by Paula Wesson, Staff Writer
Many students at Cedar Crest College have family in the military, and some are even military wives. This past weekend, students at Cedar Crest College performed “Silent Heroes,” a play about military wives and the issues that many women face. Every minute of the play kept the audience members on the edge of their seats or on the edge of tears.
The play opens to three women waiting in an airplane hangar after hearing that a plane went down during a drill, killing the yet unidentified pilot. The other wives enter the room one by one. Their stories are told one by one. And they leave one by one.
The women try to distract themselves with positive aspects of their life. However, this does not last long. Eleanor, played by sophomore theatre and education major Amanda Thomas, begins to question Patsy. She suspects Patsy is being abused by her husband, Larry.
Patsy, played by Sarah Pilkington, a senior communications major, denies it just as many women struggling with domestic abuse do. She finally admits to being abused and claims she cannot leave her husband because she cannot raise four children on her own. Eleanor tells her that she already does raise them by herself since Larry is often away. By the time Larry returns to the base, Patsy decides to spend the night at Eleanor’s house.
Patsy knows that Eleanor and her husband have their own problems. During his tour in Vietnam, Gus had an affair resulting in the birth of a baby boy. Eleanor has five daughters of her own.
When she found out, Eleanor considered adopting the child. Instead, she decides not to tell anyone, including her own children, because she is ashamed. Although Gus has been sleeping on the floor for the past eight months, Eleanor is excited to see him return to the base alive.
When Felicia’s husband arrives safely, Felicia says she wants to stay with the remaining wives. Felicia, played by freshman psychology major Gerlie Loyola, complains about a problem within the Marines.
Although their race is never mentioned, it is implied that Marcus is African-American. He is one of the first and the few to be a part of the integrated Marine Corps. Felicia also says their son won’t be allowed to attend the same school as Kitty’s children because of his race, not because of his grades.
The audience learns very little of Kitty’s life. Jaclyn DeCarlo, a freshman dance and English major, plays Kitty, who seems hap- pily married. She runs out to meet Jim when she sees him walking towards them.
Miranda and June are the last women left waiting. Miranda, played by senior theatre and communications major Rebecca Pan- done, had protested the Vietnam War, which ended several months prior to the night of the accident. She plans to become a lawyer and claims Brian, her husband, is going to leave the Marines for her. June believes Miranda is un-American and asks how important the flag is to her.
June’s first husband, Steve, was also a pilot for the Marines. His plane went down and he died before they found him. June, played by Rachel Morgandale, a senior English major with a writing concentration and communications minor, told herself she wasn’t going to marry another pilot, but she did.
Less than a year after marrying Jack, June received word that he, too, had died in a crash. The commanding officer called June to tell her it was a mistake. Again, June is waiting to find out if Jack died.
When they hear the final plane land, June suggests that they walk out together to see whose husband has returned instead of watching through the window. They exit the stage, and the audience never learns the identity of the fifth survivor.
The women had support for each other throughout the difficult night. This parallels the cause for which this play was produced and to which a portion of the ticket sales were donated: the Liberty USO, which provides morale support for military families in similar situations.