How Gilmore Girls Touched the Lives of One Marine Unit

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Gilmore Girls has changed the lives of many people around the world. We know of many inspirational stories of mother and daughter relationships forever improved because of this show. We know of friendships solidified over candy and popcorn and watching Gilmore Girls. The show has had a transcendence in both audience and in time. One story of this transcendence – and the amazing response of Amy Sherman-Palladino – warmed my heart.

CBS News ran a story called US Marines Say ‘Gilmore Girls’ offered ‘escapism’ from times of war, detailing how a group of Marines – Jesse, Luke, Erik and John – found an unopened DVD of Gilmore Girls Season 2 in the middle of a base in Iraq in 2005. As members of a sniper platoon, they faced many dangers on the job. Back on base, they watched 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.

Gilmore Girls meant so much to the Marines that they wrote a letter to Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, sharing how their violent world contrasted with the warm and friendly Stars Hollow filled with wholesome human stories.

“Relationship between parents and children, brothers and sisters, loves lost and found, and friends who are always there,” Luke read on, tearing up and laughing at the same time. “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.”

Amy and Dan were so moved by the words of these Marines that they sent a care package out to Iraq with Gilmore Girls jackets inside. And that letter? Amy kept it, always, moving it from desk to desk.

Although no longer stationed in Iraq, this group of Marines flew from all over the country to watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life together. While together, they sat down for a FaceTime call with the Palladinos, who claimed she would “redo” the revival if the Marines didn’t like it. But I think one of the Marines, Erik, sums it up best:

“While we are going to watch the ‘Gilmore Girls’ and that’s a huge part of it and we’re very, very excited for this revival, the reality was, we just need to get together,” Erik said. “We need excuses to get together. We need excuses to remember.”

I think we all kind of need excuses to remember. Gilmore Girls has the power to touch us in unexpected ways. When we watch, we are taken to a different place. A different time. In our own lives as well as fictionally into Stars Hollow. I think that’s why we will always want more.

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One thought on “How Gilmore Girls Touched the Lives of One Marine Unit

  • December 20, 2016 at 7:15 am
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    I remember a couple months back when Scott said he was in the airport and a marine hugged him and thanked him for doing this amazing show. This story was sooooo touching in so many ways. I hate when people say they don’t see anything happening in Gilmore Girls. This show is full of life and makes us better.

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