2022-2023 tour

Retired Green Beret Scott Mann examines ‘holistic horror of war’ in ‘Last Out’

Storytelling helped Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann deal with post-traumatic stress after serving in the Afghanistan War and retiring in 2012. A decade later, it’s helping him — and others — deal with the fallout of that war all over again.

In August 2021, as the Taliban took over Afghanistan and the U.S. scrambled to evacuate its allies and citizens, former Green Beret Mann was busy launching the film version of his play, “Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret,” on Amazon. The play, written by and starring Mann, tells the story of a Green Beret who is trapped between his family obligations and his mission in Afghanistan as he struggles to ascend to the mythical warrior afterlife of Valhalla after getting hit with a roadside bomb.

But Mann soon switched gears, founding Task Force Pineapple with other veterans to help more than 1,000 Afghan refugees escape Kabul…


Forty years ago, actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise directed the Vietnam war drama “Tracers” at Steppenwolf Theatre – 12 years before his Academy Award nomination for the “Forrest Gump” role of Lt. Dan Taylor. Sinise noted that with Vietnam veterans in his own family, “ … it was a personal mission for me to honor them … to let them, and all veterans, know that their service to our country was appreciated, and that their sacrifices would never be forgotten.” Now, his Gary Sinise Foundation presents the play “Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret” at Steppenwolf in Chicago.

Sinise’s friend, retired Lt. Col. Scott Mann, an Afghanistan combat veteran, has written the modern-day equivalent to “Tracers” with “Last Out.” The play is based on the stories and experiences of the men and women Mann served with. Mann states, “‘Last Out’ is a story never told from a voice never heard. A love letter to civilians to let them know the cost of modern war. A love letter to our Gold Star families, and certainly a love letter to our active duty members, our reserve, our National Guard and our veterans.” Mann began writing “Last Out” as a creative outlet to aid his own healing….

past tour/film


Like other professionals, professional soldiers are oath-bound to perform their duties. Beholden to the intractable wars that the U.S. has been steeped in for the bulk of the 21st century a phrase of respect has worked its way into the American vernacular and is directed toward military veterans: “Thank you for your service.” But few of us truly grasp what that “service” entails in terms of sacrifice. Some of the scars of service are physically visible, while other wounds are psychological and not easily seen or known.

“Last Out: Elegy of a Green Beret” — a new play by the retired Green Beret veteran, Scott Mann, who also plays the protagonist, Master Sergeant Danny Patton — puts the wreckage of war in the context of our country’s longest war (still underway after two-decades) in Afghanistan, while also intertwining metaphysics, mythology and military tradition in to the plot line…


Scott developed a great general premise for this excellent story with key flashback after flashback illustrating a tragic love story of the highest order that is filled with historical accuracy ranging from Special Forces in Vietnam through Afghanistan that included three generations of a family’s pain-filled stories. Scott clearly understands the screenwriting craft and has managed to create very alive characters, fast-paced action, compelling dialogue and speech (including profanity), with pacing that held the full attention of the audience with no slow points during the entire 85 minutes of the play.  

This is the most emotionally compelling play  I’ve ever seen – and is well ahead of most war movies and books.  Hemingway came to mind as I drove away.  Memorial Day weekend was an ideal time to attend this presentation…