Audience Comments

Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2012

Kristin D

  • This is a great story! It’s also refreshing to see a show with some political teeth. It’s only day 5, but this is the Fringy est thing I’ve seen so far.  I highly recommend

    joe m
  • “Breaking Rank”, Howard Petrick’s personal and TRUE story of a 60’s war protester who protested WHILE in the US Army. Told by the man himself!!! Amaz…ing history lesson for young and old! Well worth the 60 minutes and entertaining to boot! (Get that…to “boot”….about a military show?!!?!?) RECOMMENDED!

  • I have been in school for over 16 years and this show taught me more about the Vietnam War than any of my classes ever did. The truth about the Vietnam War is kept very hidden from the younger generations. Highly recommend.  One of the bravest and most inspiring people I have encountered. 

  • Christine Wands

    The arrogance of people with power and narrow minds is brought to our attention in this riveting and important performance.  We need to regularly be reminded that our rights as American citizens and as human beings are never guaranteed — we must continually fight to maintain them.

    Thank you, Howard, for what you did during the war, and telling us your story.  The new generation needs to know.


Fresno Rogue Festival 2012


Check out the article in Kings River Life Magazine where Howard shares how his show came to be

  • Barbara U

    Very skillful portrayal of many different people, telling a story of his own integrity and courage in defending his right to speak freely and to disagree with his superiors in the military. Amusing as well as enlightening. Go there!

  •  Russ
  • A wonderful show. Must see.


  • A great show to bring your teenagers to. Shows rebellion and integrity used to a great purpose. So funny, too!  
  • Tom H.

    Really great show. We just saw it and loved it.

  • anthony

    I had a great time, Howard put on a great show. Must see!

  • Lynn

    The show was even more powerful when we finally realized that this show was autobiographical. Beautiful story of integrity. See it!!!

Canadian Festivals 2011

Hanoi Howie (I love that, but I bet you didn’t)–I saw your show tonight at the Wpg. Fringe and was deeply moved. In 1967 I was in grade 7 in Cincinnati and developing my own anti-war beliefs. In fact, that’s about the time I stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and got into trouble for it because I remained seated while everyone else stood up with hand over heart. Your story reconnected me to that seminal time, and your humility, integrity and courage remind me of who I have chosen to be but sometimes forget. Thank you.

I hope to bring one of my ex-pat American friends to your show on Thursday (tomorrow… well, today really). He grew up in Texas, so many of your characters will really resonate with him, as they did with me, having grown up an Army brat until my dad retired from active duty in 1965. I found out later that Dad was likely going to be shipped to Nam instead of being promoted to full colonel, so my mom talked him into retiring, bless her heart. Anyway, Jim will be very interested in supporting Bradley Manning, as am I. Bless you for the work you do!

Fresno Rogue Festival 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this show. Mr. Petrick’s ability to play so many characters of such variety is impressive and keeps the audience engaged. Very interesting story – it definitely made me think!


A fascinating show by a fantastic actor who never lost me while playing multiple characters. I was fully entertained and engaged the entire time. An interesting and memorable story.


Yes, very funny and very well acted. He plays them all well, but the best character of all is himself, the reluctant hero.

Along with “Pushing Boundaries”, another gem not to be missed is “Rambo: The Missing Years.” The story is funny, poignant and important. The characters are strong and acting well-done.

Howard was wonderful in this show based on his life. His performance was great. It gave me a glimpse of the sentiment and movement that existed in the armed forces during the Vietnam War. Most of us know about the antiwar movement in general but don’t know about the resistance in the military. “Rambo: The Missing Years” was informative and entertaining.

“Rambo: The Missing Years” is engaging, funny, and inspiring. Petrick skillfully enacts his experience as a very reluctant draftee during the Vietnam War. He moves with ease from character to character in this tightly scripted show which illustrates the power of a principled stand. Don’t miss this!

Don’t miss this one. If you are too young to remember the Viet Nam War era or need a memory boost, Howard Petrick’s autobiographical account of his army experiences captures the stupidity of army education and bureaucracy and the brilliance of draftees whose anti-war activities undermined it. It’s pitch perfect, cleverly written, and beautifully performed.


This show provides a fascinating glimpse into the banal and bureaucratic side of Vietnam on the home (and away-from-home) front. Plus, it’s very, very funny. Howard’s characters—from drill sergeants to army cooks to runaway draftees to military lawyers—are so real and, did I mention, funny…? After seeing the show in San Francisco, I found out that Howard Petrick is an actual folk hero, with actual folk songs written about him, like “Free Howie.” And his refusal to give up his principles led to changes in army policy towards speaking out in uniform. Whatever your politics, this show is testimony to the power of free speech and nonviolent resistance. Oh, and did I mention it’s FUNNY?

Chicago Fringe Festival 2010


RE:strong storytelling – Its no easy task to keep peoples attention for a solid hour of a no-special-effects one-man-show, but this honest piece of storytelling does a solid job of it. its powerful as truthful testimony and as a straightforward story about this mans struggle as a draftee organizing other soldiers against the war invietnam. he is humble, unassuming, and does not have to try “too hard,” as is often the case with solo performance, to engage the listener with his cast of archetypal, but not stereotypical, military men. if i called it “understated,” its not an insult. its low-key, but powerful. its a great story that people of my generation have heard too many times through a bubble gummy filter, and its refreshing and inspiring as his personal testimony.


The other side of GI Joe – In a society ever more encumbered by political correctness, it is hard to imagine a time when a soldier could openly protest a war he was fighting. Back in the 60s, Howard Petrick was just such a soldier. Drafted into service during theViet Namera, he refused to leave his anti-war sentiments behind using his own unique brand of passive resistance to confound military brass at every turn. “Rambo: The Missing Years” is a humorous and touching depiction of how then Private Petrick managed to survive his stint in the army with his ethics in tact. Along the way, Petrick’s engaging memoir includes a host of military characters that are both hilarious and chilling in their depiction of everyday life in the service.


A story of then and now – A wonderful, captivating performance about a soldier who, in spite of his objections to the Vietnam war, worked within the system to bring about change and awareness. The variety of characters, brought to life by both Petricks body and voice, kept the story clear and engaging throughout the show. While it deals strictly with the Vietnam war, there was almost a certain undertone that commented – though perhaps unintentionally – on the current conflicts carried by our “all volunteer” military. A strong performance and a good story makes this Fringe show definitely worth seeing.


Rambo the Missing Years – Unlike any other one man show I have seen. The officers and the fellow draftees become real people to the audience as Petrick shows what it was like to be a GI and an antiwar organizer during the Vietnam War.


“Rambo the Missing Years,” was a delight on 2 levels. First, it helped correct a piece of history that has been distorted in recent years; the huge movement of GIs against the war in Vietnam. From hundreds of anti-war newspapers to thousands of active duty personel at demonstrations, American GIs played a big role in ending the war.
Secondly, as pure theater, the play was riviting. Mr. Petric moved seamlessly from character to character. The accents and personalities rang true to this veteran of the army circa. 1966. This tightly constructed play never lagged and never lacked for humor and drama.

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