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Heroes on (and off) the stage…

(This post is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, who put themselves in harm’s way, everyday, and protect our freedom in ways the rest of us will never fully understand….)
Hey all,
These days it seem like you can’t turn on the TV without hearing how Sean Penn (or any other of a number of “actors” and “actresses”) think they know enough about world politics to make the world a safer place, men and women who have never held a weapon to protect their country but feel qualified to look down their Hollywood noses at the soldiers who have the guts to put their lives on the line to protect their freedom (and sex and drugs and money.)
This post is in remembrance of when actors were “real” heroes…and not just political gas-bags, hoping to sweet-talk you into another twelve-dollar movie ticket.
Hope you find this as informative and interesting as I did.
In contrast to the ideals, opinions and feelings of today’s “Hollywonk,” the real actors of yester-year loved the United States.  They had both class and integrity.  With the advent of World War II many of our actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love.
They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service men & women, many as simple “enlisted men”.
This post lists but a few, but from this group of only 18 men came over 70 medals in honor of their valor, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Cross’, Purple Hearts and one Congressional Medal of Honor.
So remember; while the “Entertainers of today” have been in all of the news media lately (and none in Iraq) I would like to remind the people of what the entertainers of 1943 were doing, 61 years ago…
Most of these brave men have since passed on.
“The Real Hollywood Heros”
Alec Guinness (Star Wars) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.
James Doohan(“Scotty” on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the U. S. Army on D-Day.
Donald Pleasance (The Great Escape) really was an R. A. F. pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans.
David Niven (Around the World In 80 Days) was a Sandhurst graduate and Lt. Colonel of the British Commandos in Normandy.
James Stewart (It’s a Wonderful Life) Entered the Army Air Force as a private and worked his way to the rank of Colonel.  During World War II, Stewart served as a bomber pilot, his service record crediting him with leading more than 20 missions over Germany, and taking part in hundreds of air strikes during his tour of duty.
Stewart earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, France’s Croix de Guerre, and 7 Battle Stars during World War II.  In peace time, Stewart continued to be an active member of the Air Force as a reservist, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in the late 1950s.
Clark Gable (Mega-Movie Star when war broke out/Gone With the Wind)
Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles.
He attended the Officers’ Candidate School at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942.
He then attended aerial gunnery school and in Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook where he flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s.
Capt. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.
Charlton Heston (The 10 Commandments) was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak.
Ernest Borgnine (The Dirty Dozen) was a U. S. Navy Gunners Mate 1935-1945.
Charles Durning (The Sting) was a U. S. Army Ranger at Normandy earning a Silver Star and awarded the Purple Heart.
Charles Bronson(Death Wish) was a tail gunner in the Army Air Corps, more specifically on B-29’s in the 20th Air Force out of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan
George C. Scott (Scrooge, Patton) was a decorated U. S. Marine.
Eddie Albert (Green Acres TV) was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic action  as a U. S. Naval officer aiding Marines at the horrific battle on the island of Tarawa in the Pacific Nov. 1943.
Brian Keith(The Mountain Men) served as a US. Marine rear gunner in several actions against the Japanese on Rabal in the Pacific.
Lee Marvin(The Dirty Dozen) was a U.S. Marine on Saipan during the Marianas campaign when he was wounded earning the Purple Heart.
John Russell (Rio Bravo) in 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he received a battlefield commission and was wounded and highly decorated for valor at Guadalcanal
Robert Ryan (The Dirty Dozen) was a U. S. Marine who served with the O. S. S. in Yugoslavia.
Tyrone Power(an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed/The Mark of Zoro) joined the U.S. Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Audie Murphy, a little 5’5″ tall 110 pound guy from Texas who played cowboy parts, he was the most decorated serviceman of WWII and earned: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with “V”, 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm.
So, the next time some pill-popping Hollywood sissy-boy wants to tell you how America should be run, think about the men above, who walked away from the limelight to protect their country, and ask yourself if that “boy” is really qualified to speak out.
-Perry
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7 thoughts on “Heroes on (and off) the stage…

  1. Pingback: World War II History

  2. Dinana on said:

    Perry, dear…

    We live in a different time, with a different world. Actors who *shock and awe* don’t agree with your right wing opinions are allowed to express their frustration with a bad war.

    We’ve all learned the “Viet Nam” lesson…hate the war, love the soldgers…and even these “liberal, leftist” actors are doing a lot to support our troops.

    And please, don’t equate the “old time” actors as saints…there were plenty of scandals in their day too.

    Don’t live in a glass house…

    Respectfully,

    From the left of center…

  3. LT Z. on said:

    Understanding that that “Greats” of yester-year had their issues as well, BUT I still agree that just because you are in a film and in the press does not give you the right or privilege to go overseas and speak for our country as some of our modern day actors have done.

    Many don’t have the education or training to understand the full scope of world economics or policies.

    There is a reason that the government has high standards for public office as far as education goes.

    I heard it said that to understand socialism takes a 6th grade education but to understand, and I mean truly understand how democracy works takes a 15th grade education. So it does not surprise me that a large number of “Actors” without education keep trashing how we do things.

    Last point: If you haven’t worn the boots, carried a ruck, been willing to get on the firing line with your buddy watching your back as you service some person in another country. STOP making bad comments about “OUR ARMED FORCES”. If you hate “The Man” in charge because you feel he isn’t serving the people, remember the soldier is serving the people.

    Have a nice day and pray the next one in charge doesn’t cut our forces again. We have HALF the standing Army we had when I first join in 1991 (thanks to Clinton) THAT is the TRUE reason we are over-burdened around the world right now.

  4. D-

    Let me take your comments in order:

    “Actors who *shock and awe* don’t agree with your right wing opinions…”

    I’m sure they don’t. My dog might not like the color of my socks, either, but I’m not going to let him buy my clothes from now own.

    This is a classic case of opinions being like @$$holes… everybody’s got one. Unfortunately we, as a society have gotten so twitterpated over our Hollywood zombies that we’ll scream, applaud, and lap up whatever vomit spews from their drug-slacked jaws.

    “Opinion” that isn’t backed up with education and/or experience is wasted air. Keep in mind also that you’re talking about a group (modern celebrities) that would dangle their children off 12th story balconies to get their pictures in the news.

    They are investing is the misguided support of people who are too lazy to educate themselves with the facts of the situation, in hopes of getting a hefty return at the box-office.

    “…are allowed to express their frustration with a bad war.”

    I love it when liberals use this phrase. Can you please explain to me what would qualify as a “good war?” Lefties would love for the world to think that we conservatives are sitting at home with a bowl of popcorn, watching the evening news, and cheering on our “team.”

    No, we hate war as much as you do, and, as military service is voluntary, I would suspect that there are more kids from conservative homes dying in Iraq than from liberal homes. Nobody likes war, nobody wants war. The difference is that some people understand that there are “realities” in life that must be dealt with.

    What the left hasn’t figured out yet is that there is a huge difference between “We MUST solve this problem our way,” and “We CAN solve this problem our way.”

    “We’ve all learned the “Viet Nam” lesson…”

    No, I don’t think we learned the “Vietnam Lesson” at all.

    We still have a large percentage of the population that is willing to break our promises to an indigenous people, who have risked everything to back us, pull our troops out, and leave them to be slaughtered.

    You need to READ about the US withdraw from Vietnam and what happened to the locals after the last helicopters lifted off.

    -Perk

  5. Perk, I agree that the “Vietnam Lesson” has not been learned. For one, if it had, we would not have so many press people following our troops from day one, trying to find someone making a mistake so they can report some “abuses” and report only the negative, and in so doing, undercut our troops. I have talked to some soldiers who have been over there, and they report major progress for the Iraqi citizens. I have also talked with a few who have been injured while there, and although they don’t like to harm anyone, one statement I have heard is, “the worst part is, you sometimes have to kill or you will be killed”. I have felt firsthand, what it feels like to lose a loved one in war, and I am SOOOO proud of the commitment he made for his country knowing full well it might cost him his life. I also salute all those I know who is training and making the commitment for our country. Kudos to you, LT Z. One last thing, I don’t know if any of you readers are aware of some of the challenges our recruiting centers, ON AMERICAN SOIL, are facing, but if anyone is interested, I will be more than willing to hook you up with a website FYI. God Bless You Perk for keeping us informed on some of these things we may not otherwise know.

  6. Dave,

    Thank you. I know that you have first-hand knowledge and understanding that the rest of us can only speculate on.

    You honor me with your post.

    I, too, am proud of his commitment (and yours.)

    I was never in a position to make that type of sacrafice, and I can only hope that I would have had the same courage and commitment.

    Yes, please give us that website, I’d love to look into it.

    -Perk

  7. Perk, It is http://www.MoveAmericaForward.org , it is a pro-military group that stands up for our troops and finds where there is intense anti-military sentiment and opposses them. Recently, they spent quite a bit of time in Berkeley, CA. Look at their site. It is amazing how many people use their “free speech” protection to such abuses. They obviously do realize why they can enjoy that freedom, or who helps to protect that freedom. Our military is completely voluntary, and can’t believe that some people are so ignorant to think that only “uneducated” people join. And to think that some of those who believe that are politicians making decisions for our country. Makes me wonder where they got their “education”. Anyway, I think you might see some things that are going on against our troops on OUR soil. Thanks

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