Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Real Veterans Take Over Night Shift

Military vets take the spotlight in ‘Night Shift’ season opener
Lansing State Journal
Mike Hughes
Aug. 9, 2017
Montoya was in the Army from 1992-95, then re-enlisted after the Sept. 11 attack, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As doctors and medics saved him, he said, “one of the very few things I do remember is somebody holding my hand, saying, 'Not on my shift. I'm not going to let you die.'”
LOS ANGELES -- Our TV sets and movie screens are filling up with soldiers now.

Along the way, stereotypes persist. Just ask some of the former soldiers involved Thursday's “Night Shift” episode, a key one directed by East Lansing's Tim Busfield, a Navy veteran.

Often, the veterans say, shows depict the extremes:

•The unflinching rock. “Some (shows) have a list that says, 'Remember, soldiers don't get nervous; soldiers don't fidget; soldiers don't' – and I'm like, 'Well, I do,'” said Josh Kelley, once a Ranger sergeant in Afghanistan and now a busy actor.

•Or the opposite. “They always show the former soldier as (emotionally) broken,” said Toby Montoya, who was in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Some are, but most aren't. I'm not.”

He would have every reason to break down. Eight years ago, he said, a 490-pound explosive device hit his vehicle in Afghanistan; he's had 22 surgeries and remains in a wheelchair.

Still, he's a vibrant force as “Night Shift” military adviser. The show is set at a San Antonio hospital, surrounded by military bases. Some doctors and patients are active-duty military; others are veterans.

On Thursday, that peaks when there are injuries during a military funeral. Victims fill the emergency room; it's an hour filled with guest stars who are veterans, directed by Busfield, also a vet ... even if his colleagues didn't realize it.
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