Under the Radar

'The Gilmore Girls' in Times of War


Last Friday, CBS This Morning shared the story of four Marines who found an unusual way to bond during their sniper platoon's 2005 deployment to Iraq. Jessie, Luke, Erik and John discovered a shared love of The Gilmore Girls. Really.

For all our Steven Seagal or Jason Statham action picture fans, The Gilmore Girls TV series ran for seven seasons on The CW and celebrated the daily lives of the folks who lived in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, CT. The main characters were Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) who ran the town's bed-and-breakfast inn and sat around drinking coffee and trading witty banter.

After finding an unopened copy of the season 2 DVD box set in the base library, the four became huge fans of the show, eventually writing a letter to the show's creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. She responded with a care package that included limited edition Gilmore Girls windbreakers.

The show went off the air in 2007 but recently Netflix threw a big sack of money at everyone involved in the original show and the cast and creators reunited to make a four-episode limited series for the streaming service. Our four Marines held a reunion to watch the show and CBS joined them for their viewing party.


Why did these guys fall for The Gilmore Girls?

“At least for me, Stars Hollow was the America I think we all thought – we all wished we were fighting for,” Erik said.

Here's what Luke wrote in his letter to Amy back in the day:

“Part of the attraction is a simple case of contrasts. I live in a strict, macho, sometimes violent world that very often does not make sense. Stars Hollow, a town where Gilmore Girls takes place is pretty, it’s warm, friendly. And then there’s the simple human stories...the relationship between parents and children, brothers and sisters, loves lost and found, and friends who are always there. In the end, much of the entertainment is escapism. And for me and a few friends over here in Iraq, there’s no place we’d rather escape to. It reminds us of all the best parts of home.”

And yet, what's most impressive is that these four Marines got CBS to agree to broadcast their viewing party without having to share their last names with network viewers. Good job, guys.

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