A “Coming Home” Reunion for “Tracers”


“Old soldiers never die,” they don’t even fade away, and their stories live on, thanks to the long running show, “Tracers” conceived by John DiFusco. It was history in the making at a monumental Veterans’ Forum Q&A following a special presentation of “Tracers” at the Elephant Theatre in Hollywood, on Veteran’s Day, November 11th.
Describing the camaraderie and solidarity amongst the cast, moderator (writer John DiFusco) stated, “We’re family…we’re the veterans everyone once wanted to forget— we’re survivors- besides not getting killed in the war, we didn’t kill ourselves after…”
The beauty of the play “Tracers” is the cathartic emotional release, where actors who are also vets join together, to re-create and reinvent their war stories, friendships developed, highs, lows, and all the wounds, scars and healing.
Floyd “Shad” Meshad, distinguished member of the panel, Vietnam vet, and currently a psychiatric social worker who runs a crisis hotline at the National Veterans Foundation, graced the audience with his presence and pearls of wisdom. He honestly admitted that Veterans’ Day for him, is typically spent “in quiet reflection,” remembering and honoring all who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and the price paid for freedom.
His noble mission and purpose in life today, is to save a soul,  and in turn, save the world. Though the scars of battle will never go away, the premiere of “Tracers” over 19 years ago set the stage for healing, open discussion, and the hardest part- dealing with “the war after the war.”
Some of the play’s eloquent, graphic dialogue: “gunshots permeated the air, melodies of blood, piercing at your heart…we live daily in our subterranean rat-infested bunkers…feeling a self propelled hammer and anvil between the temples…” evinces heart-wrenching emotions and unfathomable images of a soldier’s dark world.  These stories, vivid details, and deeply sensitive recollections in “Tracers” will be forever imprinted from generation to generation.

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