US Soldiers: “Over There” is Bogus

These Soldiers Say “Over There” is “Bogus” (Seattle PI)

“Bogus” was the preferred adjective among the eight soldiers — most of them Iraq vets — viewing the series pilot last week at Camp Murray, headquarters of the Washington State National Guard in Tacoma.

“Thank God that’s over,” said a master sergeant as the credits rolled.

The uniformed skeptics dissected the series pilot scene by scene, beginning with the roadside bombing and panicked soldiers. Who, they asked, was pulling security? And what kind of idiot pulls off his helmet after a bombing attack? “In real life, training takes over. Not in Hollywood,” said Sgt. Dan Purcell.


The Camp Murray soldiers dismissed the military firefights as “bull—- ” (“Where is the air support? Where is the armor support?”), the dialogue as contrived (“It sucked”) and plot drivers as pure Hollywood.

In the script, characters are thrown together for the first time. They constantly ask each other to explain nicknames. In real life, soldiers are sent to Iraq in units. “They don’t have to ask each other’s nicknames. They all know each other.”

After one week in-country, the soldier-actors mull life and death and war in eloquent speeches home to loved ones, talking about how war unmasks the monster within. “Nobody is that reflective after one week in-country. It’s more like, “Ohmigod, we’re in Iraq. Hi. What the hell am I doing here?”

I didn’t catch the show, but it’s being marketed as a tool for understanding the human side of the war. It sounds like more Hollywood melodrama instead.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Iraq War, ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. Charlie (Colorado) says:

    Hmmm. Relatively ill-trained soldiers, little armor support, units thrown together in-country … what does that sound like?

    I know: Viet Nam!

  2. Sgt Fluffy says:

    This happens time and time again. People from the outside think they know what happens on the inside. Another piece of trash that made its debut a few years back was the movie adaption of “A Glimpse of Hell” . The “True” story of what happened on the USS Iowa in 1989, on FX to by the way.. Both the book and movie played out like a bad mystery novel. As for “Over There” apparently they didn’t go past the Hollywood adaptation of Vietnam because thay still think that soldiers are still “thrown together” as if they were drafted. FX does from time to time show and produce really great shows, but they missed the boat once again with this one.

  3. Suzi says:

    I saw “Over There.” I told my husband that was probably the only one I wanted to see.

    It was interesting, but it was not realistic. I knew that and I am not, nor have I ever been, in the military.

  4. David Nelson says:

    “Over There” is a piece of trash and Hollywood needs to send some individuals to the hot spots to see what it is REALLY LIKE before making a piece of trash like this!

  5. Lt bell says:

    that right – all you conservatives – tell us how it is- you know best-
    I happen to be sitting at camp murray right now-
    REAL TIME “BOYS”- In the realworld-

    And the report is Real
    Bush is the fake – you are the fakes
    Send your daughter and son to Iraq – just like you went to Vietnam

    cowards all

  6. Bell: perhaps you should read the post again.

  7. ALS says:

    My husband served in Iraq – both Baghdad and Fallujah. He was so disgusted with the TV show that he made me change the channel half-way through it. He says it’s all bull$hit.

    And as an Army veteran myself, I gotta say, Soldiers are, in reality, better trained than the way they were portrayed in the show.

  8. Five O-Duece Guy says:

    I spent a year or so in Iraq – from the invasion to just after the money switch. We are the guys who have black hearts on our helmets. Some of my buddies and I watched the first episode – had to record it because we’ve been a bit busy at work. We found it to be laughably inaccurate for the most part. Any platoon sgt who puts 4 cherries in the same squad should be shot. If he does the same with one NCO and no experienced junior enlisted, he should be drawn and quartered as well. The entire first episode, minus a couple small details is pretty hokey. The second episode was a lot better. I will say it triggered a bit of the adrenaline rush I used to get when running a check point. Still, stupid inaccuracies abound. I have never seen anything less than 2 squads manning a check point. The guy with the most casualty producing weapon (SAW) is generally not the guy you want going up to the vehicle. When trying to stop a vehicle, shooting the driver usually isn’t as successful as shooting the tires or engine. I found it funny that they will use the word “nigger” but not the word “haji”, which is the present analog to Viet Nam’s “charlie”. At least the new guy has some brains and brings something valuable to the fight. He’s about the only one that actually resembles a real soldier.