Thursday, March 31, 2016

Carrier: Life Aboard The USS Nimitz

Carrier Trailer PBS from Urban Audio Post on Vimeo.

In 2005, a film crew was given unprecedented access aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz during a six month deployment to the Persian Gulf. Three years and 1600 hours of footage later, PBS aired Carrier, a reality TV show unlike all the others.

Over ten, 1-hour episodes, we learn about life aboard a ship 24 stories tall, three football fields in length, carrying two nuclear reactors and enough ordnance to blow the whole ship to smithereens. And we learn just how hard the life of a sailor really is. Being away from family and friends for six months at a time, missing births, deaths and marriages, the men and women of the Nimitz endure sweltering heat, life-threatening weather conditions, and deadly dull routine that can prove just as dangerous for the unwary.

After viewing Carrier, I came away with a profound new respect for the men and women of the US Navy. Many of them started life with severe handicaps: drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional, even violent family and home life. One remarkable Marine Staff Sergeant was abandoned by his parents at a Texas carnival when he was three. For some, the Navy is just a job, for others, it’s a multi-generational calling and a privilege. But after serving aboard the Nimitz, no one, from dashing fighter-jet pilot to the humblest member of the mess crew, no one leaves the carrier the same. And after watching Carrier, I, too, felt changed.

You can reserve Carrier here. From time to time, you might also find it on our Newport Library Staff Picks shelf, at the far end of the New Fiction area.

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