Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

by

Ben Fountain

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Sergeant Dime Character Analysis

Sergeant Dime is Billy's 24-year-old commander in the Army and is also part of the Bravos. Though Dime denies it, Shroom once claimed that Dime came from a wealthy family in North Carolina and was a football star. Dime reads books voraciously and has a number of magazine subscriptions. His primary goal in life is to gain knowledge, which also carries over into how he manages his platoon: in Iraq, he often made Bravo Squad get out of the Humvees and walk, just to see the area, even though doing so was extremely dangerous. He keeps the platoon on their toes and attempts, unsuccessfully, to keep them from drinking while at the Texas Stadium. Billy seeks Dime out for advice about Faison, though Dime only offers Billy a reality check by saying that the only thing he can do is email her. Billy is often caught between hating Dime and thinking that he'd die for him, a sentiment that's shared by Bravo Squad as a whole. Dime is impulsive and given to rude outbursts at inappropriate times (as seen when he insults Norm when Norm tries to convince him to take the $5,500 film deal), but Dime is also unwaveringly loyal to the rest of Bravo and wants to do what's best for them.

Sergeant Dime Quotes in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk quotes below are all either spoken by Sergeant Dime or refer to Sergeant Dime. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ecco edition of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk published in 2012.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Their eyes skitz and quiver with the force of the moment, because here, finally, up close and personal, is the war made flesh, an actual point of contact after all the months and years of reading about the war, watching the war on TV, hearing the war flogged and flacked on talk radio.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Mango
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

"It was. I had to keep telling myself this is real, these are real American soldiers fighting for our freedom, this is not a movie. Oh God I was just so happy that day, I was relieved more than anything, like we were finally paying them back for nina leven. Now"—she pauses for a much-needed breath—"which one are you?"

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Mango
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 5 Quotes

What's happening now isn't nearly as real as that, eating this meal, holding this fork, lifting this glass, the realest things in the world these days are the things in his head.

Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 6 Quotes

Billy rattled off the cities. Washington, Richmond, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Miami, and practically every one, as Sergeant Dime pointed out, happened to lie in an electoral swing state.

Related Characters: Billy Lynn (speaker), Sergeant Dime, Kathryn Lynn, Ray Lynn, Mr. Whaley
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 7 Quotes

He glows, which isn't to say he's a handsome man but rather shimmers with high-wattage celebrity, and therein lies the problem, the brain struggles to match the media version to the actual man who looks taller than the preformed mental image, or maybe broader, older, pinker, younger, the two versions miscongrue in some crucial sense which makes it all a little unreal [...]

Related Characters: Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby, Mango
Related Symbols: The Texas Stadium
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 9 Quotes

So fuck that, he was done with football after his sophomore year, except the Army is pretty much the same thing, though the violence is, well, what it is, obviously. By factors of thousands.

Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 14 Quotes

"Son, try to look at it this way. It's just another normal day in America."

Billy's heart melts a little at that son. The stage is disappearing around them like a mortally wounded ship beneath the waves.

"I don't think I even know what normal is anymore."

Related Characters: Billy Lynn (speaker), Sergeant Dime (speaker), Sykes, The Roadies
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 17 Quotes

Plus the fact that the war's put up some spotty box-office numbers, didn't I say that might be a problem? So we're bucking that too. I know fifty-five hundred sounds pretty lame after the numbers we've been talking about, but for young men like yourselves, young soldiers on Army pay, it's not nothing, right?

Related Characters: Albert Ratner (speaker), Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Quotes

They are his boys, his brothers. Bravos would die for one another. They are the truest friends he will ever have, and he'd expire from grief and guilt at not being there with them.

Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Sergeant Dime Character Timeline in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The timeline below shows where the character Sergeant Dime appears in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. The Thing Begins
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
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Sergeant Dime, Billy's commanding officer, accuses Billy of checking out. When Billy offers a satisfactory reply, Dime... (full context)
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Bravo erupts in cheers as Albert explains that Hilary is interested in playing Billy and Dime as one character. Billy is confused, but Albert insists that it can be done. Albert... (full context)
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Dime silences Sykes, and the other Bravos join in and yell at Sykes to be quiet.... (full context)
2. A Private in the Infantry
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...as Billy chats with Mango. Next to Mango is A-bort, then Holliday, Lodis, Sykes, Crack, Dime, Albert, and finally, Major Mac. Billy looks at the sky through the open dome and... (full context)
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Sykes begs Dime to allow him to place bets, but Dime refuses since Sykes maxed out his credit... (full context)
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The narrator explains that Dime has a number of magazine subscriptions that he reads in addition to three or four... (full context)
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Dime calls down to Albert and says that Billy thinks Hilary Swank is weird. Albert says... (full context)
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When Billy first joined Bravo, Dime and Shroom had taunted him endlessly. Finally, Billy addressed them and insisted that he wasn't... (full context)
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...mischief" on his record, and so he became a soldier. After Billy divulges this story, Dime and Shroom stopped tormenting him. (full context)
3. It is Mostly in Your Head But We Have Cures for That
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...hung over from last night, and the Jack and Cokes in the limo didn't help. Dime tells Albert about Shroom's funeral, which should've been a solemn tribute to Shroom's spirituality but... (full context)
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...beers, they return to their seats. Mango burps loudly and it smells incriminatingly of beer. Dime turns angrily to Mango, and Billy innocently asks what happened to Major Mac. Bravo erupts... (full context)
4. The Human Response
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...they can tweak the script to make it work for her. He assures Sykes and Dime that the story will be easy. Getting Swank to read it is the hard part,... (full context)
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Billy notices that Albert is sitting next to Dime and seems endlessly fascinated by the sergeant. Once, Holliday muttered that Dime is "property," and... (full context)
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...Pastor Rick for guidance, but he turned out to be unhelpful. Billy considered asking either Dime or Albert, but neither could provide the guidance that he was looking for. Billy desperately... (full context)
5. By Virtue of Which the Many Become the One
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...to their table. The rich civilians’ stares make Billy feel woozy, but a glance from Dime settles him. (full context)
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...to try to get the Bravos lap dances from the cheerleaders before he slips away. Dime tells the Bravos that each soldier can have one beer with lunch. Billy sits near... (full context)
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...real than eating in Texas. He thinks of Lake and his two missing legs, but Dime calls Billy's attention back to lunch. Albert declares that he'll miss Bravo, and Crack urges... (full context)
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...food and private bathrooms. Bravo starts giggling as they walk back to their table, but Dime angrily shushes them when they arrive. They soon learn that Dime is angry because Universal... (full context)
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Billy thinks about what once Shroom said about Dime—that he's a master of the psyche—and again loses himself in thinking about how Shroom spent... (full context)
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Dime begins snapping at Bravos for no apparent reason when Albert passes him the phone to... (full context)
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...bring soldiers home faster. Then, the man asks the soldiers "how we're doing over there." Dime brightly replies that it's a mind-altering experience but insists that the Bravos love the violence.... (full context)
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Dime berates Billy some more, and Billy recalls the day that Lake was injured. Billy had... (full context)
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Dime orders another round of beers, and Billy decides to find the restroom. As he washes... (full context)
7. We Are All Americans Here
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...fear guides everything, and Billy thinks about how all of this played out in the platoon—Dime is fearless, while other soldiers giggle or wet themselves from fear. As hard as Billy... (full context)
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...he could learn about business but knows he doesn't want to go back to school. Dime catches Billy off guard and twists Billy's nipple before ordering himself a soda. Billy asks... (full context)
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...from the Bravos' favorite US cities to their most unusual mission in Iraq. When asked, Dime carefully says that the American soldiers are making a difference for the better in some... (full context)
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When someone asks about how it was meeting President Bush, Dime describes him as easy to talk to. The rest of Bravo looks blank, as Dime's... (full context)
9. Jamie Lee Curtis Made a Shitty Movie
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Billy desperately wants to ask Dime for advice regarding what happened with Faison, but Dime is in a funk. Billy wonders... (full context)
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...is talking about football, not the movie. Billy picks up a football, tosses it to Dime, and runs. Billy manages to catch the ball, throw it back to Dime, and run... (full context)
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...in the end zone. As two women with pinched faces arrange the Bravos, Norm tells Dime that he questions where Hollywood's loyalties lie, given that they won't make films that "reflect... (full context)
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As the cameras roll, Dime speaks his line, wishing Americans a happy Thanksgiving and then abandoning the script to address... (full context)
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...back for a fifth take, but the cameras glitch. While they wait, Billy listens to Dime and Norm discuss Albert and the film. Norm mentions that he thinks Hilary Swank's involvement... (full context)
10. XXL
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Billy finds Dime, whose football still sports no autographs. He tells Dime that the players aren't sane, which... (full context)
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An equipment manager named Ennis introduces himself and then asks Billy and Dime if they'd like a tour of the equipment room. Ennis asks how the Bravos' visit... (full context)
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Dime asks about steroids, but Ennis ignores him and leads them to the footballs and the... (full context)
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Dime asks Ennis to autograph his ball. Ennis tries to refuse, but when Dime insists that... (full context)
11. This Is Everything There Is
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...time to think about it. The crowd seems to want more, so Billy repeats a Dime-ism: if you have enough ammo, you'll probably be fine. The crowd laughs, and even though... (full context)
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Billy thinks back to how Shroom spoke about Dime as being all-knowing and exceptionally smart. Dime was one for getting out and walking in... (full context)
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...the Pentagon didn't agree. Billy, ashamed, hopes that no Bravos are watching, but he sees Dime and Albert watching and realizes that Dime told Albert about this. (full context)
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Finally, Billy escapes to the bar for Coke, and Dime joins him. Dime admits that he told Albert about Billy's Medal, but he won't tell... (full context)
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Dime swings into a seat and snarls about there being alcohol in the Bravos' drinks, but... (full context)
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Dime asks Billy to point out Faison, and he compliments Billy on his choice. When Dime... (full context)
12. Billy and Mango Are Out For a Walk
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...call and tells A-bort that he and Mango went for a walk. A-bort relays that Dime wants them back immediately, and after a pause, A-bort says in a hushed voice that... (full context)
13. Raped By Angels
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...on the field getting ready to run a drill. He thinks he needs to tell Dime that they can't do this, but Dime is on the other side of the formation... (full context)
14. If In the Future You Tell Me This Is Love, I Will Not Disappoint You
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...at Bravo to leave. Bravo doesn't leave and instead discusses having seen Beyoncé. Billy tells Dime that he feels sick. Dime insists that everyone's fine, and this is “just another normal... (full context)
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When Dime gives the word, Bravo stops. They have minimal injuries, though Lodis' lip is split and... (full context)
16. Will Slay Vampires For Food
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...leave. Billy moans as the Jumbotron plays car ads, and strangely, Sykes starts singing. Apparently, Dime gave Sykes Valium, and now Sykes is thrilled with life. (full context)
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...the group's representative, trying to figure out what kind of person he might be. Suddenly, Dime comes down the row and crouches in the aisle next to Billy. He says he... (full context)
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Billy asks Dime if he would go back to Iraq if he had a choice. Dime insists they... (full context)
17. Money Makes Us Real
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Josh delivers Dime and Billy to Albert in a hallway outside of Norm's suite. Albert pointedly encourages Josh... (full context)
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...they'll also have to spend several million dollars for a script and a lead actor. Dime tells Billy that this is where they'll get screwed, and Albert insists that he's not... (full context)
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...box office. He points out that $5,500 is still good for men on Army pay. Dime is incensed when he learns that Norm has already named his production company, but Albert... (full context)
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Mr. Jones pokes his head out of the suite, interrupting Dime as he asks Billy what he thinks. Albert confirms that Dime still wants to talk... (full context)
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...is dim and smells of burnt coffee and cigarettes. Norm and his sons greet Billy, Dime, and Albert, as Mr. Jones perches on a stool and Josh stands awkwardly. The executives... (full context)
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Norm says grandly that he wants to make a great film, and Dime asks Norm why he thinks he can do that. The executives, shocked, turn their full... (full context)
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...Bravos will share in the profits after the film is made. He tries to convince Dime that it would be nice to have something decided before they return to Iraq. Dime... (full context)
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Albert chastises Dime and insists he can't talk to Norm like that, but Dime remains petulant. Finally, Dime... (full context)
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Albert escapes to the restroom while Dime calls the rest of Bravo. They all agree the deal is horrible. Billy receives a... (full context)
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Back in the suite, the TVs show the Cowboys losing. Norm tells Dime and Billy how much he loves winning. When a phone rings, Mr. Jones answers it... (full context)
18. The Proud Good-Bye
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Dime comes over to Billy and asks about Albert. Billy says that Albert is cool, and... (full context)
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...go, and Travis' friends help him out of the seats and away from the Bravos. Dime questions Crack but seems uninterested in reprimanding him. (full context)
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With two minutes of the game left, Dime declares that it's time to leave. Josh leads them out of the stadium, and Billy... (full context)
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...roadies' wrenches, pipes, and crowbars. Lodis asks if Major Mac will go to jail, but Dime assures them that Major Mac will be fine. (full context)
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Billy hears Dime bellowing for him. Billy and Faison kiss one more time, and she promises to pray... (full context)