Very much appreciate that you took time
out to respond to my recent e-mails to you.
I'd like to add that the friend referred to in "Letter To A Friend" is Bill Henry, a former Platoon Commander of our 2nd Platoon, Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the Marine Corps 3rd Division. Bill, along with his fine lady, Maureen, live in Starkville , Mississippi , met in Millington, Tennessee after he suffered severe wounds in a helicopter crash along Vietnam 's DMZ. After having been medevac'd for surgery, Bill was later sent to Millington's hospital which was nearest to his home for recuperation. Maureen, a commissioned Navy Lieutenant and registered nurse, tended to Bill's wounds during his stay, a romance began & they married not long afterwards.... It is their story of which has prompted me to completely re-write my original screenplay of * GRUNTS * and to add a Navy nurse to the scenario... The "AMERICAN ANGELS" of the Vietnam war were the "Nurses" (Of All Branches), "Red Cross Workers", "THE USO" & "Donut Dollys"...!!!
About my biographical sketch, hope you do not mind that that I feel more comfortable using your submission form as a guide (Printed & posted upon my desk).
begin, Hi, my name is Michael Regan. A graduate of
We met a few weeks after I had returned from
We have two sons... Gregory, who with his fine lady, Stephanie, have given us two granddaughters, Samantha, age 4, & Allison, 1... Timothy, with his fine lady, Meredith have given us a granddaughter, Alexandra, age 7, and Harrison, 3...
That Thomas Wolfe Quote, "You Can Never Go Back Home Again", is absolute B.S... Back in good 'ole Hicksville again, after a foray in
I can now admit. My favorite place to meet friends during school break
between classes was just outside that gate near the shop classes for a smoke.
After school was the Sweet Shoppe down in town next to the Bakery...
Favorite teacher, hands down, was Mr. Salver, who taught "American History"... He was one of those few teachers we ran into during those wonderful years who absolutely loved his job and it very much showed... His students responded likewise... Very much doubt that Mr. Salver had to fail anyone in his classes... A "Class Act", indeed...!!!
Non-Academic activity of mine at
education beyond High School was only 12 credits, Business Marketing
& Management. from CW Post College as Hess offered me a gasoline
Served in the United States Marine Corps, primarily as an infantryman, half of that tour as a corporal & a squad leader, mostly within the jungles along
My hobbies & pastimes include jogging, where you'll find me once or twice a week jogging for a few hours, usually starting at about 1:00 AM in the morning, at the Hicksville Junior High Track... "I've got the whole track to myself because no one is allowed on the track after dusk... "Hey, I won't tell if you don't...!!!" (LOL)... Golf is my next love in sports... Not that great at it, but simply love being out there with some pals. Brings me back to a wonderful time of my early to mid teens caddying at the Muttontown Golf & Country Club on 25A. The experience taught me all about etiquette, the wonderful beauty of silence, how to enjoy guzzling a quart or two of ice-cold water at the drinking fountains located throughout the course, courtesy (Carrying the other caddy's bags to the next tee while he tended the pin) and even picking up a few pointers on the game while caddying for Muttontown's PGA Pro, Hicksville's own Frank Zeray, and whoever his student might be... Have to admit that those nickel/dime blackjack games back at the caddy yard between loops were fun, too...
a long story a bit longer, my hobbies include picking on a Fender
T-Bucket Electric Acoustic guitar while watching either the New York Yankees or
the New York Giants taking on an opponent. Favorite hobby is reading. My
sons turned me onto "Kindle" over a year ago and having a ball with
it. My own favorite genre is mystery/suspense (My dad got me rolling
really young with all those "Hardy Boys" novels he would give to my
two brothers and I). The prices are great at "Amazon" and when you
purchase a book on-line the book appears on your Kindle in under five seconds
(!!!)... Lotsa' freebies, too...
One thing no one knows about me...??? I often go to my yearbook, turn to our Principle, Mr. Galloway's yearbook address to our Class Of 1966.... Here it is, in it's entirety:
Leon J. Galloway
Now the hard one... Tell us what we need to know.
My first thought which comes to mind is to share what my
parents never, ever spoke, within that wonderful Cape Cod we all shared as a
family home at
The many facets of which makes up each of us as individual
"Americans", including our ancestral roots, the many fine
cultures of which our families both represent and have contributed to
these United States Of America... Whether it be our Ethnicities, Religions,
Experiences in Life or be it of Artistry in Architecture, Invention, Labor,
Fine & Decent Moral Ethics & Manners, Music, Poetry, Entertainment,
Culinary, etc., basically, we are all here for the same reason. That being, and
to borrow From Mr. Galloway's address to Hicksville High School Class Of 1966,
"Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness"
Can you imagine what it would be like if, at this very moment in time, every child could enter his or her home knowing that they will never, ever hear from their parents an ethnic or religious slur...??? Or a slur against any other categories I've fore mentioned... Heck, it worked quite well on
And wouldn't it be awesome if our entertainment industries, including, Motion Picture, "TELEVISION", Journalism, Radio, Music, Writing, etc., actually cleaned up both their vocabulary "AND" actions & joined the movement...!!! We parents & grandparents could actually, and safely, send our children off to the Saturday Matinee's knowing that there are many, many "G" rated films for them, including us as parents & grandparents... Would even be greater if we parents & grandparents could let our children safely sit in front of a television set because of all the "Family Entertainment"
PS...My Former Wife, Suzy, And I, Early 70's, Lakeside On
Eastern Long Island's
Photograph (Below) Was Snapped At A Time Before A Vicious Liberal Media Turned The Tide Against Anyone & Anybody Who Was Connected To The War In
Our Marriage Would Also Fall Victim
The Lavery Family's Son, Gregg Lavery, Suzy's Brother & My Good Friend, An Incredible Marine, Machine Gunner And Just An All Around "Great Guy", Lost His Life During A Fire-Fight Near Qua Viet, Vietnam's DMZ, On March 18th Of 1968 While Serving With The Marine Corps 2ND Battalion, 4TH Regiment Of The Marine Corps 3RD Division...
May Your Wonderful "Living Spirit", Gregg, Be "Safe", "Happy" & "Secure" As You Await Your Re-Crossing Of The "Great Divide"... I'll Be Standing By With An Ice Cold Six-Pack Of Coors...
& "Semper Fidelis"
LOG LINE: The
Romance Between A Journalist Professor, J.J. McCourt, And A Registered
Nurse, Jeanie Layne, of A
Telephone: (516) 342- 6874
Though The Motion Picture Is "Fictional" In Nature, The Photograph, Displayed below, Provided The "Inspiration". Just A Few Of The Incredible United States Marines From Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment (2/3) Of The Marine Corps 3rd Division I Was Lucky Enough & Fortunate Enough To Have Served With In Vietnam.
Top Row (Left To Right)
Larry Swink, Winterton, Frank Costanzo, Ramon "Poncho" Arroyo, Dave "Sgt Bro" Brombaugh, James Vaughan...
Bottom Row (Left To Right)
Al Clark, Joe Williams, Ted Amato, Myself...
Both the screenplay and synopsis are registered with
"Writers Guild". They are also registered under both the title *
The Grunt * (Slang for infantryman), registration #R22465 and the synopsis, *
Grunts * (Preferred because the story relates to numerous infantryman rather
than one), registration #R22464.
With sincerest of regards,
p.s. A link to The "Rhythm Aces" tune entitled "Third Rate Romance" plays a significant role within the story line and can be viewed by clicking the hyperlink below. Though the tune was actually released a few years after the time frame represented in the screenplay, hopefully it will be regarded as one of those "Bloopers" that have been found in even the best of motion pictures... Hank Williams 1970 "All For The Love Of Sunshine", for instance, which played mid-way into "Kelly's Heros", was based on a fictional event taking place 25 years prior (WWII)... "Thanks"
(Left Click Below)
* GRUNTS *
A Screenplay By
Our story begins at an antiwar rally at
Dissolving into later evening, we see a group of about fifty of the students partying in the sitting room of one of the University’s local fraternity houses. Smoking marijuana, laughing and listening to music, the mood is one of victory. Some of the students, along with a few teachers, are watching television on the far side of the room. We now focus on to our two main characters, J.J. McCourt, a Journalism Professor and Jeanie Layne, a Registered Nurse and teacher. Caught up in the excitement of the anti-war movement and events of the day they, like the others, are suddenly quieted as a newscast concerning events of the day is broadcast. As it ends, the group lets out a cheer, the volume is lowered, and the party atmosphere continues resumes.
During an embrace, Jeanie, peering over the shoulder of J.J.,
gradually becomes aware of an additional broadcast. The network depicts a scene
of the carnage and destruction of
She begins a discussion with J.J. about the broadcast,
but his own thinking is of indifference and apathy. Jeanie’s thoughts, though,
have obviously changed dramatically and, with the conversation ending in a
violent argument, she storms out of the frat house. McCourt, frustrated, simply
sits and stares at the television set. Accepting a marijuana joint from a fellow
classmate, he takes a long draw, leans back, and falls asleep. He awakes the
following morning to be told by a friend that Jeanie has left the
university. Days later he learns that she has accepted a commission
with the Navy and after brief training as an officer, has left for
We pick up our story some months later in
A grunt, though, comes to his aid and sees to it that J.J.
McCourt's gear is replaced. We finally see McCourt left standing in a pair of
torn jungle boots, a muddied pair of camouflaged pants, a sleeveless sweat shirt
from the 5th Air Cav, a soiled bush hat and a sawed off shotgun. Ingenuity is
confirmed as he observes the same grunt heat up a can of coffee by igniting (By
use of a cigarette) a chunk of the explosive, C-4, within a make-shift sterno.
As time goes by, McCourt is gradually accepted into the platoon. Fire-fights come and go, casualties are sent off and replaced as new grunts enter the platoon or as the old-timers go back home (Dubbed “The World” by the troops), long talks about the idiocy of military tacticians continue and the war simply drags on. A very rare mistake of rear area supply screws up distribution, but the event turns to humor when J.J.'s Echo Company, without water for two days in the midst of enemy territory, is blessed with a pallet of Coors beer meant for another Company, Foxtrot, that is enjoying the serenity of a peaceful area five miles to the east. With little chance of a re-supply as dusk settles in, the beer is consumed by the thirsty Marines and bedlam and hang-overs take over their small out-post. A short camera cut reveals a contingent of Communist North Vietnamese Regulars a couple of hundred yards away staring in both wonder and amazement at the Marine outpost with all it's music, laughter and bedlam.
One NVA soldier turns to another and, in Vietnamese, says,
"Chúng ta phải cẩn
thận với những Thủy
quân lục chiến điên ...
Nó phải là một cái
bẫy...!" ("We must be careful with those crazy
Marines... It must be a trap...!")
Halfway into his tour, McCourt is summoned to the
Regiment's rear at Quang Tri to resolve a problem with paper work. Having to
stay the night, he wanders into the base’s Officers Club. Nicknamed the
“Animal Pit”, the spacious building has live music provided by an Oriental
band, close to a hundred slot machines lined along two walls and a long bar
running the length of another wall. As he enters the club and takes in the
surroundings, J.J.'s eyes become riveted toward a table far off in the
corner. Sitting at the table, chatting, laughing and drinking, is a group of
Navy nurses. Among them is Jeanie Layne. He walks over and the relationship
resumes. Both shocked at seeing each other for the first time since their
split-up so many months ago in
Toward the end of his assignment in
Our story now comes full cycle as we return to
We finally see the Chevy with both Jeanie and J.J. aboard leaving campus and freeze the scene as the car stops, a door opens, and the crutch is seen being thrown from within. The “Rhythm Aces” kick in with “Third Rate Romance”.