Army, soldier!
- Where are you from? - Columbus, Ohio.
- There any more like you back home? - Not that I'm aware of.
- Do you have any sisters back home? - Yes, I have one sister.
Is she sexually active?
Of course not. I mean, she's my sister. She's only 13.
That's too bad.
Never underestimate the value of early training and proper breaking-in.
Make a hole! Make it wide!
- What's your name, soldier? - Willow, sergeant major.
- How do you like the Army? - I like it fine.
- You take biology in school? - Yes.
How do worms copulate?
They don't. They use asexual reproduction.
Any idea who first came up with that notion?
- Reproducing without sex? - Your wife, sergeant major?
Forget it, fellas.
No gigs on this platoon. They make it through clean.
Wildman! "Yum, yum, yum," said the big hungry bear!
Let's just see what we got here.
- Gracious me! - Pray.
Who's babysitting this kid, Clell?
Mr. Asexual Reproduction?
I think I know what that is, but I don't know if he does.
- Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... - Why don't they hurry this up?
- No shit! - Steady!
Guidon. Parade, hut!
Guidon. Atten, hut!
- Escort! - Pershing's own.
- Right. - Right.
- Right shoulder. - Right shoulder.
Colours. Ready? Hut!
Guidon. Ready? Hut!
Ex-slow cadence! Forward, hut!
Evening, major, sergeant. You wanted to see me?
- What? - You wanted to see me.
No, we wanna buy you a beer. Sit, relax.
Hey, Zeke! Draw three!
Sergeant major is a friend of your dad's from the Korean War days.
Now then, as to results of recent battalion inspection...
You see, kid, as the Good Book says...
...some days the bear eats you. Others, you eat it.
Meaning we won the inspection, Wildman and all.
You looked good today, kid. Sharpest trooper I've seen all week.
That includes them prima donnas at Honour Guard Company.
- Congratulations. - Thanks, sergeant major.
Goody, old Willow here...
...he wants to go to Vietnam.
He feels an infantryman's place is at the front.
There's no front in Vietnam.
That's what Sergeant Hazard says.
It's a funny little war, kid. Things have changed.
Well, to begin with...
...the peace-loving Vietnamese... - Lf I hear that again, I'll puke.
They're bellicose. They've fought for a thousand years, and they like it.
And I don't really give a rat's ass about Vietnam.
Really, I don't give a wombat's shit about who's running Vietnam.
To be very honest, I don't care who's running the U.S.A.
Don't you care about anything?
Oh, yeah. I care about the United States Army. That's my family.
The only one I got. And I don't like it when it's in trouble.
We beat England when we were the guerrillas, and we beat Hitler.
We beat everybody in between.
We're not gonna lose to a bunch of little Asian farmers.
Yeah? You take a look at that farmer.
He can march 100 miles on no food, through a jungle...
...slaughter his own people, even babies. That's a soldier.
Firepower. He can't soak up our firepower.
I saw a photo, one of our choppers coming back with arrows in it!
How do you beat a helicopter with bows and arrows?
How you gonna beat an enemy that fights with arrows?
One thing's for sure. You can't beat them from Fort-goddamned-Benning.
What do you want, man? What do you want?
Don't like what I said? Okay, look. We can discuss it outside.
Why wait? We're standing here. Come over.
Well, let's go at it!
Honour Guard. Hey, Flanagan!
Well, here's to us, and those like us.
Damn few left.
Your kid is getting killed in there.
Make a hole, make it wide! Hey, get off that floor!
Hey, wait up!
- Peter, old salt! Get it? Saltpeter. - Get up. Get it together.
- I've been waiting for you, man. - Oh, good.
Captain Thomas wants to see you.
- Let's put this on. - Now?
There you go.
Reporting as ordered, sir. You wanted to see me?
Your father had a cardiac arrest...
It was over very quickly, so he didn't suffer very much.
We'll give you a few minutes alone here, son.
Dildo, Top, remember? Common mistake.
Your daddy was a master sergeant.
This is good for a week. You need more time, you call me personal, hear?
If I recollect...
...this is the only one I got that your dad doesn't already have...
...so make sure that...
Well, you put that with him, okay?
I've been thinking.
Is it too late to get my father into Arlington?
Of course not. You know Goody. He can fix anything.
I know it'll just be a bare patch with the bulldozers and everything...
...but I was hoping you could find him a spot in the garden.
The history of the 3rd U.S. Infantry reflects the growth of our nation.
In 1922, the War Department granted permission...
... to pass and review with bayonets fixed.
The Old Guard will now fix bayonets to the traditional beat of the drum.
Since the American Revolution...
... the colours have been important in a military unit.
Soldiers kept their position by dressing on the colour.
At the centre here, bearing the national colour...
... is this nation's best colour team, the 3rd Infantry's Colour Guard.
Next on line is Company D.
Company D is led by Captain Thomas.
Following is Company E, Honour Guard.
Company E is led by its commander, Captain Harrison.
The last on line, in the musician's uniform...
... is the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.
During the Revolution, Washington ordered that musicians wear red...
... instead of infantry blue so they might be recognized...
... through the smoke of battle.
The Corps is led today by Drum Major Phipps.
I put Betty Rae through the third degree.
Is that right? What secrets did she spill?
That you were married. That you were divorced about three years ago.
- Yeah, that's true. - That you have a son.
Linda left me when I re-upped for my second tour.
I haven't seen Mackie since.
And through the years I really...
...never did see that much of him.
You said you were married. Any children?
No, I can't have children.
I'm sorry about your family.
They didn't come first, Sam.
This is not...
...a very good business for holding on to a woman.
If you don't come across, it's gonna look bad for your whole unit.
You may, however, wait until we get inside.
Get in here!
Sergeant major. Sergeant, you wanted to see me?
You're out of uniform.
- I am? - Yeah, you are.
You will remain out of uniform until I slap these on you.
Not bad for six months, huh?
Now look, it seems that a certain Sergeant Flanagan...
...got drunk enough to trash up Marge's beer emporium.
- Cost himself a stripe in the process. - The bear.
We had to scrape the very bottom of a barrel. The pits is what we got.
By the way, these aren't official until they're tagged.
You know, tagged, like "tagged," you know?
Now I'll relinquish my spot to our senior bear...
...Sergeant Major Nelson.
Now, look at him.
He can hardly wait.
He's starting to tremble.
All yours, Top.
The only thing that's lower...
...than a pig-fucking volunteer...
...is a duck-fucking buck sergeant.
- I didn't hit him square! - That's it. One shot, that's all.
Look... Come on, get off me! I didn't hit him. Hey, Clell!
- Hello. - Hi, Jack.
- Pleasure to see you again. - You too.
Clell's running a little late.
So I'm doing the cooking tonight. You're taking your chances.
- Come on in. - Thank you.
Would you like a drink?
- I wouldn't say no to a Coke. - Okay.
- Here you go. - Thanks.
- Can I help? - Sure.
Clell's told me a lot about you...
...and your father.
He and Clell were in combat together.
Being in combat together, people can get very close.
- Sit down. - Oh, thanks.
My dad prized his CIB decoration. That's his Combat Infantryman's Badge.
That's a silver laurel wreath, blue shield and a silver Kentucky rifle.
If you're a soldier and there's a war...
...there's only one place to be. No exceptions.
I don't agree with Sergeant Hazard on this.
Working for The Post, I imagine you do.
Clell sees this war as bad judgment, a screwup.
I see it as genocide.
Well, goddamn it, why can't you keep your opinions to yourself?
Your views have reached the other commanders!
I didn't know it was against regs to voice an opinion.
Don't be a fool and don't be a smart-ass!
It's always been against regulations to voice an opinion.
The United States Army is not interested in opinions!
Goddamn it, what the hell am I gonna do with you?
You're a fine soldier, Clell.
But you've been a pain in the ass since the first day you got here!
Now you're an embarrassment!
My friends ask, " How's my peacenik platoon sergeant?"
I am not a peacenik, captain.
I just don't agree with this particular war.
If we're gonna fight, we should fight right.
All right, think anything you want. Just keep it to yourself!
Maybe it was a mistake for you to have asked for me here.
And you could rectify that by approving my transfer.
You are not going to Fort Benning, sergeant.
You're not going anywhere. You're gonna stay here...
...and make me proud of you, Sergeant Hazard!
But we got to get there on time, all right?
Don't get stuck in a cab again. I'll see you there.
- Give me the whole story. - Yeah, over there.
Come on, Stan.
- Get back to me. - Tell him to look at it.
He'll be able to help with the story, so it's important you get there.
- What about the reception tonight? - It's tomorrow, 7:30. We'll meet here.
That'll give you time to get dolled up and we can get there on time, 8:00.
Sergeant's gonna show me where they hide Persian rugs in this town.
- I hope I didn't... - Oh, no, work. Reception.
And ambassadors, they like their reporters dolled up, do they?
These are very nice...
- Yeah, let's go steal a rug. - Right.
What's bothering you, Clell? Tell me.
Why do you want to leave the Old Guard so badly?
We're just a bunch of toy soldiers, Sam.
You don't believe in the war, but if you transfer...
...you'll be part of sending these boys over.
Yeah. I guess I should be there where it really counts.
I just can't watch one more of those boys...
- I guess it's just weakness. - It's not weakness, Clell.
Sam, my business is a family business.
If a building burns and you can't carry all your children...
...you damn well do what you can and cry about it later.
This is for you. It's an Ushak. It's wonderful.
Would you stand still for a minute? Goddamn it, please!
Look, Goody, I've been thinking.
What's the chances of my platoon playing aggressor team this year?
The guys that play Charlie in the field and lose...
...to the noble American forces? You wanna volunteer for dipshit detail?
- When you push that around, yeah. - Make me believe it.
Come on. I mean, half these kids are gonna wind up in Nam, and I figure...
...if I had them for two weeks, I could show them something.
Okay. Now tell me the real reason.
That's it, pal. That's all I got.
Can you swing it?
In a word, no.
Thanks, good dog.
30 May 1968.
Still no answer from you.
You said you were going to forget me.
Well, I can't forget you, so I'll keep trying.
We worked so hard last week.
It was chaos in the garden. That's what we call the cemetery.
Delta pulled 20 drops a day. That's what we call funerals.
Sergeant Hazard, who was in a foul mood...
... argued that our workload proved his point. We'll never finish them off.
I told him to be happy he's not in Vietnam's Honour Guard.
We disagree on just about anything connected with Vietnam.
Hazard's girlfriend, Sam, got arrested during a march on the Pentagon.
She's nice to me, but she's giving him fits.
He doesn't like the war, but he likes these protesters even less.
I'm not sure whether you're getting these letters.
I'd give anything to hear from you, Rachel. All my love...
Hey, don't turn around now...
...but the best-looking gal I've ever seen has been staring at you.
No shit. She's at 6:00. Turn around real slow.
A knockout broad.
Where the hell did she go?
- I'm serious. Check it out. - Fix your blouse.
- Pass, on your orders. - Post and orders, remain as directed.
-Orders acknowledged. -Ready, hut!
- Jackie. - What are you doing here?
I was visiting Kennedy's grave. I hadn't seen it yet.
- What are you doing in Washington? - My parents live here.
- My dad's at the Pentagon. - You too?
I'm at school still. In Europe. Germany. I'm just visiting.
- You look great. - Oh, thanks.
Will you have dinner with me tonight?
- I can't. I have a date. - Break it.
- I don't think it's such a good idea. - Break the date.
All right. 2218 M Street. Georgetown. 8:00.
You are permitted to assist the public.
You're not permitted to kidnap anyone, no matter the temptation.
Sarge, I'd like you to meet Rachel Feld.
- Rachel is an old friend of mine. - Miss Feld.
Pleased to meet you.
I gotta go. See you later.
- 2218? - Yeah.
- Wow. - Yeah, wow!
Okay, my boy.
Sarge, I need to borrow $50.00.
I'll pay you back payday.
I need to borrow your car keys too.
I'm so happy I dropped by.
... Vietnam. Americans will no longer allow its leaders...
...political carte blanche. - I love these.
- You look nice also, as always. - Thank you, Don.
Don, this is Sergeant Clell Hazard. Clell, this is Don Brubaker.
Well, thank the Lord.
Somebody going to tell me what this war's about?
Are we winning the war? We kicking ass or what?
Don's head of Attorneys Against the War, so watch out.
The kill ratio's 10-1. Is that enough to keep you happy?
Happy? No. I couldn't settle for less than the hearts we're supposed to win.
How are we doing?
We? We really don't seem to be doing much of anything.
- We're too busy shooting our mouths off. - It's still America.
In my opinion, we're killing innocents.
Well, you see...
...opinions, they're like assholes. Everyone seems to have one. Come on.
- What the hell...? - He has no right...
Yes, he does have a right to talk about Vietnam.
- Did you call me an asshole back there? - There?
I don't know. Why don't you fuck off anyway.
I'm not one of your little Nazis. So let's move into the street.
I've got a better idea. Let's agree we don't like each other, right here.
What's fighting words these days? Chickenshit? Baby killer?
Whip his ass, soldier!
- Where are you going? - Oh, my!
- Somebody stop... - No!
Somebody call an ambulance! Please!
Call an ambulance!
... firing. The men took cover where they could.
Pinned down by a sniper with...
- Hi, Clell. - Hi, Sam.
I just talked with Don Brubaker.
His jaw is wired, so he wrote his part down.
He says that he was drunk and that he was an asshole.
No doctor bills. No assault charges.
Why would he say that?
Turns out he's a decent guy.
And decent people who make a mistake realize it sooner or later.
Hey. Come in. Sorry.
You didn't have to persuade him?
With his jaw wired and all, he had to take a rain check.
- I love you so much! I'm so worried! - I love you.
Jackie, I am so glad to see you.
Nice to see you, Mrs. Feld. You look wonderful.
- How have you been? - Very well.
- Hello, Jack. - Hello, colonel.
Well, come in.
Thank you, sir.
Rachel tells me she was shocked to see you.
- It was quite a shock for me as well. - Yeah, boy, I can imagine.
- You haven't seen each other in a while. - No, sir.
- Rachel tell me you're a sergeant? - Yes, sir.
- You're with the Old Guard at Myer. - That's correct.
Well, that's a fine outfit for the infantry.
You're still working in electronics in Washington?
Yes. I'm heading up a major research and development project.
- It's still very hush-hush. - I see.
I tell you, Jack, this war is a boon to R&D.
- I'm sure it is. - Hi.
I thought you were... Had a date with young Peterson.
How did you break it? I find him persuasive.
- Good night. - Good night, now.
- Good night, sergeant. - Good evening, colonel.
Your father hasn't changed much.
He's the same SOB he always was.
How's your father?
My father died of a heart attack last month.
I liked your father very much.
I know you did, Rachel. He liked you a lot too.
He really did.
- Is this the cabernet? - Yes, sir.
So is the Army everything you'd hoped it would be?
Yes and no. Mostly yes.
I'm waiting for OCS and Vietnam, but I'll get them.
You want to go to Vietnam?
A soldier at the right place at the right time can change the world.
That's too bad. I'd hoped you'd outgrown that.
Damn you, Rachel.
- Let's just make small talk. - No, let's not!
I don't care about Europe or your friends!
- Or if you've read any good books. - It's safe.
To hell with safe. Do you feel anything for me?
- Ask me that when you're a civilian. - I'm asking you now.
My father was afraid I was going to marry beneath myself...
...that it'd ruin his career.
He lied about West Point so you'd wait to marry me.
Know what it means when a sergeant's son marries a colonel's daughter?
He had you conned. And you believed him! That's what broke us up.
You're so gullible.
I loved you so much, Jack.
You made your choice.
Let's... You wanna leave?
Yeah, yeah. Thanks for the drinks.
-Sarge, it's Willow. - Oh, great! What is it now?
You've got all my money...
... and my car. Wanna borrow my dick?
Stop hanging around the sergeant major. Your language is awful.
- Just give me the hook. -I was wondering...
...if I could borrow your apartment or Miss Davis'.
Okay. You take my place.
I'll leave the key under the carpet.
Thanks! I appreciate this. I won't forget it.
I got it.
I just want to talk.
Sure you do, hotshot.
- Oh, you're still here. - Yeah. Sorry, Jack...
...just got the call. Full alert. - Alert?!
My guess is, we're going on maneuvers.
- Sorry, Miss Feld. - It can't be! Not now!
We were up at 0300! We worked all day in the garden!
- We're tired! - Easy!
Tell the chaplain in a couple weeks.
I'll bet this is Goody Nelson's doing.
- What's going on, Jack? - Field exercises!
I gotta talk to Rachel, Sarge!
Five minutes. Come on in.
You got me, five minutes?
I told you...
...that I want to marry you, Rachel. No matter what.
- You never told me that. - I did. In all those letters I sent.
I didn't open them.
I wanted to forget you.
If you want me out, I'll do it. Tell me if there's hope.
I've gotta know!
The last thing I expected was to see you this morning.
- Was it only this morning? - Let's go!
Don't shut the door, please.
- Damn it! Come on, boy! - Rachel...
...I love you. - Damn!
- Give me the key! - What? Here!
Red man four!
Return to Battalion CP at once!
Come home, please!
Return to Battalion CP at once.
Sergeant Hazard, can you hear me?
Is this thing working? Red man four?
From here on in, you guys are Charlie.
Glide through this, don't clomp through it.
Feel the terrain. Don't fight it.
- Wildman, can you swim? -The jungle is your friend.
U se it. Let it help you.
Love it. Love it and it will love you back.
Someday you're gonna meet the real Charlie...
... and when you do...
... something from this may pop into your mind and save your life.
Hey, guys! What's going on?
They took our stuff! Charlie's been here!
I don't know where the fuck I'm at! Let's see if this shit works.
That's not north. Shit!
Red man four!
Exercise is cancelled! Please confirm!
Shit! What was that?
Wildman, this piece of ground is now wearing your brains.
Frankly, they look better on the ground.
Tell me something. Did you ever...
...stick your dick out for anything once in your life?
Mouth off to an officer? Something?
No, sir, Sarge. That's not my way.
Would that mean I'm not a real man or...
You're as real as anybody.
Every man needs to feel good about himself. Come on, Wildman.
Good work, Jackie.
Is he bucking for a Section Eight?
Does he know the embarrassment he's caused?!
I'm sure he doesn't, sir.
I've got observers watching one platoon of VC chew our butt!
You know what Godwin just said? " It's not your fault. It's your ass!"
We're middle management, Homer.
No, really. We are the heart and soul of America.
We keep the wheels turning while we get ahead, while we watch our backsides.
Neat trick. Takes up all of our time. Clell hasn't ever learned that.
Somebody needs to talk sincere with the boy.
Somebody needs to pull his guts out through his asshole!
The problem is, so far nobody can find him, Goody!
What the fuck is with you, you psycho fuck?
It's a death wish! A psycho fuck pulling for a court-martial.
What makes you God's gift to infantry training?
There's a guy in Benning. You don't even know him!
- What makes you the better man?! - I just...
...want to do what I can.
Why don't you go back over there? Take them out on patrol.
Hold their fucking heads in your lap while they bleed to death.
I don't know much, but I know you and you're losing.
A few days ago this was a bunch of half-assed kids.
You gotta see now, Goody. You gotta see.
Give me 24 hours and I'll...
...walk into HQ on my own and that's a promise. I promise.
Captain, your men are supposed to be calling in an air strike.
Instead they're playing with 35 rag-tail aggressors and getting killed!
You've got choppers here. I want an air strike. Understand?
Good evening, sir. You have the right to remain silent.
Get out of...
Pretty funny, sergeant!
I guess I'm supposed to lose it.
Bust you back about 15 stripes. Ship you off someplace...
...where you'll persuade your new commander to transfer you to Benning!
Is that it?
Well, no way, sergeant.
I can't afford to come off a loser upstairs, or in any way.
No, I'm gonna tell them...
...you're the finest soldier I ever trained. And in four days...
...I showed them where to patch up their outdated program!
Think about that! You got plenty of time to think about it.
You're gonna be parading around my post for the rest of your life!
People love to see a real war hero on parade.
Left, left, right flank.
Left. Left, right, left.
Hut, two, three, four.
Left, right, left.
Come on, relax.
Left, right, left.
Left flank, march!
- Sarge? - Yeah.
I gotta talk to you.
I got Goody's lecture and I ain't sure I can kick the shit out of him.
- With all respect, he's full of shit. - Respectfully full of shit.
You put it on the line for what you believe in.
Everything else is old-guy stuff.
Why Fort Benning, Sarge?
You can train them until you're blue in the face...
...but over there, they'll look for one guy.
Their platoon sergeant. That's you.
You know, I guess I ought to be real thankful to you for pointing that out.
Why don't you just face it?
What story you wanna hear? I got a lot.
You wanna hear a story about a boy I once loved? Like a son?
Well, here's one. A boy I never knew.
Until he was begging me to stop the pain.
Then he saw the parts no longer in him...
...and he begged me to push them back inside.
The last thing he begged me was to find his daughter someday, in Ohio...
...and tell her the last thing he thought of was her dance recital.
She was blond, his daughter, and she was 5.
And she was real, real beautiful in her dance costume.
I don't suppose there's any guys you saved? Any of those stories?
Called compromise, you do what you can.
Compromise is fine if it works! Lying to yourself isn't.
If I knew as much as you do about life and what a fella's born to be...
...l'd be one hell of a man, huh? Just like you, son.
Fifty-five miles south, 1 st Cavalry troopers...
... made their helicopter assault on the coastal plain.
And from the moment they landed, they were in a fight.
The 1 st Cavalry assault was called Operation Masher, here...
... near a place called Lang Son the enemy chose to...
We're getting married.
Well, I'm sorry, darling. I can't let you do that.
Some girls past the age of consent would tell their dads to shove it!
All you care about is your star!
- Don't talk to me like that! - I'll talk to you however I want, sir!
Welcome to the Army, Mrs. Willow.
Let me take your picture.
Rachel Feld, Army Digest.
Thank you, sergeant.
You look pretty. I love your dress.
- You're a good dancer. - Learned it all in the swamp.
Better do something.
A toast to the bride and the groom.
- A long and happy life together. - Long and happy life!
To my new son.
- To the bride and groom. - Here's to us and those like us!
- Damn few left! - Oh, my God!
Ride 'em, cowboy!
Rachel, thank you.
- Don't smoke in bed, not tonight. - Thanks, captain.
- Drinks? - Got you something.
- All right! - You have to earn those.
Shouldn't be too tough, seeing as...
...you start OCS in a couple weeks.
You see Goody and I, we went to Captain Thomas...
...and we reasoned with him and...
- I ate the bear. - There you go.
Why does he want to go to the OCS?
I don't know why anybody wants to be a second lieutenant.
It's the pits!
... commander, keeping low. Requesting... -Roger, this is...
Hold your position.
-We got a couple people hit here. -Okay, let's get their gear.
-Roger that. I'm on you. -Let's get them and get out.
We can't take anybody else. Make sure that guy doesn't get on.
Less than a month and I'll be through Officer Candidate School.
All anyone talks about is Vietnam.
All we see and hear about are demonstrations.
This war seems to be tearing us all apart. The whole country.
Do you and Sam still argue about it all the time?
Remember she's a civilian, Sarge.
There's no way for her to really know that nobody...
... hates this war more than those who have to fight it.
- Looks like they shipped you to Nam. - Tough luck, buddy!
- Flanagan! - You too, Flanagan.
Oh, shit! There goes the war. Just when we had it in the bag.
Wildman, kill a commie for Christ, man.
- The new lieutenant! Congratulations! - Hi!
I think you're supposed to return it or something.
- As you were. - You look like real soldiers to me.
- Hi. How are you? - Piece of cake.
- Kid. - How are you, Sarge?
- Congratulations. - Thank you.
Your bars look beautiful, Jackie. Come on, have some champagne.
- There's something I've gotta say. - Speech! It's your night.
I'm shipping out.
Couple weeks you'll be getting news from Quang Tin Province.
- Not often the Army gets the right man. - Thank you.
You okay with this, Sarge?
I'm just sorry that I'm not going along.
Platoon sergeants never get a Louie that can lead.
You'll make a lucky guy an easy gig there.
Born to it, kid. Born to be.
Well, then here's to us, and those like us.
Damn few left.
- Well, come on! Let's make a party. - To Jackie and Rachel.
This is chop-2. I got Thorbear here, took two rounds in the chest.
-Roger that. -He's got one round in the right arm.
Roger that. What's gonna be the E TA back to dust-off?
This is, call five, I'm right behind Coast Call. Check the area...
Is it cleared out down there? Is it secure?
Roger, we have it for a few minutes, come on in.
- You seen the latest Army Digest? - No.
Guess who won the Medal of Honour...
...for actions in Vietnam. - Who's that?
Guess who saved his buddies' asses?
Guess who took a whole army of bad guys single-handedly?
Who, for chrissakes, Goody?
- Wildman. - Wildman?
South Vietnam's national police chief killed a man who was carrying a gun.
This was taken as evidence he was a Viet Cong officer.
The police chief put a bullet in his brain. He's still the chief of police.
Cao Lang's streets were swept by gunfire for days...
... and the people of Cao Lang were swept back and forth, bewildered.
Tell me you're happier than you look.
And if you're gonna lie, would you do it better?
The year's up.
You lived through it, he's coming home in three weeks.
Bonnie Fowler's man came home different.
...he'd written her all these sweet letters while...
...at the same time, he was writing his mother he wanted to get a divorce...
...and they've got a 2-year-old baby girl.
Men come home crazy...
...and broken and cold.
...that's not my Jackie. - No, it's not.
- So I'm gonna be fine. - Yeah.
- Rachel's a great cook, isn't she? - The best.
I caught her calling the restaurant. "Send up the beef stroganoff."
- Are you kidding? - That's flattering.
- I'm kidding, honey, it was wonderful. - Thank you.
So how's Jackie? You heard from him lately?
Yeah, I got the letter...
- Honey, would you like to...? - No. Just read it. You read it.
" Dear Sarge, hard to believe it's only a year. Feels like my whole life...
...10 lifetimes really.
Hard to believe I'll see you soon.
Hell, it's hard to believe you even exist. Any of you. Even Rach.
It's hard to believe she still loves me, that there's any love anywhere.
Her letters are so beautiful...
...and I want to believe so much. I just want to hold her...
...just hold her, and I'll be all right."
I've learned so much, Sarge. I've learned I can't protect these kids.
It's my duty to protect them and I can't. There's many things to tell you.
All my life, I knew I'd live and die in the Army. Just something I knew.
But after this, I don't know anything anymore. We'll sit down.
We'll talk. You'll get me straight.
- Come in! - Sergeant major...
...it's Sergeant Hazard, he's...
- Jackie Willow... - I know.
He wanted a CIB.
Combat Infantryman's Badge. He wanted it more than anything.
You know, most kids his age...
...they want a promotion to vice president of sales...
...hi-fi built in...
...a fucking sports car! Something!
Not him. CIB.
I tried to... I tried to slow him down...
...just make him less in a lather to get there.
I tried to tell him. Goody tried too.
- We weren't very convincing. - Don't blame yourself, Clell.
I thought I could do it from here. If they wouldn't give me Benning...
...then I'd teach them here. I'm Sergeant Hazard.
...boot-tough old vet.
- Oh, stop it, Clell. - " Listen, boys, I'll pull you through."
What a sorry goddamn excuse for a man I am.
- Don't do this to yourself, Clell. - I can't help it, Sam.
You know, but then I thought...
...if I can't help them all, then...
...what if I just help one. If I just take one...
...boy. Just one...
Where can you do it, Clell?
If you can't do it at this Fort Benning place, where can you do it?
- Could you do it there? - Where?
Don't make me say that place.
Okay, honey, there is as good a place as any. That's...
...where it really counts.
I don't want you to go anywhere.
But it's your decision, not mine.
What happens to us?
I mean, when I'm on this...
...mercy mission, you ride into the sunset with a guy like Don Brubaker.
I don't ride off into the sunset with anyone, Clell.
I sit in this apartment, scared to death, and I wait.
It don't square though. I mean, your feelings about the war.
My feelings about the war haven't changed.
I'll do everything I can to stop the war.
I'll march and I'll carry signs and I'll pester congressmen.
And if you consider that a knife in the back, so be it.
You've got your job to do...
...l've got mine.
There's another question. If I were to do this...
...would you marry me before I shipped out? Please?
- You would? - Yes.
I love you.
I love you too.
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
Let's bury this guy and get on the bus.
- Better get out of here. My feet... - Shut up!
What are you looking at?
Guidon. Atten, hut!
Rest, hut. Atten, hut!
Here this spot is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
On the stone it says:
" Here rests in honoured glory...
...an American soldier known but to God."
They tell me there may be no unknown soldiers in Vietnam.
...we can account...
...for all their bodies.
...gotten a lot better at identifying them.
I just wonder if we're getting better at knowing them.
Here will rest...
...deserved of glory, an American soldier known but to an honoured few.
I know him.
- I won't forget. - Guidon. Atten, hut!
Escort! Ten, hut!
Please stand for the rendering of military honours.
Firing party, fire three volleys.
Stand by. Ready.
Ready, aim, fire!
Ready, aim, fire!
Ready, aim, fire!
You may be seated now.
Colours ready, hut.
Parade, parade, hut!
On behalf of the president of the United States, accept this flag...
...in recognition of your loved one's faithful service.
Left, right, left.
Left, left, right, left.
Left, left, right, left.
Left, left flank, march!
Left. Dress it up, dress it up.
Left, right, left. Left foot, Rossman! Left.
Left flank, march. Second time!
Come on, pivot on the ball of both feet. And step...