Running Time: About 50 minutes
Cast of 3, 2 Male, 1 Female
(NOTE: The play is written for 3 performers who play many parts, coming and going from the past to the present. These parts can be broken out and the play performed by a cast of about 10 or more.)
RON: A Vietnam Veteran (M)
BEV's husband and ERIC's father.
BEV: RON's wife, ERIC's Mother (F)
Also plays roles which represent Viet Cong, Protestors, U.S. Soldiers.
ERIC: Teenage son of RON and BEV (M)
Also plays BILLY, RON's best buddy in Vietnam.
Home was extraordinary."
ArtReach Touring Theatre, Amelia Middle School, Cincinnati
In the One Act Play, Welcome Home, a Vietnam vet finally tells his son what he experienced years ago in the war. Always wise cracking and joking MASH style, soldiers Billy and Ron, forge a deep friendship in Vietnam...
ERIC/BILLY: Hey, hey, hey. Look what we've got here, another patriotic son, a brand new fearless warrior...
RON: Hi, I'm Ron.
BILLY: Come to fight for our country and protect the American Way.
RON: Yeah, well, hi guys. (HE moves to unpack.)
BILLY: So where you from. Rod?
RON: Ohio. It's, uh, Ron.
BILLY: Ohio? What part of Ohio, Bob?
RON: It's Ron.
BILLY: Like I say. Rick, you from Cleveland or that other city? Whaddaya call it? Begins with a C.
RON: Cincinnati and it's Ron.
BILLY: Yeah, yeah, Columbus, Ohio. What a happening town. How long you live there, Joe?
(RON grabs BILLY by the collar.)
RON: What's a matter with you? You got some gripe with me? The name's Ron. Use it. (Lets HIM go.) I figure this whole Vietnam routine is going to be tough enough on its own. I came here to fight the Viet Cong. Not you. So knock it off.
BILLY: Okay, okay. Geez. A guy makes one little mistake. (Thinks.) Ohio.
RON: Ohio, what?
BILLY: I'll just call you Ohio if that's all right with you. I'm having a little trouble remembering that other name. So what do you say, Ohio?
RON: (Tired of it.) Fine, fine. And I'll call you Mississippi.
BILLY: I'm Big Bad Bill. (Shows his hat, "Big Bad Bill" written on the band.) See, it says so right there.
RON: Well, Big Bad Bill, I hope your mouth doesn't always run on automatic like this. I'm the strong and silent type, you know what I mean?
BILLY: Oh, you'll get over that soon enough. You need every buddy you can get in Vietnam, man. Plus, you got a lot to learn.
RON: About what?
BILLY: Peanut butter, for one.
RON: Peanut butter?
BILLY: It's one of Charlie's favorite magic tricks. Charlie's our pet name for the Viet Cong. He puts insect repellent in a small can of peanut butter - booby trap. Now you see the GI, now you don't.
RON: I guess you guys don't eat too much peanut butter.
BILLY: Clean lost my appetite for peanut butter. I wanna grow old, if you know what I mean. Hey, want to see something? (Takes pictures from inside of his hat.) Is that the most beautiful girl in the world, or what?
RON: She's hot.
BILLY: One gorgeous babe. Linda, Linda, Linda. (Kisses picture.) I know, I know what you're thinking. How did somebody with a mug like mine rate a chick that is 100% prime time gorgeous like her.
RON: (Laughs.) I was wondering.
BILLY: She loves me for my mind.
RON: Oh, man, get outta here.
BILLY: Hey, it just happens that I got a very high I.Q.
RON: Yeah, right.
BILLY: Hey, I was a brain surgeon before I got drafted.
[Later in the play, Billy is sure that Ron will be the first to get hit, but that's not how it goes down...]
(The sound of choppers. BEV/NURSE, wearing a medivac hat and carrying a bandage, enters with BILLY. HE is wearing a bloody version of his fatigue jacket. THEY move down center. BILLY is writhing and calling out in pain.)
BILLY: I surrender! I surrender! Oh God, I surrender!
BEV/NURSE: Hold on, soldier, calm down.
(SHE seats him on a stool.)
BILLY: What happened? (To HER as if she's RON.) Ohio! What happened? Oh, God, I can't feel my arm. My arm! Hey, Ohio, you'll help me, won't you? Oh, no, Ohio, oh no, oh no. Help me, help me...
NURSE: Yes, yes, we're going to do everything we can, private. Try to relax.
BILLY: Don't leave me. I surrender.
NURSE: No, of course we won't leave you. Lay still now.
(SHE tries to bandage HIM.)
BILLY: Oh God. Oh God. I think I got it pretty bad. Pretty bad. I said I surrender. Did you hear me? I said I surrender. I know, I know what your thinking. I'll do anything to get attention. Hey, Ohio, Ohio! Tell me how bad it is. How about my feet? Have I still got two? Huh? Can I still break dance?
NURSE: Get me a bird, I said! This guy's losing a lot of blood!
BILLY: Aaahhh! Ohio!
NURSE: We'll find him now.
NURSE: (Calling.) Anybody around here know a guy called Ohio? (To HIM.) You've got to calm down. Just lie easy there. Good. Good. (Over her shoulder.) What is the hold up, here? Get that bird over here now!
BILLY: Ohio! Hey, Ohio, is it good enough to go home, you think? You think this is good enough to go home on? Man, I'll tell you, I didn't really want a purple heart, you know? Purple hearts are real bummers, man.
(NURSE tries to move away.)
BILLY: No! Don't leave me!
NURSE: (Over shoulder.) Will you move it? Over here!
BILLY: Write Linda for me, will ya? Tell her... tell her what happened. I don't think I'm going to be writing a lot of letters till my arm gets better, you know?
NURSE: (SHE moves as if putting BILLY on stretcher. SHE gives orders.) Careful, there. Yeah, be careful of his head. Okay, good. (To BILLY.) Just rest easy, big guy. We're gonna fly you out of this garbage pit.
BILLY: Hey, Ohio, you jerk, can I have my lucky hat back now?
(NURSE and BILLY freeze. RON runs into scene. MUSIC CUE #8. Intense percussion sounds.)
BEV: (Removing hat, present, to audience.) That's when it happened.
ERIC: (Removing jacket, present, to audience.) What happened, Dad?
RON: They killed my buddy, man. They killed Billy... they killed Billy...
ERIC: What did you do, Dad?
BEV: He went berserk.
RON: I don't know, man. I was crying. I couldn't help it. I was choking and crying. I couldn't see for the tears...
BEV: He lost control.
RON: They killed my buddy, man. Now somebody is going to pay. Somebody is going to pay, man. This is not funny anymore, you know what I mean? I mean, the joke is over, you comedians!
(RON quickly exits to grab gun, re-enters.)
BEV: He grabbed the gunner's M-60 and took off.
RON: I'm going to find you, you jokers. Ain't no place you can hide but I'll find you. Ain't no place you can run. Run! Run! Ha! You better run!
BEV: There was a tiny village nearby...
RON: I got my lucky hat, man...
Note: This is a sample from the actual script. To review the entire play, order the PERUSAL SCRIPT (online instant download).