This came in my e-mail yesterday. I've seen something like
it before, but this time it struck me in a different way and I decided to reformat
it and put it up here just as it came to me (except in the formatting).
Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 at age 76, which is
odd, because he always looked to be 76. (DOB: 6/27/27) His death
reminds me of the following story:
What struck me this time was that men like Lee Marvin and Bob Keeshan and
Mr. Rogers are what I have called
Some people have been a bit offended that the actor, Lee Marvin, is
buried in a grave alongside 3- and 4-star generals at Arlington
National Cemetery . His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service
(USMC). Nothing else.
Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why
the heck does he rate burial with these guys? Well, following is the
liked Lee Marvin, but didn't know the extent of his Corps experiences.
In a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in the armed
forces often in rear echelon posts where they were carefully
protected, only to be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war
bond promotions, Lee Marvin was a genuine hero. He won the Navy Cross
at Iwo Jima. There is only one higher Naval award ... the Medal Of Honor!
If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he
credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery.
dialog from "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson": Johnny's guest was Lee
Marvin. Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that
you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima and that during
the course of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely
Lee responded "Yeah, yeah ... I got shot square in the bottom and they gave me the
Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi. Bad thing
about getting shot up on a mountain is guys getting shot hauling you down.
But, Johnny, at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew. We
both got the Cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made
mine look cheap in comparison. That dumb guy actually stood up on Red
beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach.
Bullets flying by, with mortar rounds landing everywhere and he stood
there as the main target of gunfire so that he could get his men to safety.
He did this on more than one occasion because his men's safety was
more important than his own life.
"That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends. When they brought me
off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me,
lying on my belly on the litter and said, 'Where'd they get you Lee?' I told him
'Well Bob, if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!'
"Johnny, I'm not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew.
The Sergeant's name is Bob Keeshan. You and the world know him as Captain
On another note, there was this wimpy little man (who just passed away) on
PBS. Gentle and quiet, Mr. Rogers is another of those you would
least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth. But Mr.
Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over
twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV,
to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. He was a master in small
arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat.
After the war Mr. Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister and
therefore a pacifist. Vowing to never harm another human and also
dedicating the rest of his life to trying to help lead children on
the right path in life. He hid away the tattoos and his past life and won our
hearts with his quiet wit and charm.
America's real heroes don't flaunt what they did; they quietly go
about their day-to-day lives, doing what they do best. They earned our
respect and the freedoms that we all enjoy. Look around and see if you can find
one of those heroes in your midst.
Often, they are the ones you'd least suspect, but would most like to have
on your side if anything ever happened.
Take the time to thank anyone that has fought for our freedom. With
encouragement they could be the next Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers.
Send this on, will you please? Nothing will happen to you if you don't,
but you will be telling others what a HERO is made of.