Ann Margaret and Her Gentlemen!

Viet Nam 1966

Author Unknown

This is a story about a Viet Nam Vet and Ann Margaret as told by the Vet's wife.

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 x 10 black and white photo he had taken
at a USO show of Ann Margaret with Bob Hope in the background
that was one of his treasures.

A few years ago, Ann Margaret 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 Margaret 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 was 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 Margaret for her
graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

I now make it a point to say "Thank you" to every person I
come across who served in our Armed Forces. Freedom does not come
cheap and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.

If you'd like to pass on this story, feel free to do so.
Perhaps it will help others to become aware of how important
it is to acknowledge the contribution our service people make.


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