Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Alternative To NCIS: Operation Home Base--The Newest Military Drama

Operation Home Base is a military drama about fictional non profit organization that gives support to military personnel and their families. Staffed with unique characters, each of which has their own reasons for wanting to help military personnel, OHB is designed to build a bridge between the civilian population and the military. OHB is a combination between NCIS and Army Wives with the potential for therapist drama as well. There is a wide range of potential stories that can be spun from this set-up, from domestic drama, hospital/therapist drama, legal drama, crime drama, adventure, even the occasional comedic episode.

Seeing the need, the organizers created Operation Home Base to help those in the military and their dependants to meet the basic needs of life. Existing on donations of time, money and resources, they frequently had to dip into their own savings to keep the lights on. Coming from diverse backgrounds, personalities, and motivations, they combine their talents to create a bridge between civilians and the military.

An Army brat, Lorelei Stewart grew up to married military. When her husband was killed in action, she learned how little support families received from those they served. His death left more than a financial and emotional void in their lives. There were questions about his death that the Army refused to answer. Determined to be part of the solution, instead of just ignoring the problem, Stewart goes back to school. Through her own hard work, sacrifice and stubbornness, Stewart earned Master degrees in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. For a short time, she works for the FBI as a profiler. Through her job, she meets Michael Woodsman.

Michael Woodsman grew up in a Navy family. He always intended to follow the family tradition and enlist right out of high school. However, a childish prank in his teens led to the accident that left him permanently disabled. Unable to serve he went onto college to get a degree in Political Science. Using family connections, he worked his way up the political system. His hard edge and cynicism make him a dangerous opponent, who is willing to use his political capital both above board, while still being perfectly capable of blackmailing behind the scenes. He is a team player with an us or them mentality. For the us, he is a supportive and loyal advocate. The them quickly learn that crossing him was not a pleasant experience for his charm was a thin facade for the frustrated warrior within. While working for the Defense Department, he meets Lt. Colonel Elaine Reynolds. Although sexually attracted to her in the beginning, he respects her and her marriage too much to pursue the relationship.

Lt. Colonel Elaine Reynolds was a career officer, wife and mother, who found a way to balance her career and family needs with the help of her police detective husband. She joined the military to get an education. More office support than combat ready, Reynolds was still not above low blows both physically and verbally if the situation required action. Half accountant, half weasel, she learned how to work the system to get what she needed for her base by not only making every nickel count, but by also creatively using the resources at hand. It was through her dealings with the base Domestic Assistance co-coordinator that she met Martin Flying Crow.

A full-blooded Oneida, Martin Flying Crow used his brother’s birth certificate to enlist early to escape the abject poverty of the Rez to find the destiny his ancestors placed before him. Trained by his shaman grandmother, Flying Crow planned to walk the Red Road. The Eagle Spirit showed him that he was destined to be a healer and spiritual guide to others. What the Eagle didn’t reveal was that the road would begin covered with the blood of others. Enlisting in the Navy, he served two tours in Vietnam as combat medic embedded with a Marine unit. Although, he was not officially allowed to carry weapons, he did not hesitate to defend those in his unit by whatever means necessary. He encountered Colonel Walter Hummel and Sergeant Major Deek Williams during an investigation and eventual cover up of the unnecessary deaths of both Marines and civilians. The hypocrisy, lies and betrayal were enough to change Flying Crow’s mind about re-enlisting. Returning home, he worked as a paramedic. He quickly learned how little support there was for military personnel. Working out of his garage, he gathered information, contacts, and resources, which he used to improve the lives of those affected by war. He gained national attention when he was able to talk a wounded warrior out of committing suicide. It was this exposure, which made him national news and gave retiring Reynolds the inspiration for the next segment of her life. Enlisting Stewart and Woodsman and using Flying Crows template, the four of them created Operation Home Base.

Living hand to mouth, OHB was always on the verge of closing their doors. The need was great, while resources were limited. When Walter Hummel appeared with an offer of an endless supply of cash and political clout, it seemed to be too good to be true. Three members were eager to accept. Martin was the only hold out. He didn’t trust Hummel’s motives. He had already seen how Hummel’s open hand was the diversion for the hidden one holding the dagger. He knows the dangers, but he is willing to barter whatever is left of his soul to help those who serve and their families.

After the agreement is signed, the three other members begin to suspect that Martin’s suspicions are valid as they learn that Deacon (Deek) Williams has been chosen as Government Liaison/OHB Supervisor without their input. As the new head of OHB, he answers only to Walter and the Pentagon.

An ex-special ops, Deek was deployed in Vietnam in the summer o f 1966. Assigned to Recon Intelligence, he worked closely with the Montagnard and the Vietnamese Army. Five years later, he reemerged from his assignment and was immediately air lifted out. His military records were sealed except to those with the highest security clearance. Charming one minute, deadly the next, Williams is able to accomplish the seemingly impossible. A permanent bachelor, he has many love interests but no attachments. He sees the big picture when it comes to his career and the military, but he refuses to get caught up in the messiness of intra-personal relationships. The "companions" who warm his bed at night are never there to see the dawn. He is a man of mystery and many contradictions. Likeable, yet frequently frightening, he disappears without notice only to return without explanation.

Immediately, the team is called into service after a disgraced Marine has been found burned to death in there remnants of his parent’s home. They need to help Gunnery Sergeant Matt Thompson and his wife deal not only with the death of their only son, but the disgrace of their son being dishonorable discharged and accused of raping a friend‘s teenage daughter. OHB must help defend them from the charge of murder made by a deputy sheriff who has a grudge against the Gunny.

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