In a very special announcement on this Veteran’s Day, Days of our Lives, NBC’s longest-running scripted series, will honor current and retired U.S. troops by dedicating an upcoming episode to veterans returning home and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Scheduled to air in January, this will continue the show’s long history of exploring real life social issues and representing the show’s vast variety of viewers and their struggles.
Actual veterans will appear as themselves in the episode, which focuses on psychiatrist “Marlena Evans,” played by Deidre Hall, taking Matthew Ashford’s “Jack” to a veteran’s hospital and visiting with patients struggling with returning home and their memories of war. A journalist who was kidnapped and held in Afghanistan while on assignment, “Jack” has returned to his home in Salem, but struggles to fit back in to his former life and face the reality of what he was put through, leading to issues dealing with stress and the pressure of strained relationships with his ex-wife and daughter. Joining the cast are a group of actual veterans, including Captain Leslie Nicole Smith, a former Army Public Affairs Officer, who retired due to a blood virus she contracted in Bosnia which resulted in the loss of her left leg, complete vision in her left eye, and some loss to her right eye’s vision. She currently speaks around the country to veterans and other victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“With President Obama’s recent announcement that we will bring home our troops we thought it was an important issue to address and let our family of viewers know we care about them,” said Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng.