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Author's Notes

Screenwriter's Notes


Prologue, and Chapter 1: "Doc Tweed"



Prologue and Chapter 1 "Doc Tweed"


Irreverence 101, Black Humor 101, and Advanced Black Humor are the three subjects that should headline the leadership courses at the Infantry Officers Basic and Advanced schools at Fort Benning, Georgia.


Building Four at Fort Benning is the home of the infantry school. The dean of the school should import lecturers from the Comedy Club to teach the black humor classes so infantry officers can understand the troops.


Inscribed on the plaque in front of the school underneath the statue are these words, "Follow me. I am the infantry, Queen of Battle." That should tell the young officer something about his future.


The author's men were an odd assortment, boys really—twelve-month men really. Their pictures were familiar—the cocked hats and the melancholy grins. They enjoyed talking about girls and home, rumors and cars, the little things mostly.


They enjoyed a good joked most of all. Caught in a time of chattel sacrifice, the regret that anchored their black humor was the baseline for their survival. Slogging through the mud, in and out of the vines, fighting a war that was mindless and discomposed, the author's men had a duty they could not define: to a smile once remembered.


To a man these grunts would lie even if the truth made a better story.


They fought Vietnam's war—and it sucked.


It was not "The Vietnam War" as the old men liked to say. With no durable memory of defeat—"The Korean War" wasn't over—these Eastern old men spent one life and then another playing dominoes in Southeast Asia.


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