Ann Margeret and her Gentlemen

Ann Margeret and her Gentlemen

Viet Nam 1966

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 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 a
round 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.

It’s a nice story and, according to,  a true story.

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