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INT/DAY EARLY MORNING VETERANS HOME
We see shots of the VET’S apartment. Snaps of the shadowbox containing his medals, a flag, the wall calendar that has blue circles and red X’s. More red than blue. Today is marked "Appt 10:45 SHARP" Establishing shot of the vet in bed, a pistol on the nightstand. Snap to vet’s eyes wide awake and bloodshot. We hear Reveille. Snap to wide and it’s his phone playing a totally different alarm tone. He gets up and shuts it off.
V/O DRILL INSTRUCTOR GET UP! GET UP YOU LAZY BASTARDS! ON THE LINE!
He goes to make coffee (black), and nukes a bowl of water for oatmeal. While he waits he turns the radio on, then up.
Sitting at the table he eats...
V/O DRILL INSTRUCTOR GET IT AND GO! GET IT AND GO!
He shuts the radio off after a sardonic "Fucking kidding me?" look. His eyes downcast. He breathes two deep ones and smiles. He puts the dishes in the clean sink.
Overhead of vet grabbing a folder. Insert of folder reading "RESUMES".
INT/DAY LIVING ROOM
Entering he tosses the folder onto the table. He sits on the couch with his coffee. Seems to be thinking, he looks over to a picture. Wife and kid, a day long gone by...
V/O DRILL INSTRUCTOR UNCLE SAM WANTED YOU TO HAVE A WIFE HE WOULD’VE ISSUED YOU ONE!!! (BEAT ) Deadliest weapon on the battlefield is a single well-placed shot!!
Getting dressed we continue...
V/O WIFE I love you. (beat)
V/O WIFE I’m pregnant.
We hear a couple arguing, fighting, glass breaking etc...
V/O SERGEANT Deployment will last exactly one year.
V/O WIFE Til death do us part
He looks to the shadow box with all his medals. Two in particular. Combat action ribbon and purple heart. We ZOOM to them. Then back to his face, his eyes frozen.
V/O SERGEANT 2 You scared? (BEAT) I’m shittin’ my pants.
We hear sound design of combat. Automatic rifle sounds crack. Bullets ricochet. His super intense eyes are darting.
V/O SERGEANT 3
(BEAT) go go go GOOO!
EXPLOSION. Then a deafening silence.
V/O SERGEANT I can’t feel my leg!
He SNAPS out of it. His thought is "I’m not there anymore. His eyes downcast, breathes two deep ones, looks up and smiles.
V/O SERGEANT Your uniform WILL be pressed. You WILL represent your country with pride. Your shoes will shine. Your creases WILL BE SHARP.
He looks in the mirror on the back of the front door. Then checks the time.
V/O SERGEANT 2 If you are on time you ARE LATE!!!
We see the large wall calendar each work day is marked "interview @time". almost every day is marked with a red, other days in blue. He leaves the apartment.
EXT/DAY VET WALKING DOWN THE STREET
Walking down the street, his eyes are shifty. He’s on alert.
V/O WIFE You said the last one was your last one!
V/O LITTLE GIRL Daddy when are you coming home?
V/O WIFE You know I’ll be here waiting for you.
He smiles. Taking in the beautiful day with the large puffy clouds, kids playing on the playgrounds, parents walking their kids etc. He continues on, looks to see a couple of people on the street arguing.
V/O SERGEANT 2
V/O SERGEANT Motherfucker!
Scuffle noises. Then someone getting gutted. His eyes downcast. Breathes two deep ones, looks up and smiles.
INT/ DAY RESTAURANT
Vet enters, orders, and sits at a table. Making himself become comfortable. He’s eating a bagel, reading over his resume. His phone buzzes. He looks. We see "VA SHRINK ASSHOLE" on the caller ID. He answers. In the short conversation his eyes go from hopeful to defeated. He hangs up and gently sets the phone down. His eyes downcast. He breathes two deep ones, looks up, and smiles a sad smile.
EXT/ DAY WALKING DOWN THE STREET
He is looking confident. Eyes focused.
Suddenly we hear a car backfire. His eyes go to instantly murderous eyes. Resume goes flying, and we follow it. We are FLOODED with a series of combat noises. Explosions, ear ringing, men yelling, screaming, crying. He runs to find ANY cover. Crouches behind a car. Eyes wide with fear and anger. He’s searching for his gear. No weapon. SHIT! Patting himself. NO GEAR! Blinking hard he’s desperately trying to come back to the present. Hands shaking he fumbles to his pocket. A picture of his little girl. Eyes red, nostrils flared (war face) he’s staring at the picture, pleading with his eyes to the photo. His eyes downcast, breathes two deep ones, looks up still scared but still smiles. (beat)
Back to the present. He recovers. Looking around. Pedestrians walk AROUND him. He’s looking for the resume. He sees it, crawling towards it, some guy steps on it, it’s trashed. Defeated he heads home.
INT/EVENING VET’S HOME
He enters. Dropping the stack of mail on the table. Upon entry we hear the (bullshitting track)- various male voices talking about bullshit. Dirty jokes, wives, girlfriends, parties etc. As he walks by the shadow box the sounds of war are louder, when he passes it they get softer.
He gets a beer out of the fridge, we track him to the bedroom where...
He takes his shirt off, and throws it on the bed. We see burns, recovered bullet holes, tattoos etc. Goes over to the calendar, and marks the new day with red sharpie. He kills the beer quickly, putting it on the bureau where it joins numerous other empties we hadn’t seen before.
INT/DAY LIVING ROOM
Back to the couch. Flipping through the mail. There’s a knock that startles him. He looks, thinks a second, then he opens the door to a cop. Cop hands him a piece of mail, Vet signs a logbook, then shuts the door. He goes to the couch,
"LAW OFFICES OF_____".
His eyes are hurt. He opens it. Flipping through the pages, he gets up and starts pacing. (bearing in mind the shadow box) He gets on the phone, arguing. He sits back on the couch defeated. We move to where his thumb is on the page. We see "Danger to himself and the minor child". He goes through the heavy blinking, trying to escape. He looks to the picture from that morning. Nothing’s working.
Beer bottles pile up through a montage of shots. He’s on the phone, crouched in the corner, weeping into the phone. Angry throws the phone.
Medicine cabinet with pills.
INT NIGHT BEDROOM
VERY close on his eyes wide open. V/O overlapping...
V/O WIFE Why won’t you just talk to me!
V/O SERGEANT You’re part of a brotherhood now.
V/O SERGEANT 2 Semper Fi Devil dog
V/O WIFE Are you listening to me!?
V/O LITTLE GIRL
V/O SERGEANT 3 No one wants to fight but someone’s gotta know how.
V/O SERGEANT You see a cobra coming just get your ass down and thank God for helicopters.
V/O WIFE (crying) Why are you being such an asshole!
V/O LITTLE GIRL
V/O SERGEANT 2
I love you
V/O SERGEANT 3 How? You just... leave your body, and forget your here.
V/O NEWS REPORTER These are the highest casualty rates we’ve seen...
V/O SERGEANT 2
V/O WIFE (conciliatory tone) I just can’t do this anymore...
SILENCE as he gets up
VERY tight on his eyes. He looks to the picture.
His eyes downcast. He breathes two deep ones,
V/O LITTLE GIRL I love you Daddy.
He looks up, and smiles with tears welling.
He breaks the fourth wall looking right into the camera.
VET I love you too
WE PULL BACK TO REVEAL A PISTOL TO HIS HEAD.
SPLASH TO BLACK. A GUNSHOT RINGS OUT AND TAPS PLAYS, AS THE CREDITS ROLL