(KNOCKING ON DOOR)
(DOOR OPENS, CLOSES)
Hi. You're Walter?
- Yeah. Hi. Heidi?
- All right.
- You like fish?
- Not especially.
It was here when I got here. (LAUGHS)
I've decided it's soothing.
I feel kind of soothed.
- Oh, good.
- (BOTH CHUCKLE)
Have a seat, please. We can get started.
And if you don't mind, I'd like to record just for my reference.
- Oh, no, it's fine.
- Okay, great.
This is new and it's a bit bewildering.
- Oh. There we are.
Um, it's April , .
This is Heidi Bergman, I'm with Homecoming client Walter Cruz.
Week one, session one.
- Yeah. Drink some coffee.
AJ, we talked about this.
I just need you to help me with this one thing.
I work here. We're not scamming the people...
It's not a scam. What about this is a scam?
- Uh, everything.
Heidi, random question.
Would you want to know if you could
double or triple your net worth?
Does that sound like a scam?
- You can't triple nothing, AJ.
- (BELL DINGS)
MAN: Four, pick it up.
See? Get out of here.
Do you know what you'd like?
Um, no, I...
All right, well, take your time. I'll come back.
No, I'm... I'm sorry, I'm...I'm not here to eat.
Heidi? Is that your name?
H...Heidi Bergman. Correct?
Yeah. Do I know you?
Um, I'm Thomas Carrasco with the DoD IG.
- The what?
- The Department of Defense?
Office of the Inspector General?
Are you asking me?
(CHUCKLES) No, sorry, it is... it's...it's a...
And you're Heidi Bergman. You were employed at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center?
Oh, um, yes.
I mean, years ago.
- How many?
- How many what?
How many years ago did you work at Homecoming?
Uh, I...I don't know, maybe four?
What is this about?
We received a complaint about that program, and you're the listed admin, so...
- I'm... I don't, um...
- The soldiers, uh, that you treated there, how...
how...how were they...
Um, why don't you go outside, and I will get a break and come talk to you?
Sure. Right...right now?
- Yeah. I'll just...
- I'll just meet you out there?
- Right outside the door. Yes.
- I'll meet you out there right outside.
Right outside? Right outside.
Okay, Walter Cruz, years old, three tours.
- You got here when, Friday?
- Yeah. Friday.
Wonderful. So I am supposed to read you this welcome.
And I warn you, it is very, very boring.
- (LAUGHS SOFTLY) Okay.
"Welcome, Walter Cruz, to the Homecoming Transitional Support Center.
First, allow me to thank you, on behalf of the president and a grateful nation for your valuable service.
We thank you for keeping us safe."
It's cheesy, I know.
No. No, it's fine.
"My name is Heidi Bergman, and I am your case worker for this reintegration process.
Our facility is a safe space for you to process your military experience and refamiliarize yourself with civilian life in a monitored environment."
Which just means getting you situated now that you're back.
Basically, I work for you.
All right, so the only...
I don't want to say "mandatory"... but...
- But mandatory?
- Yeah, I guess.
- (LAUGHS SOFTLY)
- The only mandatory elements are the group meals in the cafeteria, the workshops which you'll hear about, and, um, these meetings with me, which hopefully won't be too painful.
Well, that sounds great.
I...I want to be in compliance with all this.
(LAUGHS SOFTLY) No, I, I mean, I know why I'm here.
You know, other guys, they came home and they got really amped and just dove right into everything and then... and they had problems.
And I don't want to end up like them, but... I'm eager.
Eager for what?
Just, like, a life?
Busy, clean life.
I don't want to pollute things here with my problems, my stress, or whatever, so I just...
I want to put it all behind me.
Um, and you acknowledge that your participation in the Homecoming initiative is voluntary and uncoerced?
I just need you to verbally acknowledge that.
Oh. Yeah. Yes. I do.
HEIDI: This is Heidi Bergman for Walter Cruz.
I see no obstacles to approving Cruz for subgroup placement
- and starting him on...
- (PHONE VIBRATING)
- Hi, Colin.
- COLIN (OVER PHONE): Yeah, H...Heidi?
Connection's really shoddy.
- You... you there?
- I... I'm here. Can you hear me?
Yeah. Yeah. I... I barely got you.
Uh, hmm. Can I, can I help you with something?
Uh... f*ck. What was I gonna ask?
Nope, it's totally gone now.
- I... what was I gonna... ?
- (QUIETLY): Oh, sh1t.
Well, anyway, I'm at the new laboratory.
Um, how does it look over there?
Everything's up and running.
You're gonna have a totally consistent supply now.
- That's great.
- You can just focus
- on working with the guys.
- And it's the same medication?
- There's no change in...
- Yeah... oh-oh, Heidi, let's not throw that word around the facility, okay?
Now that the guys have moved in, we should be, you know, discreet.
HEIDI: Right. Okay.
- COLIN: Hey, how's it all going there?
COLIN: Yeah, I know, an office building isn't the ideal clinical environment.
HEIDI: Oh, no, it's... it's fine.
The staff has really been helpful, and we've got all the office stuff out of the way.
COLIN: A... and the decor, Heidi, the vibe?
I told them we want hip but masculine.
- HEIDI: Right.
- How's that looking?
Uh, it looks good.
Yeah, the decorator did a great job.
COLIN: Okay, perfect.
You know, we're gonna be in a more legitimate setting as soon as we have some results.
HEIDI: Right. Well, actually, the guys don't seem to mind,
- and, uh...
- Okay, but you understand the urgency here, right?
We need the data. That's the key.
- HEIDI: Of course.
- I've got that presentation at the DoD in six weeks.
We need to have everything squared away by then.
COLIN: Okay, so how soon do you think you might have that for me?
- HEIDI: Have what?
- The data, Heidi.
- Y... y... you're pushing on that, right?
Absolutely, yeah, and I think we're seeing...
'Cause we need to be surgically precise in this.
- Everything these guys remember...
- Yes, of course.
We have to get really granular with all that sh1t.
I just... if you can just give me one sec, um, I just had a session, actually, with a Walter Cruz.
He is a great candidate, really, really eager to be here.
COLIN: No, Heidi, Heidi, Heidi, I... I don't have a lot of time.
I got to be at the airport in, like, minutes.
I... I... I'll be quick. I was just thinking,
in terms of being granular, as you said, and deliberate, that perhaps we could take a more holistic approach to the initial stages of the treatment.
- COLIN: Holistic?
- Well, I feel like we're just kind of throwing them into the process without developing much of a relationship.
- COLIN: Yeah, okay, Heidi, I'm gonna stop you there.
COLIN: Okay, what we're seeking here, Heidi, is information, not relationships, not rapport, whatever these men are holding onto, that's exactly what we need to know.
HEIDI: No, I get that. I just, in terms of...
COLIN: Okay, well, based on what you just said, you don't, so I need you to on this, okay?
Um... yeah, okay.
I just was thinking of in terms of improving the data and...
Heidi, if I go into the DoD and I say things like "holistic," you know what they're gonna...
No, I don't even know what they would do.
We need real proof of concept here, just a house of data to drop on the appropriations people so they shut their mouths, stop prevaricating, and open up the approval process.
- That's our goal. Understood?
- Understood. Yeah.
You're a rock star, Heidi. I'm serious.
It's all great work.
I just need that aggressive, constant focus from you and we're gonna be fine. Okay?
Okay. You got it. Thanks, Colin.
Okay, I'm running to the airport.
This flight's like hours long.
All right. Have a good trip.
COLIN: Guys, what the hell is all this?
We, we can't have crap all over the floor.
If that's everything, Colin, I'm just, I'm running a little late getting home.
COLIN: This stuff is going to America, all right?
You know, USA? Yeah, so it's got to be clean.
Colin, are you talking to me?
COLIN: This... it's got to be a sterile facility, okay?
Sterile, clean? How... how the hell do you say "sterile... "
Okay. I'm... I'm gonna let you go and...
W... wait, Heidi, wait!
- I remember what I was gonna ask.
- Oh, great.
Did we run the background check on the busboys?
Background check the what?
- (CLATTERS LOUDLY)
- On... damn it. The busboys.
Did we background check the busboys?
Whoever we've got working in the cafeteria.
- Uh, I... I didn't realize that was part of my job.
Uh, well, of course it's part of...
Okay. Listen, Heidi, we need to be extremely thorough with the food service.
Now, you are my point person there, right?
- Yes, absolutely.
So I need you to get into that tonight.
Busboys, caterers, whatever.
Background checks, full workup, okay?
We got to be, we got to be seamless about all this.
Okay. I'm on it right away.
Okay, good. Got to go.
Hey, Heidi. You are killing it. Fist bump.
(LAUGHTER AND INDISTINCT CHATTER)
Something smells good.
- It's cacio e pepe.
- Oh, nice.
All right, I just have a little work to finish upstairs.
I'll be back.
This is, um, good. Thank you.
- It's a little cold now, but...
- I'm sorry.
I was upstairs much longer than I expected.
I just needed to check some things for Colin.
- He's a micromanager, huh?
- No, he's not a...
Colin's a busy guy.
We have a lot of things to get through.
Oh. Okay. Well, you're here now.
What did you get up to today?
Ah, well, I ended up taking an amazing walk, actually.
Out to that little airfield.
The one past the highway?
That's like five miles away.
- Is it?
- You walked there?
- Yeah. Guess I did.
Anyway, there was this jet out on the runway, and the pilot, and he's leaning up against the plane, and he's got his paper and a coffee and I thought,
"Wow. I wonder if I could do that."
Live like that. Fly all over. Come back here.
It's beautiful here.
(HEIDI SIGHS DEEPLY)
- So we started chatting...
- Um, well, the...
- You and the pilot?
Yeah, and he said there's a flight school.
- It's not too far from here.
- (CLEARS THROAT) Anthony.
I really appreciate you coming down here to help me with the move, I do.
Wait, wait. Before we start talking like this...
You've got your entire life to get back to.
- Do I? Really?
- Yes, and your job.
At Keebler? I hate that job.
- Okay, um...
- Wait, Heidi.
- We've been together almost a year now.
- A year?
Well, yeah, we started texting in August, so that's like...
Yeah, like ten months? But I... and I know you always said you wanted to keep things simple.
- I did. I do.
- I get it.
But the truth is you inspire me.
After all those false starts, you got out of that town and found a calling.
You're helping those guys and it's finally happening for you.
- I inspire you? Do...
- I'm sorry?
What do I inspire you to do?
Well, just... just make a fresh start.
Leave the past behind like you're doing, but together.
So, you've been in a leadership position before?
- That's right. Yeah.
- Good. That's good.
And you don't mind working nights?
- Nights? No, I could do that.
Now, you don't seem to have much experience in this field.
Is that right?
That is true, but I'm a really fast learner.
Okay. I like hearing that.
All right. Well, that should do it.
Thank you so much for coming in.
- We'll, uh, let you know soon.
- Thank you.
That was great. That was really, really great.
That was wonderful.
I really like the part where you ask me about my experience working at the store because an interview, it's a conversation, essentially, right?
It's a two-way street.
So that was really, really nice. Thanks a lot.
- Good job.
- Good job, dude.
- Appreciate it, bro.
- Yeah, you f*cking nailed it.
In a couple years, think you'll be assistant manager.
And a couple years after that...
Assistant regional manager.
CRAIG: Let's see here.
Okay, how about Rainey?
- All right. You're week four, is that right?
Okay. So a month from now, you could be doing this for real.
- Working at a shoe store?
Whatever you choose to do, this could be good practice.
Okay? All right, so let's start.
- Great. Welcome. Hi.
This is my shoe store. I own it.
Wow. All this?
- Could I take a look at your résumé?
Okay. I see here that you served in the military.
Yeah, I do.
That's great. We love that.
So, what is something you learned in the military that you could apply to your work here at the shoe store?
Not too much, honestly.
- Okay, but just give it a try.
It was a f*cking desert. There weren't too many shoe stores.
CRAIG: Okay, right, but I remember last week you were talking about, um, communication between team members and how important that is for you guys.
- I was?
Rainey, just humor me a little. Okay? Please.
I don't know. Shoes. Uh... you got to find the right size or you could get infected.
- Okay. No, no, that's good, that's good, there's something there.
Could you tell me more about that?
I just, I had this one pair of boots that was too small for me, and I was lazy or stubborn or whatever...
Oh, lazy and stubborn?
You're the full package, huh?
- Huh? What the f*ck you just say?
- CRAIG: Don't worry about that.
Hey, shut that out.
Don't worry about it.
Let's just keep it right here, let's stay in the shoe store. Rainey.
Rainey. All right?
Now, what were you saying?
Talking about infection, right?
Yeah, just that I kept wearing them, and over time,
I skinned the front of my big toe off, and then there was fungus and it got infected, and by the time I had someone look at it, they were like,
"What the f*ck is wrong with you? You almost lost your toe."
- So, yeah, shoes.
Okay, that was interesting.
Um, yeah, personal anecdote, is always... you know, I feel like in a,
in an environment like this, however...
I get what we're trying to do here. It's unnecessary.
- What's not necessary?
- This is. I have a job.
You have a job? Rainey, we're talking about what's next for you.
- Your next chapter.
- My next chapter?
My whole f*cking book is over there. All right, Craig?
Look, this is just an exercise to help you acclimate...
- I understand what it is, and it's ridiculous.
- What's ridiculous?
- This, bro. You...
- WALTER: Chill, Rainey.
Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
CRAIG: Let's take a breath.
WALTER: And then my buddy Shrier pulled me off.
HEIDI: Okay, then what happened?
WALTER: Then nothing. Counselor sent us back to our rooms and then they told me to come here.
HEIDI: How do you feel about that?
WALTER: About what?
About what just happened.
I guess embarrassed.
Well, because I lost control of myself.
- But he hit you.
- No, he didn't.
No, he did. Says right here, uh,
"Cruz confronted Rainey, who struck Cruz... "
Yeah, I know, but... it just doesn't feel like me, to react like that.
And that worries you.
Yeah, it does.
I mean, you know, Rainey's obviously dealing with his own sh1t, and so it came out sideways.
Happens to us all sometimes, me included.
How does it happen to you?
(SIGHS) Different ways.
Give me an example?
Uh, it's mostly like, uh, I'll get these flashes... things I could do to myself, it's...
it's just tension.
(SIGHS) Okay, here's an example.
I... I wouldn't really do this, but... there's this desk in my room.
It's wooden and it's got these sharp corners and when I first got here,
I don't know why, I just imagined myself sitting down in a chair and leaning all the way back and, like, slamming my forehead into the corner of the table.
Just like jamming it into right here.
But I mean, that was an extreme, it...it doesn't always happen like that.
How often would you say?
I'm so sorry.
There's this bird.
He'll stop in a second.
- That's incredible.
- No, that's driving me crazy.
He's some kind of protected species, and we're not allowed to touch him.
Well, I could take care of him for you if you want.
- (CHUCKLES) Would you?
- No problem.
Dead of night, full camo.
He'd wake up in the Everglades, everybody wins.
I'd love that. Honestly, I would be forever in your debt.
Did it with my mind.
Thank you. (CHUCKLES)
What about sleeping? Are you having any trouble with that?
Yeah, a little.
Nightmares, things like that.
That's very normal.
We could see if one of the guys wants a roommate for a few nights.
- What do you mean?
- Well, some of the guys, when they first get here, and they have a room all to themselves, they're separate from their unit, it's just a little too quiet, you know?
So we could ask around.
Yeah, I'd be okay with that.
We're here to help you make this transition.
Whatever supports that, that's what we're gonna do.
Got two minutes.
I appreciate your cooperation...
Back away from the door a little bit.
- Yeah, so...
You... you did work at Homecoming, at the Tampa facility?
Yeah. Years ago. I... I said that.
What... what's this about?
Well, my department, we field and review complaints, and I'm currently following up on certain allegations...
- About me?
(CHUCKLES): Okay, so then...
But you were an administrator there. Correct?
I was a counselor.
A counselor. All right.
Um, and why did you leave that job?
- My mother got hurt and I had to come home and take care of her.
So you quit the job in Tampa 'cause your mom got hurt and now you work here at this restaurant?
Well, I, you know, it's... it's what I could get.
But I had to come back home and...
- 'Cause your mom got hurt.
And is your current employer, are they aware...
What does that have to do with anything?
I'm just... You didn't want to talk inside.
- DARA: Yo!
- HEIDI: Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. I'll be back in just a second.
It's a little embarrassing, okay?
I had this whole career, and then I had to come back, and now I do this. All right?
What were your duties there?
I was a counselor. I told you.
And what did that involve?
Um, I worked with soldiers, their mental health.
Honestly, I don't remember much about it. Okay?
I was... it wasn't a good fit for me.
Are we done?
Ms. Bergman, I'm simply trying to get some basic information about the program.
It's not my intention to agitate.
I am not agitated.
C... can you tell me if your clients were there on a voluntary basis, or... ?
I don't know.
You don't know?
Do you have a badge?
Do you have some kind of identification?
Uh, I have a business card.
As I explained, we received a complaint.
This was four years ago, during your time there.
Specifically, that one...
"One of the soldiers, he wants to leave, h... he wants to go home, but they won't let him."
My question is, were the men there voluntarily?
I answered your question. I really need to go back inside.
Is there a reason why you're refusing...
I'm not refusing.
I don't remember.
You don't remember anything about your work?
I already told you.
What about the name Walter Cruz?
Do you remember him?