Nurse Veronica Callahan wipes the sleep from her eyes as the sun pours through her kitchen window on this quiet New Jersey morning. She reaches for a cereal bowl, news radio blaring in the background. A local solider has been killed in Iraq.
As Veronica looks for a spoon, the reporter is drowned out by a menacing noise. It's a chopper. Stunned, Veronica moves toward the window and is gunned down in rapid fire. She looks down as bullets rip through her chest...and is snapped awake by her mother's voice. It was just another nightmare.
Meet the lead character of NBC's new nursing drama, Mercy
. Veronica, played by Taylor Schilling, is doing her best to adjust to life at a civilian hospital after serving as a combat nurse in Iraq. On the home front, Veronica must also decide whether to stay married to a man who's desperately trying to understand the person she's become—or reconnect with a combat doctor who's the only one who knows what she's seen.Watch a clip of Mercy
Schilling says she wants her portrayal of Veronica to be honest and respectful. "These men and women are coming home on a daily basis, and they're dealing with the issues that Veronica is dealing with, so it's incredibly relevant," she says. "All I can do is pay homage to the men and women who are serving right now."
Women like Army Capt. Rebecca Christensen. Capt. Christensen says she saw "the worst of the worst" in her year as an intensive care nurse at Baghdad's 10th Combat Hospital—Saddam Hussein's old hospital. "We were the biggest Army hospital in that area of Baghdad. Most everybody would come to us first," she says. "I will never see that kind of combat, that kind of trauma again." Though she was stationed in the most fortified area of the country, Green Zone living was never easy, and she feared for her life on more than one occasion.