INTERIOR- BARRACKS, PENDLETON - DAY
Sharratt, in civilian clothes, packs away his
belongings for transport.
He seals the box and addresses it in marker to
himself at his parent’s home.
He writes L/CPL, USMC next to his name then
blacks it out. EXIT BARRACKS………
PENDLETON - DAY
Sharratt, in civilian clothes, carries a
camouflaged back-pack over his shoulder as he exits the barracks
into the bright San Diego sun.
The activity of the base is the backdrop as
Sharratt walks to his motorcycle in the parking lot.
GENERAL MATTIS (Voice over--Official letter
from Lieutenant General J. N. Mattis, USMC to Lance Corporal Justin L.
You have served as a Marine Infantryman in Iraq
where our nation is fighting a shadowy enemy...
Sharratt secures the pack to the rear and
unfurls a small American flag on a short pole attached to the bike……
GENERAL MATTIS (Voice Over continued)
...an enemy who hides among the
innocent people, does not comply
with any aspect of the law of war
and who routinely targets and
intentionally draws fire toward
Sharratt climbs on the bike, starts it and
pulls away slowly. EXT. PENDLETON ROAD – DAY
Sharratt rides his motorcycle at slow speed
along the roads of Camp Pendleton. He is surrounded on his ride by
the history of the Marine Corps and by current day fighting men and
General Mattis' voice-over follows him on his
GENERAL MATTIS (V.O.)
Operational, moral and legal imperatives demand
that we Marines stay true to our own standards
in this morally bruising environment
and that we, in the words of the
Marine Hymn, 'Keep our honor clean'...
Sharratt pauses at an intersection then turns,
following a sign that reads 'Main Gate’
GENERAL MATTIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
...With the dismissal of these charges
you may fairly conclude that you did
your best to live up to these
standards in the face of life or
death decisions made by you in a
matter of seconds in combat...
EXT. PENDLETON MAIN GATE - DAY
Sharratt reaches the Main Gate. MARINES ON
GUARD man the structure. The civilian world lies beyond in the
Sharratt stops on his motorcycle, looks around
then up to the American Flag flying in the clear sunlight alongside
the Marine Corps Flag.
GENERAL MATTIS (V.O.)
...And, as you have always remained
cloaked in the presumption of
innocence, with this dismissal of
charges, you remain in the eyes of
the law - and in my eyes - innocent.
Sharratt salutes the flags, lowers his hand
slowly, drives away, the American flag on the motorcycle streaming
Excerpts from Honor, a screenplay by Peter Gibbons
Contact: gibbons @ juno.com
copyright registered WGAE #I16692