Drama / Characters: 3m, 2f /
In American Soldiers, the patriarch of a politically prominent Long Island family fights to hold the family together when his eldest daughter, an Army veteran, returns from the Middle East for an uneasy homecoming. The girl, emotionally scarred from her military service, is struggling to take her ex-boyfriend and sister away with her to start a new life in Colorado. Her aim is to liberate them of the hometown influences of society, religion and class that led her to enlist. The play reveals the urge of children to break away, the power of family destiny and the emotional ties that bind.
What is it about Nassau and Suffolk counties that makes them a breeding ground for "good little American soldiers," as Angela Coletti, the returning veteran, says? Her late mother had been a local Assemblywoman and her brother, Carlo Jr., is now running for a congressional seat. They are liberal politicians and "modern" Catholics, chastened by the wars of our time, who would seem to hold the old beliefs at arms' length. But to Angela, they are no more than cogs in a machine of conformity whose morals make no sense and who perpetuate dangerous myths.
The force of her rebellion is set against the determination of her father, a Vietnam Veteran who is equally committed to holding the family together. His methods range from the good old fatherly temper tantrum to the kind of heart-to-heart with his soldier-daughter that only veterans can have. Through their tug of war, we witness the real forces that keep many of our young people fighting what Angela calls, "the same fight, generation after generation." It's the power of family and the hold of religion.
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.