The Effects of War

Like all veterans, Jack was affected by what he experienced in World War II. Some veterans are so deeply affected that they struggle for the rest of their lives with the memories of their experiences. Their emotions show, whether they want them to or not. On a few occasions, we were touched – even privileged – to see Jack’s wartime experiences reflected on screen.

In October 1971, Jack appeared on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in an episode that was filmed in Hawaii. Near the end, a scene took place at Fort DeRussy with recovering servicemen from Tripler Army Hospital in attendance. Glen called Jack on stage to say a few words. Jack became overcome with emotion, and the scene ended abruptly.

On Hawaii Five-0, near the end of the episode “When Does a War End?” (Season 10), McGarrett and Danno had just arrested Alicia Wade (Anne Francis) and Willie Barker (David Dukes) for threatening the lives of Yuhio Muromoto (Bennett Ohto) and Nancy Muromoto (Donna Benz) when reporter Joe Boyd (Joshua Bryant) arrived and asked McGarrett when wars will end. As you can see in the following screen captures, Jack was feeling strong emotions, which some have reported was not acting.

In an undated photograph, Jack is seen addressing an audience. We see great emotion not only in Jack’s eyes, but also in the facial expressions of those standing nearby, listening to him.

(Photographer unknown. Deemed to be in the public domain as per

Circular 3, Copyright Notice, US Copyright Office, Library of Congress)

 

 

Perhaps most telling of all is a scene in “The Hostage” (Season 7) in which a shell-shocked Korean War veteran (Dane Clark) says McGarrett, a naval officer, had it easy in the war, sleeping on sheets and eating hot meals, to which McGarrett replied, “Yeah. Yeah, I agree with you, Jesse. We really had it soft, until the ship went down, and then, you wish you were in a foxhole.” Jack was speaking from personal experience. He knew what it was like to have his ship blown out from under him. That experience cost him his ship, his shipmates, his marriage, and his ability to know his son. The scars remained visible for the rest of his life.

Job well done, Commodore. By sharing your scars with us – even unwittingly – you showed us what war is really like. It is far more than a tour of a vintage battleship or a Tiger Cruise aboard an aircraft carrier. It is the loss of one’s control over his outcome. It is fear for one’s life. It is suffering with painful injuries. All too often, it is death.

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Copyright (c) 2009-2019, Virginia Tolles