A beautifully written monologue by Karl Wagner, the repeated line being, “see you when I get home,” shows a father reading letters written by his son over the years. The final letter from the son comes from the battlefield where the son was killed, and is followed by a touching response from the father.
Although written in reference to Vietnam, this could be adapted to any war, by changing the dates and ages, etc.
DAD: Male, preferably at least in his 60’s, or made up as such.
Lighting, sound, costume: standard
Props: A desk, a chair, one or two old trunks containing some old clothes, assorted junk, and a metal box tied up with purple ribbon. The box should contain some letters in envelopes, aged. Blank paper and a pen.
Sample portion of script:
DAD enters, and rummages through the trunks, looking for the box of letters. He finally finds it, and sits down relieved. He touches the box affectionately before finally taking a deep breath, and opens the box. He pulls out a few letters, and then opens them one at a time and begins to read them aloud.
DAD: June 4, 1959. Dear Dad. We have just another week left here in camp, but boy has it been fun! We went hiking yesterday, and you know Jimmy Hunter? He found a snake and tried to pick it up. The counsellor yelled at him, and he backed away. We all got a big lecture about how dangerous snakes can be. Later on we had a volleyball game and my team won! We go swimming in a few minutes so, I have to go. Tell Mom and Janie that I love them, and miss them. Love, Ronny. PS: I’ll see you when I get home.
DAD returns that letter carefully to its envelope and then reaches for another letter. He opens it, and reads it.
DAD: September 8, 1966. Dear Dad. Boot Camp is a lot tougher than I ever thought it would be. We’re going from 5:30 in the morning until after 8:00 at night. I am exhausted, but I still believe I have done the right thing in enlisting. You were right though, Dad, the language these guys use is horrible. But God can forgive so, I guess I can to. Maybe I’m here as a light for these guys? I don’t know. Today we went to the firing range, and I shot a 210! A little better and I would have shot expert. It’s about two minutes to lights out, so I have to close. Tell Mom and Janie I love them, and I miss them very much. Love, Ronny. PS: I’ll see you when I get home.
DAD folds up that letter and returns it to its envelope. He then looks through and picks up another one. He looks at the return address and then opens the letter and reads it aloud.
DAD: June 23, 1967. Dear Dad. I arrived here in Viet Nam two days ago. We flew from Okinawa to Da Nang. As we were about to land there was a loud BANG, and the plane dropped about 2000 feet. We all knew that the plane had been shot at. But the pilot came on the intercom and said we hit an air pocket, and not to panic. It took me about an hour to catch my breath. Once we landed the sheer heat and humidity nearly knocked me to the ground. We were taken to a transient facility to spend our first night in “the Nam.” All night long there were jets taking off and landing, and the sound of outgoing artillery fire. I didn’t get much sleep, but hey, “Welcome to my new world.” Next morning, right after breakfast, we were flown out by chopper to the CP. That’s the Command Post. I got issued my M-14, flak jacket, helmet, and my mosquito netting. I was told to put the mosquito net up immediately, but I didn’t do it. I fell asleep in the hootch, and in the middle of the night something hit me in the stomach. I woke up and saw a rat on me! It ran off as I jumped up to my feet in near panic. The Corporal in the same hootch, told me I better learn to do as I’m told quick, or else next time it could be my life. Lessons come fast here. Give Mom and Janie my love, will ya? Your son, Ron. PS: I’ll see you when I get home.