I will be the first one to tell you how much I LOVE TV. It's like a mini-vacation that your brain gets to take, a little break throughout your day. I know that every show/movies is mostly made for the entertainment value, even if it is based on a true story/real life. Even reality TV shows now-a-days are edited and "tweeked" to make it more entertaining. I think most people agree with me on this, but there are those few, and sometimes even more, that think that what they see on TV HAS to be the way it actually is.
When my husband joined the Army, he was looking forward to Basic Training. The reason? He had watched Full Metal Jacket and thought that that was how Basic Training was going to be. The yelling in your face, beat you senseless without laying a finger on you type discipline. Boy, was he disappointed! They did none of that! They very rarely yelled at you and since it's the kinder, gentler Army, it's even worse.
Now, for the BIG one........Army Wives. Let me start off by saying that I LOVE that show! I love the story and the characters. most people don't realize that it's just that, a STORY! It's entertainment, nothing more, nothing less. Let me give you some examples.
Housing - My mom visited recently. I took her on post to show her around. I told her that we would go by housing and the first thing she asked me was "Is it like the houses on Army Wives?". Let me tell you, it's nothing like those houses. Most houses on post are duplexes or 4 home apartments unless you are either VERY lucky or an officer. Although they are building new houses, they are still duplexes for the most part. The newer houses also look a little nicer than what is portrayed on the show but there are posts that have worse looking houses.
FRG - The way that the have the FRG on there is fictional as well. The way and FRG works is it is by Company/Battery, not by installation! In the show, all of the characters are in one FRG. Claudia-Joy, being the Post Commanders wife, would NOT be in the same FRG as everyone else.
Hump Bar explosion - There is an episode (at the end of Season 1) where a Soldier follows his wife to the Hump Bar, a local bar just off post. She was leaving him (because he was abusive) and was meeting her boyfriend there to run away together. The Soldier walks into the crowded bar and blows himself up, killing his wife, her boyfriend and Claudia-Joys' daughter, Amanda. In reality this wouldn't have happened the way it did on the show. Michael (the post commander) was informed that the explosives were missing well in advance to the bar being blown up. In reality when the explosives were discovered missing every Soldier in that affected unit would have been recalled pending an inspection and a Health and Welfare (personal inspection). They would have brought in a special K9 unit to aide in the search as well and more than likely would have found them in time.
I'm sure that will be more examples with the season starting again on June 7th (YAY) but if there are any questions you may have about the show VS reality, just let me know! I would be HAPPY to answer them!