Ann Margret And Saluting Our Vietnam Vets

It’s been a while since I have seen the following so when Judy Gordon of Dublin, Texas forwarded it to me, I decided to pass it along to you. I cannot give credit because I do not know who wrote this.

May God bless our Vietnam vets, and may they forgive us for what we¬† didn’t understand.

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Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam, other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather grainy, 8×10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann-Margret with Bob Hope in the background that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann-Margret was doing a book-signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

When I got there after work, the line went all the way around the bookstore, circled the parking lot, and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book and no memorabilia would be permitted.

Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI’s so far from home. Ann-Margret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line, it was soon Richard’s turn.

He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, “I understand. I just wanted her to see it.”

She took one look at the photo, tears welled up in her eyes and she said, “This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo. I know what these men did for their country and I always have time for ‘my gentlemen.’ ”

With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years, how much she admired them, and how much she appreciated them. There weren’t too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he’d like to talk about it, my big, strong husband broke down in tears. ”That’s the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,” he said.

That night was a turning point for him. He walked a little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I’ll never forget Ann-Margret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

About Fredda Jones

From the time I was just a child, I could lose myself on my grandparents' sprawling front porch, curled up in their porch swing. With the scent of roses in the air and the flutter of the flag in the breeze, I was protected, free to think little-girl thoughts and build little-girl castles in the air. Add a friend to the swing, and we could solve each and every one of our little-girl problems from that old swing. Today, I still find that there is nothing quite like a porch swing and a good friend for restoring order to an otherwise chaotic world. So grab a cup of coffee and come on over, join me in the swing, and let's talk it over.
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One Response to Ann Margret And Saluting Our Vietnam Vets

  1. missy jones says:

    Fredda, thanks for the post about Ann Margaret. It makes me remember the story that my husband, Sgt. Darrell R. Jones, 7th regiment, 3rd Division, U. S. Army, Korea told about being wounded and in the hospital in Korea and movie star Audrey Totter visited the hospital, and it was not very far back from the front lines. I hope that these stars realize the importance of what they have done. Today, Gary Sinese, Trace Adkins and others are sharing with our veterans and fighting men and women all over the world. God Bless America and the people that keep her free.
    Missy Jones

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