Today may be the start of summer, and there may be picnics and barbecues, but Memorial Day is traditionally known as the day that we honor veterans alive and dead. AMC always airs a marathon of old war movies during this weekend. (My late brother , Terry , who served his country in Vietnam always watched the movies at his local VFW) In honor of Memorial Day, here is my tribute to the military in television and movies.
This is my ultimate show “, MASH.” It was a show about a group of army surgeons in the Korean War. Some of the doctors and nurses were military, but notably Hawkeye, and Klinger, and Blake were not . It lasted for eleven years and won many awards. The series finale “Goodbye Farewell and Amen” was one of the highest rated tv series episodes of all time.
” Band of Brothers” ….Capt Herbert Sobel , Lt Winters, and Lt Nixon . David Schwimmer, Damien Lewis and Ron Livingston These actors went through rigorous training to film this HBO Mini series. The series was created by Tom Hanks. Damien also played military in the Showtime series as Marine Nicholas Brody on “Homeland”
Ben Affleck in” Pearl Harbor.” Ben played Rafe, a pilot who flies for his country and then trains others as they prepare for WW2. He also falls in love and almost loses the love of his life.
Teddy (Kim Raver) worked with Owen Hunt( Kevin McKidd) over in Afghanistan where they were combat surgeons before they arrived at Seattle Grace on “Grey’s Anatomy”
“Mad Men” Dick Whitman (Jon Hamm) fought in Korea and when his comrade was killed , he assumed his identity and become Donald Draper.
“Castle” Javier Esposito was in the Army in Special Ops. Here he wears his uniform at a special Halloween party at Castle’s loft.
Steve McGarrett Hawaii Five O McGarrett got his training as a Navy Seal . He uses his skills to fight crime on the island
“Firefly” – Malcolm (Nathan Fillion) fought in the futuristic Unification War in the “Browncoats” as a member of the 57th Overlanders. One of his dearest friends in the world is Zoe (Gina Torres) who fought with him in the Unification War. Together they fly on and defend Serenity in outer space.
“NCIS” Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) was a Marine Corp sniper who ended up as a commander in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to lead the team in impossible situations.
Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer in” Good Morning Vietnam” . Williams played the controversial broadcaster who entertained the troops .
Before he was riding rough shot over his family and others on “Dallas” Larry Hagman played the lovable Major Anthony Nelson USAF on” I Dream of Jeannie.”
This band of misfits is from the movie” Tropic Thunder.” Imagine trying to shoot a war movie with idiots like Ben Stiller and Jack Black. Oh and who could forget Robert Downey Jr portraying a black man ?
Before Anthony Edwards saved lives in the ER, he was in the movie” Top Gun” , with Tom Cruise. Cruise was a pilot
“NCIS Los Angeles” LL Cool J is Sam Hanna , a former Navy Seal who was recruited for the team
“Law and Order SVU” Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) once served in the Marines
Tom Selleck may wear a police uniform in” Blue Bloods” , but he cut quite a charming figure in his naval uniform on” Magnum PI .”
“Scandal” Scott Foley is Captain Jake Ballard. He is a former Navy Seal who served with the President when he was in the Navy. They both flew combat missions, including a classified one simply titled “Remmington” They also had one other thing in common, their love for the same woman, Olivia Pope. Jake gave her to her true love this year.
Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland in the Robert Altman hit that begat the tv hit” MASH”
One of the most hilarious military comedies. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis try to deal with the new Army in” Stripes
After he left “Grey’s Anatomy” , Eric Dane joined the Navy as Captain Chandler on “The Last Ship” . His officer is none other than (Jayne) on “Firefly” Adam Baldwin
“Scandal” Guillermo Diaz is a former Marine who was drafted for the secret spy organization B613. To save his family , he went underground and became “Huck” . Olivia found him one day and helped him back to society. He is her gladiator and a crack computer geek. He also knows how to get info out of someone with the help of his tool box.
“Three Kings” It’s George Clooney in uniform. Do I have to say anymore?
Joey was in a movie called Over There. But” Friends” fans, will always remember him in this role. He was the minister that married their favorite couple Monica and Chandler.
TR Knight was sweet surgeon George O Malley in the early days of “Grey’s Anatomy” . He enlisted in the Army to be a surgeon, but he never made it to basic. He was kiled by a bus. But when Izzie was dying in the Season Five finale, she was escorted in a dream by George in uniform.
We end our salute to the military with my favorite Navy man. Tony Goldwyn of “Scandal” plays former Navy Seal ,Fitzgerald T. Grant 3 . Oh did I mention, he is now the Commander in Chief. He once flew Navy missions with his buddy Jake. Today he runs the armed forces and the nation’s military against common enemies.