One of my favourite shows on television of late is SEAL Team.
The show follows the lives of Bravo Team, one of the teams in the elite SEAL Development Group (DEVGRU). Led by Bravo-1, a SEAL by the name of Jason Hayes, the team takes on missions around the globe, fighting terror and despot alike.
Unlike a lot of military action shows, SEAL Team actually manages to blend the challenges of life on the home front with the challenges of the mission quite well. One issue, I feel, that the show handles particularly well is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Both Hayes, and his second-in-command, Bravo-2, a SEAL by the name of Ray Perry, deal with the issue. Hayes’ PTSD is developed from two decades on the frontline of the war on terror, while Perry’s stems from a storyline where he was captured and tortured.
As far as characters go, I find myself identifying with the Hayes character, played by Bones alum David Boreanaz. One of Hayes’ mantra’s is being “all in, all the time.” When I worked EMS, I felt the same about my job. I was all in, and there was little to no separation between me and the job. Over the last eight years since leaving EMS, I had little choice but to separate myself from the job.
Through the four seasons -to date- of the series, the character of Jason Hayes has undergone a transformation as well, slowly learning how to separate his role as team leader from his role as a dad. He is still “all in” with his role as a SEAL, but he is learning to take care of himself as well, and he’s learned that being “all in” means leaving something for his family.
From a writing perspective, I find the growth of the character to be intriguing. In my opinion, the character’s growth over the four seasons of the show is character development done right.
My journey has definitely been different than the journey of Hayes. It’s been long. It’s been painful. However, the parallels are irrefutable.
I’ve fallen onto a new path over the last few years. I’m on the path of being a writer, a photographer, and journalist. To a certain extent, I still have the “all in” mentality. I know it annoys my editor sometimes that I don’t seem to turn off. It is because I have a love for the job. However, while I may consider myself to be “all in,” I don’t take it to the extent I did when I worked EMS. I take time out for myself. I workout. I play Playstation. I take time out with Lynn.
I do all these things in order to be able to work at the highest level possible. And, to be honest, it’s not work if you love what you do.