I am a fan of Grey's Anatomy. It's hard to find a twenty something female in the USA who isn't. But last night, as I tuned in for the season finale and the departure of two main characters, I would have never guessed the military twist.
I am personally sad to see George, played by TR Knight, leave the show and was very surprised to see his ending. After interacting with a wounded solider from Iraq that was willing to do anything to get back into active duty status, George hears his patriotic call and enlists in the Army. We learn that he is to report to duty the following day.
Upon learning of O'Mally's decision a wave of disconcern, shock and anger washes over his closest friends. Several of George's friends discus how he'll do in Iraq and one exclaims "he'll come back in a body bag."
One character who took it especially hard was Callie, his ex-wife. Callie, along with Miranda and George's friends plan an intervention for later that day. They feel desperate to explain to him that this is the biggest mistake of his life.
When Callie informs her girlfriend, Arizona, of her disapproval of George's future occupation Arizona firmly tells her that she thinks that his decision is "awesome." Callie erupts in anger, in total disbelief that Arizona doesn't understand. We learn later that Arizona DOES understand when she tells Callie that her brother fought in Iraq and came home in a casket because there weren't enough doctors there to save him.
I thought that the show did an amazing job of depicting this scenario. Many families, friends and loved ones experience this situation every year. As a military brat, I've seen first hand the negativity expressed when such an occasion occurs. And as a military brat, my answer to someone's call to duty is, just as she said, AWESOME.
I know that because of my military background it is more natural for me to look at joining our nation's forces as a positive and amazing choice. After all, my father and brother both serve. But, it never ceases to amaze me how civilians react when they learn that someone they loved has joined. It's almost automatic - anger, disapproval, a strong desire to talk them out of it. Such a harsh extreme. And none of them stop to realize that it is that person's own decision. That their loved one feels like this is their path.
I was so very pleased to see that the show shed light on both perspectives. So, like Arizona, I would very much so like to stand up and shout from the roof tops to those enlisting and joining the military, YOU ARE AWESOME.
WE THANK YOU. WE SUPPORT AND CELEBRATE YOUR DECISION. YOU ARE OUR HEROES. WELCOME TO THE MILITARY COMMUNITY.