While tonight’s episode had no true basis as an NCIS case, we found it close to home. The Navy jurisdiction was based on Naval medical personnel volunteering in South Sudan who were killed and/or missing. Those of you who have read our novels know that there is a character named Wally in three of our titles. Wally is based on a friend who came to the U.S. as a “Lost Boy” from Sudan, who had wandered for years from one refugee camp to another during raging wars.

As does the character Wally in the thriller “Redeeming Liberty,” our friend returned to South Sudan to marry a girl from his village. Because of his love for her and his people, he left the luxuries of the U.S. behind. He left here as a U.S. citizen and is now on staff of a small village hospital in South Sudan. As we watched this episode, which accurately reveals the levels of violence the people of South Sudan face daily, we prayed for our friend’s continued safety.

Did you enjoy seeing Scottie Thompson’s portrayal of Jeanne Benoit? Long-time NCIS watchers will recognize her as the former girlfriend to Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo when he was working an undercover case involving her father. Their relationship didn’t end well. Tony and Jeanne come back together tonight under difficult circumstances when her husband is one of those attacked in South Sudan. We were left with the feeling that this episode was written to permit their reunion. In many ways, the show lacked the incisive investigative techniques of this fantastic team. Gibbs’ is sidelined due to a continuing health issue. Is it all in his mind or does he need further medical treatment?

Because he’s in “home detention,” Tony goes in his place with Tim to South Sudan to search for the missing doctors. We are treated to a quick glimpse of Special Ops and Navy SEAL teams that arrive to help based on Gibbs’ connections; however they are quickly dispatched elsewhere.

It was nice to see Tony and his former love interest reunited and the hurt feelings restored. Also, the physical/mental ailment for Gibbs is resolved in a favorable way, although the writers seem determined to weaken the strong image Gibbs has perfected through these many years. Are they simply humanizing him and where do you think the show is heading with our hero, Leroy Jethro Gibbs?

With Veteran’s Day tomorrow, we say thank you to the men and women in this generation and in those past generations who have served and who are serving to keep us safe!

Be Blessed, Diane and David Munson