Clooney and the Hollywood Left Dishonor the Memory
Those Who Served
by Doug Patton
is a place where people who pretend to be somebody convince
themselves that they are somebody. Celebrity bestows false
moral authority upon the socially shallow and the intellectually
the vacuous anti-war rebels now populating Tinsel Town. Martin
Sheen could never be president, but he thinks he’s important
because he plays one on TV. Now George Clooney seems to be
the latest mouthpiece of the special people whose lives are
so far removed from America that they barely resemble us anymore.
forth on matters about which he knows virtually nothing, Clooney
has been shooting his mouth off overseas lately. Speaking
in Berlin over the weekend, Clooney said that war with Iraq
seems “as unavoidable as it is senseless.” Referring to the
United States, he added, “We can’t beat anyone anymore.”
was not always a dirty word among those who entertained us.
There was a time when Hollywood’s rich and the famous shared
the sacrifice of war with their fans. The last time America
was attacked, the list of those who served in uniform read
like a Who’s Who of Hollywood:
Don Adams contracted Malaria while serving
as a U.S. Marine on Guadalcanal.
Arness, U.S. Army, was awarded the Purple Heart and
the Bronze Star after being wounded at Anzio.
Coogan volunteered for hazardous flight duty in the
Army Air Corps.
Durning won three Purple Hearts and the Silver Star
after surviving the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach, being captured
by the Germans, escaping and being wounded during the Battle
of the Bulge.
Ford served in the Navy during World War II and in
the reserves during Korea and Vietnam.
Marvin, U.S. Marine Corps, was wounded fighting the
Japanese during the battle of Saipan.
Murphy, U.S. Army, the most decorated man ever to
serve in uniform in the history of the United States, received
every medal the nation had to offer, including the coveted
Medal of Honor.
Palance, U.S. Army Air Corps, required facial reconstruction
from injuries sustained when his B-17 crash-landed in 1943.
Robards, U.S. Navy, was on duty as a radioman at
Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack.
Stack, U.S. Navy, was assigned to teach anti-aircraft
gunnery because of his experience as an Olympic champion skeet
those who would point out that most of these men became famous
as actors after their service, consider these names:
Fonda, who had already received critical acclaim
as Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath,” nevertheless joined
the Navy and received the Bronze Star for Valor.
Gable, whose star was as high as anyone in Hollywood
after his portrayal of Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind,”
joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a private in 1942, even
though he was beyond draft age. He attended Officers' Candidate
School, aerial gunnery training and then flew operational
missions over Europe in B-17s.
Reagan served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Because of a severe hearing loss, he was not allowed any flying
Stewart, who had starred in several movies in the
late thirties and early forties, joined the Army Air Corp
where, as a bomber pilot and squadron commander, he lead a
number of strikes against Germany during World War II and
rose to the rank of colonel. For his service, he won both
the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
then there was good old “Bogey.” Humphrey Bogart,
who had been wounded while serving in the Navy during World
War I, also tried to enlist in World War II, but was turned
down because of his age,
many of these Americans had lived a pampered life of wealth
and leisure while the rest of the country suffered through
the Great Depression of the 1930s, when it came time to serve
the nation that had given them so much, they volunteered to
fight alongside the sons of coal miners and accountants and
Clooney and his ilk should read the history of the
honorable men who went before them.
for information on actors who served in World War II: www.CombatFan.com)
Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as
a speechwriter and public policy advisor at the federal, state
and local levels. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers
across the country. Readers can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2003 by Armed
Females of America. All rights reserved. Permission
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