Brought to you by: Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission

Good thing rank has nothing to do with popularity.

Bob Hope would have been our Commander-in-Chief for four wars: WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

To say our Honorary Commander-in-Chief had heart for us damns by faint praise. He had an enormous heart for every grunt, swabbie, flyboy, and jarhead. He cared for each one of us. When he stopped to visit and entertain us, he was one of us.

And he proved it. He went where we were. He was committed to making troops smile and laugh. He made us laugh during war’s intermissions. He was indefatigable: Fifty seven trips to our troops. Where Hope found his energy and commitment, we’ll never know. All we know for sure is that we’re grateful. He made memories for us that will always be with us.

During the Vietnam War, some entertainers balked at Hope’s request to join the troupe. But Hope didn’t care so much about the politics behind war; he cared about the men and women in dirty uniforms and worried faces, and to hell with political correctness.

At an age when most of us are dreaming about retirement, the 61-year old trouper brought his joy and comradeship to Vietnam in 1964.

Taking entertainment to the troops was a complicated task carried out.

If there’s a heaven, our friend and Honorary Commander-in-Chief Bob Hope is lounging in the clubhouse, waiting for us. He wants to welcome us home. We want to say “Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.” Thank you, Bob Hope, for the memories. 

My friend, Marc Yablonka, sent me the following note and link after reading this article:

When Mr. Hope passed, I had the honor of writing his obit for the base newspaper, the Sunburst, at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, CA, on which I was then serving. I include a link to the piece for your followers below. I’ve also included a picture I took at the Los Angeles International Airport USO, right after his passing, of a fatigue shirt the Marines honored him with during one of his tours in Vietnam.

See note above from Marc Yablonka

Here is a comment received on another FB group page by one of the members of the Les Brown band. I’ve also included a link to his web page featuring Bob Hope:

“I was with Bob on all the trips shown here, as a member of the Les Brown Band. I just want you to know that those tours are my very fondest memories of my career. If I could repeat just one gig from the past, it wouldn’t be one of the big Hollywood openings, or a motion picture score, or one of the presidential inaugurations, or Carnegie Hall or the White House, or any of my other gigs of the last 49 years as a professional musician in Hollywood. I would choose to play for you guys again at Camp Eagle, or Chu Lai, or Long Binh, or Pleiku, or any of those places now forgotten by all but those who were there back when. Playing for you guys was the absolute best. And I’ll never forget the cheer that went up when the announcer said, ” And now, here he is…Bob Hope,” or the tears streaming down all our faces when we played our final number, Silent Night. God bless you each, and your loved ones, and all those who live on, on that sacred Wall in Washington. Thank you for the memories.” –Jack Redmond

Here’s the link of the original article: 

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