A powerful tale of life after war by short-story master
Hooper, a Vietnam veteran, finds himself at an army base in
Washington State. His days are uneventful, filled with mundane duties, empty
conversations, and the occasional jaunt with a married woman.
A phone call in the middle of the night breaks Hooper’s predictable
routine. One of the guards at the communications center is threatening to kill
himself—and says he’ll shoot the other guard if he interferes. Hooper goes to
talk to the distressed soldier, a cook nicknamed “Porkchop” who’s disappointed
by his life as an army man. As their talk reveals the struggle to readjust to
life after combat, the situation turns deadly, and the men must face the
consequences of their actions.
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