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In celebration of Netflix’s revival of Gilmore Girls, people were pretty psyched to spend another ‘Year in the Life’ of their two favorite small town power talkers and their merry band of oddball townies. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s limited series was definitely a cause for rejoicing, and from more people than you might think. On December 9, CBS News reported that four buddies who’d flown from every corner of the country to binge out the entirety of the Gilmore Girls revival. That might not be news, until you discover that these men were Marines who met (and discovered Stars Hollow) while serving in Ramadi, Iraq in 2005. You might not think that hardened soldiers would see much good in a show about the life and times of two upper class ladies, but you’d be wrong. These soldiers found Gilmore Girls to be an indispensable part of their overseas deployment. Here are some of their thoughts on the series, alongside a few lessons that they took away from Amy Sherman-Palladino’s perky little soap opera.

1. ‘At Least For Me, Stars Hollow Was the America I Think We All Thought – We All Wished We Were Fighting For.’

If you’ve never seen an episode of Gilmore Girls, perhaps the first thing to know about these spunky ladies is that they live in a small Connecticut town called Stars Hollow. The idyllic little town just a short trip out of Hartford is a peculiar mashup of traditional charm and new wave kooks.

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