Let’s Honor the Real Heroes, Not the Actor

Editor, News-Register:

I find it quite ironic and perhaps a bit hypocritical of conservatives, who have long disparaged members of the entertainment community as a result of their stated views and opinions, which they often see as contradictory to the actual realities of the events and decisions they have made in their personal lives.

In short, image and reality of many in the “public eye” are quite contradictory, they often times feel.

However in the case of legendary conservative icon, John Wayne, conservatives have long been willing to ignore or simply overlook a number of significant discrepancies that seriously may contradict this conservative personification of American patriotism.

For the record, “super patriot” Mr. Wayne requested deferment from the draft to serve in our nation’s military during World War II, and was eventually declared exempt from military duty as a result of an “ear infection” that purportedly occurred during the filming of “Reap The Wild Wind,” which took place several months after the United States entered the war, during which our very way of life was in serious jeopardy.

As a result of Mr. Wayne’s exemption from military service, he remained safe and secure in the U.S.A., being protected by virtually all able citizens including many prominent motion picture actors, becoming a major film star as a result of his being one of the very few “leading man” in the movies as virtually all others chose to serve in our nation’s military in order to save the world from those whose wish was to do us and our allies grievous harm. Wayne became a great American hero in the movies, while our actual heroes were fighting abroad in order to preserve our very existence.

Mr Wayne, who was born Marion Michael Morrison but changed the name given to him by his parents because it was considered “too sissified,” was also married three times during his life, reportedly smoked over 100 cigarettes and drank a large amount of alcohol daily throughout his life, which contributed to his passing at the age of 72 in 1979 of lung and stomach cancer.

Also, the following comments that he made during the civil rights era of the 1960s are quite disturbing and inappropriate: “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership to irresponsible people.”

In 1968, the Republican Party attempted to draft Mr. Wayne for a run for the presidency, but he respectfully declined, stating that it was his opinion that “voters would not take him seriously.”

Mr. Wayne had an outstanding and very successful career, in which he essentially portrayed his “screen personna” as the enbodiment of the all-American hero for the ages. He should be admired for his contribution to society as a result of his career in the motion picture industry, but I feel it may be more appropriate to honor those who have best exemplified American ideals by the sacrifices and contributions they have made in the world of reality to our great nation.

Senator John McCain (Republican, Arizona), I feel is the personification of a true American hero, who has always prioritized the good of our country over any personal goals and aspirations he has had over his many years of service during his illustrious career.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry

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