Scott Mann is a professional storyteller. His play Last Out is a full-spectrum treatment of our war in Afghanistan. It is not an anti-war play. It is not a pro-war play. It is simply a play about war and all its complications - the toll it takes on the warfighter; the way it impacts the warfighter’s family - both positively and negatively; the intersection of cultures in this particular war; finding - or failing to find - a strategic equilibrium that worked and was sustainable. It short Scott gives a 360-degree look at the micro and macro implications of the war. It is rare to find a play that feeds both left and right brains, yet Scott managed to write it. More than that, he also starred in the play, along with a cast that includes two other combat veterans. Only the outbreak of COVID stopped Last Out’s tour of 16 cities.
But you can’t understand Scott as a warrior-artist until you really understand his warrior path. A career Army officer, Scott retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with most of his time spent in Special Forces. Also ten years after retirement, Scott found himself launching Task Force Pineapple to help evacuate Afghans, especially Afghan commandos from the country following our withdrawl. As a result, Scott has a real chip on his shoulder about the way the war was fought, the way we left the country and the way we abandoned our allies. He also carries a lot of love for the Afghan people and the Green Berets he served with. Now, on the cusp of potential US involvement in Ukraine, Scott still has skin in the game - his son is an Infantry platoon leader. In other words, there’s no way we could not spend the bulk of the episode unpacking Scott’s takeaways from his military, familial and humanitarian efforts. This was a truly unique episode with a truly accomplished warrior-artist who has managed to find the balance of his art, his moral obligations and his warrior path.