A Sunday Feel Good Story – Richard’s Story

The following piece has circulated in email from time to time, and after verifying it’s authenticity, I wanted to share it in case anyone missed it.

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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 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margret with Bob Hope 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 were the only one there.

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.

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.

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.

Ann-Margret is America’s rusty patriot


Thank you Richard for your service, and thank you Ann Margaret, America’s ‘Rusty Patriot’, for your devotion to our guys.


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11 Responses to A Sunday Feel Good Story – Richard’s Story

  1. Hardnox says:

    Great story. The woman has real class.

  2. Uriel says:

    I had not seen. Thanks Kathy. All Vets deserve our thanks. Regardless of political maneuvering or thoughts. These men and women served our country. Most have been forgotten or found no acceptance. Ann Margaret is indeed a great lady. She along with Hope and a huge crew of celebrities poured their hearts into bringing much needed relief often at risk of their own. It’s a shame many citizens today have not such a sense of such honor and value.

  3. Pingback: Lifting Up Others-Richard’s Story | My Daily Musing

  4. Grouchy says:

    What a Universe of difference, between Ann Margaret and “What’s her Face”,,, ,,,

  5. Garnet92 says:

    There is as much love and respect in my heart for Ann Margaret as there is loathing for Jane Fonda – they’re on opposite ends of the CLASS continuum.

  6. Terry says:

    And THAT is why Elvis made movies with Ann Margaret, and not Hanoi Jane, whom he labeled a corrupter of American youth.
    We Love You Too, Ann !!

  7. Kathy says:

    Ditto everything you guys said – our ‘rusty patriot’ is the real deal.

  8. upaces88 says:

    Maybe someone can answer my question…or point me in a direction.
    My Cousin, James Edgar Malone…supposedly died in Viet Nam. I went to the funeral. It was a closed casket.

    First they said he was KIA. Then they said, he was MIA.

    I tried to find him on the Great Wall with all of the names of the soldiers who died.
    About 3 yrs ago, I was looking on-line for something else and ran across a photo of Viet Nam.of a man, his wife and 3 children. I swear, this man looked just like my cousin.

  9. vonmesser says:

    Seen it a couple of times. Classy lady.
    I have a photo (35mm slide actually) that I took of Raquel Welch on a Bob Hope tour while aboard the USS Sanctuary (Navy hospital ship) in 1966 or 7