NCIS, Jack Bauer, and memories of Iraq….

I have just finished watching season 11 of NCIS. It has proven to be a good way for me to enjoy storytelling in a different form of media than my usual method. Moments of the season has brought me to tears. To avoid spoiling the goodness of the season, I will say that there have been moments of tenderness in a chaotic, topsy-turvy season. The story writing is crisp, the characters vivid, and the pacing of each episode is quickened to keep the intensity from dropping.

In a violent television show, one would think that tenderness would involve comforting the wounded or some other aspect of sensitivity. It caught me unaware when several episodes dealt with the complicated emotions of love, pregnancy, and the pain that is associated with plans that don’t pan out. Each storyline was neatly wrapped up by the end of the season. My heart rose with elation when one story would showcase the triumph of the underdog, and then I would be crestfallen when something went awry. I am exhausted from watching this show.

I am not one for movies or television per se, I would rather read. However, watching NCIS has stirred up feelings of Iraq in my soul. When I was at FOB Anaconda, I bought every season of 24. Season 4 is one of my favorites of this show. Every day, my buddy and I would watch as many episodes of it that we could cram into our day. When people would ask me a question, I would simply reply “Jack Bauer!” At the time, I would dream of working as a counterterror operative for the government. Hollywood makes counter-terror operations seem highly intense but enjoyable, plus I wanted to whisper my answers and then suddenly raise my voice to intimidate the bad guy. The memories of Iraq, and my friends are a comfort to me today.

It seems that I am never going to be able to escape from the shadow of the military. My memories can provide humor at times, sometimes it brings pain. Today is a day of humor. Many memories were generated when Jack Bauer would punch, kick, assault, and chemically drug suspects all in the name of freedom. “Where is the bomb?!” he would bellow. My bud and I would laugh aloud and reply, “here in Iraq, Jack!”  Each episode seemed to gain intensity and we would cheer our favorite anti-hero on to victory. Well, it appears that things are getting crazy in this episode, so I will catch y’all later!

Bauer out!

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