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An impressionistic montage:
A SILHOUETTED MAN in front of mirror dons his Marine dress blues. Spit polish shoes laced. Medals clipped to jacket. All in CLOSE-UP. We never see him fully.
The Man puts HIS HAT squarely on his head. EYES glint.
On the man’s dresser: MARINE MEMORABILIA. Three Purple Hearts, photos of a WOMAN (his wife), PHOTOS OF MARINES in combat locales. TIGHTER into the photos, we HEAR PANICKED VOICES, EXPLOSIONS, NOISES OF BRUTAL COMBAT.
IMAGES: Through smoke, a desperate MARINE PRIVATE who knows he will never be rescued... TWO MARINES walk up to a farmhouse door; through the screen we see a MOTHER AND DAUGHTER who know what the news will be...
IMAGES: A MARINE COLOUR GUARD carries a COFFIN... Now we are the coffin as a FLAG drapes down on us.
placed into a YOUNG WOMANIS HAND.
Now we’re in ARLINGTON CEMETERY. Images of the cemetery are reflected in wet puddles, as the SPIT-SHINED SHOES walk past images of the TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER a ROW OF GRAVES comes into focus
A1G CLOSE-UP on the MARINE’S HAT, and his EYES. Suddenly AN
EXPLOSION and we see—
A MARINE in a jungle, radioing for help: ,You gotta get us outta here sir, Jesus, they’re all over us... ! And an’ EXPLOSION ends the communication ...
AII CLOSE-UP on the MARINE’S EYES and FADE IN:
EXT. ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY - MO
Two groundskeepers on “ride ‘em” lawn mowers, BENNIE and MARLIN, smoke Camels and watch the MARINE OFFICER from the opening montage. He’s alone, across the cemetery.