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Army Wives Review: "On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation"

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If this was not the most frustrating beginning of an episode of Army Wives, I'd love for you to point me to another. To start right at the funeral, all wives in equal position (notably missing was Tonya) meant more drawn out anguish for this viewer.

When they flashed back to Afghanistan, I kept thinking back to the previous episodes when Trevor was less than satisfied with what the Afghan forces were showing in terms of capabilities. They didn't seem to realize it was a life or death situation, which was ironic since it was their own country that had been under siege for so long. Their sheer unwillingness to fight for their own freedom was going to cause the death of one of our own.

Flag-Draped Casket

We were seven minutes in before we finally saw the end of the line seated at the funeral. To Denise's right was Frank, and to his, Tonya. Jeremy was gone.

When Michael told Frank there were casualties, the look on the latter's face was tragic. Michael just walked away, leaving Frank in his grief. They were not only partners in combat but friends. At a time like that, what could have possibly been said to make the news any easier?

Given that the war is still going on, I was surprised our American troops had to lead in battle. I don't know what I expected, but that it didn't go the way of political correctness felt honorable. Trevor is going to take this very hard. He didn't have confidence in what they were doing, and this won't make his job overseeing the Afghan army any easier.

Where was Tonya's family? Granted, they never had the chance to meet Jeremy, but wouldn't they fly to be with their daughter at her fiancee's funeral? Perhaps they were setting the stage for our guess of her pregnancy and moving in with Denise. It didn't make me feel any better for Tonya. She was so alone, with only new friends at her side. What an awful position.

Roland took Jeremy's death particularly hard. He was the one who worked with him through his darkest moments to keep him alive after his suicide attempt. To then lose him in combat must have been especially challenging.

It was agonizing that it took the death of his son for Frank to meet his daughter for the first time. How such a moment could be so distorted with both joy and grief was nearly impossible to imagine.

"On Behalf Of a Grateful Nation" might be the turning point for TJ. He wanted to be there for Roxy in place of Trevor at the funeral. It might be the one thing that could knock him out of his stupor. To lose someone you loved and respected often brings out new qualities as people deal with their grief.

The episode was so tastefully done that there is really little to discuss. There is no doubt this will change the way our families deal with Army life, and we will witness many developments as a result. The episode itself was respectful of our fallen, honoring their memory. What else would we expect from Army Wives?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (172 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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I cried like a baby! It was the best episode I have viewed. I liked jeremy and was sad to see him go; Tanya's reaction was so real. I served in uniform and this show was so honest. The most touching part were the parent's touch outside teh funeral home. In that moment, they shared so much and let us witness it, without saying a word. Yup, I cried the whole time AND watched it again on my DVR. Can't wait for the next episode. I hope Denise will be OK. ANd please, bring Chase back ASAP!

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Does anyone think Denise will allow Tanya to have the death gratuity? Jeremy did want to marry her and help her finance her education. If she does, I will cry even more. Not many people would be that kind. Besides, if Tanya is pregnant she will definitely need that money because I don't think the child will be eligible for benefits because it is in utero. Lesson for the rest of us, consider unborn children and descendants when writing up your will and trusts. Children cannot inherit money.

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@Carissa Pavlica - Thank you for your kind words. It was definitely my honor to serve my fellow Americans. Please pray for all of our soldiers and if you know any of their family members, please support them in any way you reasonbly can. Just because we support our soldiers does not mean we support war. Pacifists should not feel guilty. Soldiers do not look down on pacifists and I refuse to judge anyone. I am sad Jeremy died, but I think his death made the most dramatic impact and forces us to face the painful reality of military service during wartime. As for my last post, I just didn't want people to argue about what I thought about Obama and the current wars on the Army Wives thread. Sometimes people will argue about off topic things when it would have been better to ignore it or make a very brief comment. Thank you all for supporting the armed forces. Thank you to all the posters for your comments as well. I cried Sunday, too.

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Why Jeremy?!?!? he was such a sweet kid and had grown so much since the beginning when he was hitting Denise. Very sad story line.

Modwild

@SPC Wade - as someone who has been there, I would never ignore your thoughts or comments. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and you more than me, as I am merely a viewer. Thank you for honoring our country by serving for it in the military. We are grateful to you.

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This was the best episode & this review was well written. As a former soldier, I am disgusted that our troops are still dying for nothing. That's not the point of this thread. I figured Jeremy would die when Emmalin was shown in the preview for this episode. Col. Sherwood would not & could not escort the body of his superior officer. Also, Claudia Joy & her boss discussed the pain of losing a child. I knew what was coming. Obama is on right now giving his speech about why we should fight in Libya. America is not the world's policing force. Besides, only Congress can declare war. I know that is not what this thread is about, but as a black woman and former soldier, I had to get that off my chest. Impeach Obama. Please forgive me for offending you. Please ignore those comments. Like I said, this is an Army Wives thread. Thank you for letting me vent. Please, just ignore this last paragraph.

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I went through a box of tissues last night. Excellently written and portrayed. I kept saying "Don't be Michael, don't be Frank, don't be...." This is the best show on TV. I have no ties to the military at all, other than I respect the entire unity. I know where my freedom comes from and the price that is paid for it. Excellent, excellent show. I feel like all of these characters are family. Well done!!!

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That was by far the best AND the most heart wrenching episode of Army Wives yet. My little sister & I watched it together, and I'm SO glad we were able to do so because we both cried (sometimes sobbed) during the entire episode. We both married soldiers. My husband had just gotten out of the Army when we met, & her husband left for Iraq 2 weeks after they got married, so we both loved this show from the very beginning! Keep up the great work, ladies & gentleman! We look forward to many more great episodes! God bless our men & women in uniform...& God bless America!

Army Wives Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

Roland: Joan! What is it?
Joan: Jeremy Sherwood was killed in action. I'm sorry Roland. I wanted to come as soon as I found out, but I had to wait until Denise was notified.

In keeping with our overall strategy, for the first time Afghan National Army units will take the lead, with American forces in support. This is why we're here gentlemen. This is their country, and I appreciate all you've done to get them ready. Now it's their turn to show us what they can do. Colonel Sherwood and I will be in the field with your, and I am confident of our success.

General Holden
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