This is the fourth time I've started over on this blog. I'll tell you why in a minute. But first, I'll talk about the easy stuff.
As I'm sure you've noticed, Nicole Mirante-Matthews is a true talent. Working with her on this two-part story was a privilege and a joy. Guided by the incomparable Gary Glasberg, we were given the opportunity to research PTSD in depth and encouraged to let the Westcotts take us to new places. Speaking of the Westcotts – Mark Rolston, Glen Powell and Brad Beyer brought more nuance and richness to their characters than I ever thought possible. And, well, Mark Harmon – he challenged me to push myself. I'll be forever grateful to him for that and forever in awe of him for leading by example. Along with Mark, our core cast shined, as always. You know who they are, and you know why we love them...
But let me tell you a little about some of the other folks who worked tirelessly on this episode, as well. Director Tom Wright finessed the quiet moments, then charged into the desert to bring the battle scenes to life with a ferocious vision. Editing team Greg Gontz and Linda Rudloff took us in and out of Captain Westcott's mind with unmatched skill. Avery Drewe, Richie Owens, Bob Minshall, and the Encore visual effects team made that intricate virtual reality scene a reality. And far as I'm concerned, the work of composer Brian Kirk and post producer Joshua Rexon is pure magic. I could go on and on – Mark Horowitz, Chas. Floyd Johnson, Mark Schilz, our entire writing staff, post and production teams, and crew – you'd be amazed at just how many people take an episode into their hearts and minds… and care.
Which brings me to the reason why this is my fourth crack at writing this blog. I care, and I just can't seem to get the most important part right. So this time, I'll try for simple. PTSD has affected my own family. I have seen how it grows, how it destroys and, most frightening, how it tries to hide. A doctor we spoke to in our research said one of the biggest misconceptions about PTSD is that it's abnormal. A body adapting to a high-stress environment is completely normal – it's evolution, it's survival. So let's erase the stigma. Let's stop PTSD from hiding. And let's continue to tell all our troops – past, present, and future – that their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. We care.
Gina Lucita Monreal
Active Duty and Veterans Assistance with PTSD