War and History Script posted October 25, 2013 Chapters: 1 -2- 3... 


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Dan talks Andy into waiting.

A chapter in the book Service with Honour.

Waiting Time.

by Tomes Johnston



Background
It is October 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Dan Cook is a veteran of Aden. He and his wife, Eve, don't want their son, Andy, enlisting in the British Army. They try to get Rob to help.
(THE DOOR OPENS AND ANDY ENTERS)

ANDY
Hello, Rob. It's nice to see you here.(ANDY GOES OVER TO ROB AND SHAKES HIS HAND. ROB HUGS HIM IN RETURN)

ROB
How are things, Andy?

ANDY
I'm all right, except for the job situation.

ROB
Nothing yet?

ANDY
I'm starting to get worried now: All that schooling for nothing.

DAN
It's all right, son. It took me ages to find a decent job as well.

EVE
That's right. It just takes time.

ROB
What field are you looking at?

ANDY
I'm looking at investment banking, but the problem is I've no experience. (PAUSE) I don't want to go for a master's degree. I've spent enough time in university. (ANDY SITS DOWN)

EVE
Oh, I see.

ANDY
I don't want to be a strain on you and Dad.

EVE
We want to help you enhance your career.

DAN
Your mother doesn't want to lose you.

ANDY
She seems to be getting her wish.

ROB
A master's degree takes about a year, doesn't it?

ANDY
At least: It takes longer if I work as well.

DAN
It's not a bad idea if it improves your chances.

ANDY
I don't know if it will.

DAN
Of course it will.

ANDY
Dad, I'd still have no experience.

DAN
You've had part-time jobs.

ANDY
Bar work and supermarkets don't count towards investment banking.

DAN
How can employers expect young people to have a lot of experience?

ANDY
What about the Army?

EVE
Just what I feared.

ANDY
I could get leadership experience if I become an officer. I can do an MBA afterwards.

EVE
We don't want that for you, Andy.

ANDY
Why not?

EVE
It's too dangerous.

ANDY
Dad?

DAN
It's hard going back to university after the military.

ANDY
You did it.

DAN
That's why I know how hard it is.

ANDY
I can do it too.

DAN
The older you get, the harder it is. You will be in Sandhurst for a year, and then you have to sign up for five years. After a year doing a master's, you will be 30 before you start your career in finance.

ANDY
So what?

DAN
You will be up against younger applicants, and you will be at a disadvantage. Get a decent job now.

ANDY
I can't find a decent job.

DAN
You will in time.

ANDY
I could be out of work for months, or even longer.

EVE
You'll find a position, Andy. You have a first class degree, and you have people skills.

ANDY
That's why I think I'm suited to the army, Mum.

ROB
You certainly need people skills in the army.

EVE
Please don't do this to us, Andy.

ANDY
(ANDY TURNS AWAY, BUT THEN TURNS BACK) I didn't want to hurt you or Dad. That's why I didn't say anything.

EVE
Dan, Rob, you two can help me out if you want.

ROB
I want to hear what Andy has to say.

ANDY
Thanks, Rob.

DAN
What have you done?

ANDY
Nothing yet.

DAN
What do you mean by that?

EVE
Oh my God. You've signed up.

ANDY
No, Mum, but I've spoken to the officer selection board.

DAN
The Army board?

ANDY
Yeah.

DAN
Have you spoken with the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force?

ANDY
No.

DAN
Why not?

ANDY
I think I'm more suited to the army.

DAN
It's not too late to change your mind.

ANDY
Would it be that bad if I became an officer.

EVE
Oh, Andy. I would be terribly upset about it.

DAN
I'd be worried as well.

ANDY
I want to make you proud.

DAN
I'm already proud of you. You don't have to do this.

EVE
Andy, you are our son, and we love you. Don't throw your life away. (SHE STANDS) You have a higher obligation towards your family than the country. I want you to have a good life. You owe that to us and yourself. You can repay this debt by getting a job, settling down, getting married and having children.

(DAN STANDS AND WALKS TOWARDS EVE. HE HUGS HER FOR SUPPORT)

ROB
Well, that's settled then.

EVE
(SHE SHRUGS DAN OFF) You are supposed to be helping us.

ROB
What?

ANDY
So, they've enlisted you to talk me out of it.

ROB
I suppose they have.

EVE
I need some help, Dan. It's time to live up to your obligations and be a dad.

DAN
I'm trying my best.

ANDY
You're not going to gang up on me too, are you, Dad?

DAN
The military can make or break you. It changed my life for the better, but it can ruin lives as well. (DAN SITS ON THE SOFA)

ANDY
I agree.

DAN
It's too dangerous these days.

ANDY
Because of 9/11? It's just as dangerous on the home front as on operations. I will be trained and will have the support of my men.

DAN
Yes. (PAUSE) You will have plenty of comrades by your side, but the truth is that the politicians send the military to war, but you won't find them fighting alongside you. And you won't find the civilians thanking you for your service. More than likely, they will spit in your eye every chance they get.

ANDY
I know that from your experience.

DAN
You only think you know. You don't know about it till you have experienced it. I appreciate that you want to be of service, but you will be of better service here at home.

EVE
He's right, Andy. Listen to your father.

ANDY
I knew that you would be against it, but I feel like I have to do something. I want to serve, like Dad and Rob. The country needs me. The army is already stretched to the limit.

DAN
That sounds like propaganda.

ANDY
I have a mind of my own, and I can make the decision for myself. The country needs me after 9/11. I believe that the British Army is a force for good in the world.

ROB
Yeah, right.

ANDY
Can you refuse me the right to serve my country, just because it's dangerous?

EVE
Yes, we can.

DAN
It's all an enigma.

ANDY
You can see that I have a point, don't you, Rob?

ROB
If it didn't involve putting my godson in danger, it would be easier to swallow.

ANDY
Will you speak with the board, Dad?

EVE
No.

DAN
I'm against this as well, Eve. Andy, if you go through with this, it'll be against our wishes.

EVE
It would destroy me to lose you.

DAN
If you enlist, you'll never be the same again.

ROB
If you live.

ANDY
That's very morbid.

DAN
Yes, it is.

EVE
I can't believe this.

DAN
Why don't you wait a while? You might feel differently about it in a few weeks.

ANDY
All right. I'll wait, but can you at least talk to the recruiting board with me?

DAN
If you feel the same way in a month's time, I'll go in with you.

ANDY
When?

ROB
There's no time like the present, How about tomorrow?

EVE
I don't believe this.

DAN
It's just talking, Eve.

ANDY
I don't want to worry you, Mum. (ANDY WALKS OVER TO HER AND TAKES HER HAND) I don't want to be living at home for the rest of my life. I want to make you proud of me.

DAN
An MBA would go a long way to make us proud of you. I think you should keep looking for a job in the meantime. The deal is off if you don't put some effort into it.

ANDY
All right, Dad. I'll keep my options open.

DAN
That's settled then, Now, where's that dinner?

EVE
All right, but no more army talk. (THEY WALK TOWARDS THE DOOR)

DAN
That suits me fine, darling.

(LIGHTS GO DOWN WITHEVERYBODY MAKING THEIR WAY OUT THROUGH THE DOOR)


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I would like to thank schruise for the profile picture, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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