Never Would Have Guessed

Saw this story on Facebook. It’s kind if long, but I wanted to post it so I could have it to read again.


Never Would Have Guessed


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 reminded me of the following story.

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 amazing answer:

I always 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”: 
His 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 wounded.”

“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?” “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 Kangaroo.”

On another note, there was this wimpy little man 
(who 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……. Just saying.

 —  with Bob Williford

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