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Quotes for
Pvt. Will Stockdale (Character)
from No Time for Sergeants (1958)

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No Time for Sergeants (1958)
Sergeant King: Why ain't you dead?
Will Stockdale: No excuse, sir!

Maj. Demming: I think that I would rather live in the rottenest pig sty in Tennessee or Alabama than the fanciest mansion in all of Georgia. How about that?
Will Stockdale: Well, sir... I think where you wanna live is your business.

Benjamin B. Whitledge: Our post was the tail of the plane and nobody told us to quit it!
Will Stockdale: But the tail was on fire, Ben! Our post was a-quittin' us!

[reading from inductee questionnaire]
Benjamin B. Whitledge: You ever had R.O.T.C.?
Will Stockdale: No... , but Irvin did! Close to a year of it. He's so 'ornary I think he still might have a touch of it.
Benjamin B. Whitledge: No, Will. R.O.T.C. ain't a disease, it's trainin'... Reserve, Officer's, Training... ,uh... Corporation!

Will Stockdale: [looking out barracks window and he heard taps, played in another quatchet hut] Somebody brung their trumpet.

Benjamin B. Whitledge: Every man in my whole family's been in the infantry, clear back to my great-grampa. You know what he done?
[Will shakes his head "no"]
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Fought with Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville, that's what.
Will Stockdale: [laughs] Licked him good, too, I bet!

Will Stockdale: Hey, Ben. Maybe you'll get to like the Air Force. Zoomin' all over the sky - and shouting, "Roger" and "Wilco" and everything. Maybe it won't be so bad.
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Bad? You know what they call men in the Air Force?
[Will shakes his head "no"]
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Air man! Like somethin' out of a dang funny book! Air man! How you gonna like it when somebody calls you "Air man"?
Will Stockdale: By dog, I just don't think I'll stand for it.

[after Will has spent all night cleaning the latrine, Sgt. King is amazed at how beautiful it is]
Sergeant King: Wait 'til the Captain sees this. Why he inspects this place like it was an operating room where somebody was gonna cut out his heart. Never in your life have you seen such a guy for stickin' his head right down into things.
[looks at the commodes]
Will Stockdale: You figure he'll like what I done?
Sergeant King: He'll be a new man. Will, uh, how would you like to be Permanent Latrine Orderly?
Will Stockdale: Permanent Latrine Orderly?
Sergeant King: P.L.O.
Will Stockdale: Gol-lee!

Maj. Demming: Do you get along alright with your mother?
Will Stockdale: No, sir, I can't hardly say that I do...
Maj. Demming: Oh, I see. She's very strict with you; she's always hovering over you, hmm?
Will Stockdale: No, sir, just the opposite.
Maj. Demming: Oh, she's never there?
Will Stockdale: That's right.
Maj. Demming: And you, uh, you resent this neglect, don't you?
Will Stockdale: Well, no, sir. I don't resent nothin'.
Maj. Demming: Ah, come now, son. Now don't be bashful - that's a common situation. Does, uh, she beat you?
Will Stockdale: Naw!
Maj. Demming: [he chuckles] Oh, so defensive. Well, it's not easy to talk about your mother, is it?
Will Stockdale: No sir, see, she died when I was born.

Maj. Demming: Now then - your father. Living?
Will Stockdale: Yes, sir.
Maj. Demming: Do you get along with him okay?
Will Stockdale: Yes, sir.
Maj. Demming: Does he ever beat you?
Will Stockdale: [laughs] You bet!
Maj. Demming: Hard?
Maj. Demming: And how! Boy, there ain't nobody can beat like my pa can.
Maj. Demming: So this is where the antagonism comes from.
[chuckles]
Maj. Demming: You, uh, you hate your father don't you?
Will Stockdale: No. Hey, I got a uncle I hate though. Ever time he comes out to the house, he's always wantin' to rassle with the mule. And the mule gets all wore out... and he gets all wore out. Well, I, I don't really hate him, though; it's just that I ain't exactly partial to him.
Maj. Demming: Did I ask you about your uncle?
Will Stockdale: I thought you wanted to talk about hatin' people.

[Will and Ben have made it back to the base and see the troops massed on the field]
Will Stockdale: How 'bout that. It's some kind of real big ceremony.
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Look... the flag - it's at half-mast. It's a funeral ceremony, that's what it is! Lt. Bridges and them others they didn't get out of the plane. Now we got that on our heads, too.
Will Stockdale: Aw, now, Ben, they warn't so easy-going they wouldn't know they was on fire!

[Will and Ben are waiting in the General's office and hear the ceremony over the P.A]
Voice of announcer: General Bush has just taken his place on the reviewing stand. And now the four lieutenants who braved the atomic blast and will receive the air medal are bravely mounting the platform.
Benjamin B. Whitledge: The lieutenants? They're alive! They're gettin' medals! They're heroes!
Will Stockdale: Gollee!
Benjamin B. Whitledge: If we'd a stayed on the plane, we'd been heroes.
Voice of announcer: It is a solemn moment, ladies and gentlemen. The many visiting dignitaries standing at attention; the flag at half-mast in honor of the two men who gave their lives in Operation Prometheus: Privates Stockdale and Whitledge.
Benjamin B. Whitledge, Will Stockdale: [together, in unison] Stockdale and Whitledge?
Voice of announcer: Yes, Stockdale and Whitledge... names that will live as long as men are free.
Will Stockdale: We are heroes, Ben!
Benjamin B. Whitledge: But we ain't dead!
Will Stockdale: Well, that makes it even better don't it?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: They think we're heroes and we're a couple of rotten, no-good deserters.
Will Stockdale: [laughs] Gollee, will they be surprised!
Benjamin B. Whitledge: They'll kill us - that's what they'll do - they'll kill us!

Maj. Gen. Eugene Bush: What's the matter with the other "hero"? He keeps saying he's sorry and that he only has one life to give for his county.
Will Stockdale: He figures you all brought us out here to get shot.
Maj. Gen. Eugene Bush: [Together with Gen.Pollard] Shot!
Maj. Gen. Eugene Bush: Ridicules, all these witnesses Vernon? Take a smoke.

WAF Captain: [Ben shakes Will. The captain feels something is wong with him as he stares slack-jawed] What's the matter with this guy? Have you been drinking?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: No. No, sir.
Benjamin B. Whitledge: [to Will] Get at attention, Will!
[Ben pulls the stunned Will up by his belt]
WAF Captain: We're sendig this to school?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Yes, sir... ma'am! If he passes the eye test, he'll be goin' to gunnery school.
WAF Captain: As what? A target?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Yes, ma'am!
WAF Captain: Let's have no more rowdy-dow. Understand? No more!
Benjamin B. Whitledge: [to Will after the captain walks away] What's the matter with you anyhow? Don't you know enough to come to attention and salute an officer?
Will Stockdale: She was a woman!
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Sure she was. Ain't you ever heard of the Women's Air Force?
Will Stockdale: You mean they got one too?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: Sure!
Will Stockdale: Against ours?
Benjamin B. Whitledge: No, Will, they're with us. They're with us 100%.

Will Stockdale: How come we're going up so early sergeant?
Sergeant King: To break the sound barrier. You gotta sneak up on it when nobody's looking.


"The United States Steel Hour: No Time for Sergeants (#2.14)" (1955)
[first lines]
Will Stockdale: [to the audience] Howdy, I'm Will Stockdale. I'm fixin' to tell you some of the things that happened to me in the draft.

Will Stockdale: He *is* sick, Ben. I heard Lucky say it. Irving had ROTC. For a whole year he had it!

Will Stockdale: It's just that the Infantry is the real soldiers, and the Air Force ain't nothin' but helpers.

Will Stockdale: [to the captain] I spend most of my time in the latrines, because Sgt. King said he never seen a man so interested in latrines as you are. You go in there and look at them faucets. I polished 'em so hard they don't say Hot and Cold no more.

Will Stockdale: [entering the major's office] Major Psychiatrist?

Major: Georgia? Not much of a state, is it?
Will Stockdale: Well, I don't live all over the state. I just live in this one little place in it.

Major: How was your childhood?
Will Stockdale: Well, I was kinda young...

Major: He whipped you frequently?
Will Stockdale: There can't nobody beat like my pa can.
Major: You hate him!
Will Stockdale: No. I got a uncle I hate, though. Every time he comes out to the house he's always wantin' to rassle the mule. And the mule gets all wore out and he gets all wore out. I don't really hate him, though. It's just that I ain't exactly partial to him.
Major: Did I ask you about your uncle?
Will Stockdale: I thought you liked to talk about hatin' people.

Ben Whitledge: Ain't you never heard of the Women's Air Force?
Will Stockdale: You mean they got one, too?
Ben Whitledge: Shore they do.
Will Stockdale: Against our'n?

Will Stockdale: [toasting] To Sgt. King, the best dang sergeant in the whole danged Air Force, dang it.

[last lines]
Will Stockdale: [to the camera] Good night! Good night, pa!
[runs to catch up with Pvt. King and Ben]
Will Stockdale: Hey, wait for me, fellas!