If you watch the credits for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness you will notice that the film is dedicated to post-9/11 veterans. And the connection doesn’t end there as Abrams cast four vets from the Mission Continues charity in the film. More details below on the real world veteran connection to Star Trek Into Darkness.
Star Trek Into Darkness dedicated to vets
Star Trek Into Darkness deals with some modern themes with our future heroes facing off against the terrorist John Harrison. But the modern day connection doesn’t end there as the film is dedicated to heroes of today. The final credits for the film contain the following dedication…
And director J.J. Abrams even included some actual post-9/11 veterans in the movie itself. There is a scene with some Starfleet personnel folding the flag of the United Federation of planets, which has been seen in some of the trailers and commercials for the movie. Four of the six people pictured are real US vets.
Scene in Star Trek Into Darkness featuring post-9/11 veterans
The war veteran connection to Star Trek goes back to its beginnings. Many of the original series cast and crew were World War II vets, including Gene Roddenberry, James Doohan, DeForest Kelley, Mark Lenard, and Matt Jefferies. In fact, Roddenberry named the Starship USS Enterprise after the US Navy Aircraft carrier USS Enterprise which served with distinction in the Pacific during the war.
The Mission Continues and Star Trek Into Darkness
The four vets featured in Into Darkness (credited as "Starfleet Ceremonial Guard") are Melissa Steinman (US Coast Guard), Adam McCann (USMC) Jon Orvrasky (USMC) and Eric Greitens (US Navy). All are members of the Mission Continues charity, a service organization that helps post-9/11 veterans transition from the military to leadership roles at home. J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath have been active supporters of the organization. In addition J.J. also sponsored a charity auction for Mission Continues offering a VIP trip the Hollywood premiere and all proceeds for the new Star Trek add-on for the Action Movie FX app go to Mission Continues. There is even a Mission Continues link on the official StarTrekMovie.com page.
Mission Continues founder Eric Greitens talking on the set of "Into Darkness" (with JJ Abrams looking on)
Greitens (a former Navy Seal) founded Mission Continues in 2007 and he was recently named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world. The organization sponsors veterans’ enrollment in a 6-month service and leadership program. These veterans dedicate themselves to serving in their community, volunteering for at least 20 hours a week in community organizations to address issues like homelessness, illiteracy and unemployment. The Mission Continues provides the tools, the direction, and a living stipend to these veterans, while the veterans deploy their experience, their skills, and their desire against our communities’ most pressing problems. Since its inception, The Mission Continues has awarded more than 600 fellowships and engaged thousands of volunteers at more than 350 community organizations.
Mission Continues vets Eric Greitens (at far end of flag), Adam McCann (to Eric’s right), Jon Orvrasky (to Eric’s left) and Melissa Steinman (back to camera…across from Eric)
Greitens and his fellow vets actually developed a new flag-folding procedure for Starfleet. He felt that since each branch of the real-world military has their own flag-folding procedure, Starfleet would have their own as well.
Mission Continues founder Eric Greitens with producer Bryan Burk and director JJ Abrams