Sgt. Grit Community
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Silent Night Memories

My wife and I just returned home from seeing my 7 yr old grandaughter's Cristmas concert at her school.

It was a wonderful concert and it ended with all the children and the audience singing Silent Night. I was singing along, when I was transported back to December, 1968 in DaNang, Vietnam. Suddenly I was back on that hillside watching Bob Hope and Ann Margaret doing their USO show. There I was, this retired Marine MSGT, with my eyes full of tears, and not able to explain it, except to feel grateful for the life I've had, and sorry for all the guys that didn't make it home to have those lives!

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USO Shows

In my 27 Years of Service I've seen a lot of USO shows (actually this is the term used for all shows shown to us in a War Zone). Top Actors during the 1920's, 30's, 40's made USO Shows during WWII, most of them went to the European War. I did get to see Bob Hope, Jack Carson and some lesser named Actors, but not often. Now in Vietnam most of the military men were not familiar with this group but the Girls were Pretty with short dresses and did a shimmy or two. This was the Group Al Jolson (WHO?) put together and sent to Vietnam. No l didn't see Al, Jolson was a big hit during the 1920's and 1930's, and he died in the 1950's so he wasn't there, but if you have a Group and a Manager who's still around, they could be sent to perform for us. You can see the guys enjoying seeing the girls.

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I Forgot To Thank Her

In reference to Sgt. John Clary's post about the Bob Hope show, here's a picture of Ann-Margret leaving the venue after the show.

As you can see Sarge, I got pretty close to her. A few years ago, I got even closer. She did a show at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino where I was a Security Officer. It was my pleasure to be her escort after the show; taking her through the back hallways to the service elevators and up to her room. Let me assure you that she was just as beautiful and sexy as ever and as nice as can be. My only regret is that I was so busy doing my job; guiding her around hazards and spills and making sure she wasn't accosted, that I forgot to thank her for Da Nang.

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Ann Margret

Bob Gordon
1958 – 1969

Since you were at Da Nang during Christmas of 1965, you may remember Sir Charles blowing the bridge over the Han River just before Christmas. Little bast-rds cheated us out of getting to go to the Bob Hope Christmas show. We were on Monkey Mountain and scheduled to go to the show, but that bridge was our only link with Da Nang so we were scr-wed. We were resupplied by helicopter (picture attached) until the bridge was rebuilt, and ate a lot of C-Rats during that period. Getting to go see Ann Margret (picture attached), a few months later in the spring of '66, kind of made up for it. It's a rough life when you're attached to the Wing.

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Bob Hope – All American

I have to agree with all the great comments about the Bob Hope USO Christmas shows.  I had the honor to see his show aboard the flight deck of the USS Shangri-La (CVA 38) in 1963.  We were anchored in the bay of Naples, Italy.  I celebrated my 21st birthday that year on the flight deck standing guard duty on the "Ready Bombers".  The Crusaders had nukes strapped to their bellies and I got to spend the night of my birthday looking across the bay at Naples.  I didn't get to go ashore for my birthday, but I did get ashore the next evening, Christmas day, 1963… Old memories.

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USO Tours with Ann-Margret and Connie Stevens

I am working on a tribute video for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation honoring Ann-Margret and Connie Stevens for their work with the USO.  If you have any photos or multimedia clips of Ann-Margret and Connie Stevens at those shows that you took and would like to share for this project please send them to rnichols@triwest.com .  Thank you for your help and Thank You for Your Service.

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Class Act Lady

On April 7th this year I went to see Ann Margret in concert in Fort Collins, CO. I took with me an enlargement of a picture taken aboard the USS Yorktown CVS-10 of her comming aboard and going through the Marine Corps Honor Guard. I am the third Marine (Lcpl) on the left. I also was one of four Marines that escorted her up to the stage (forward elevator that was lowered to make the stage)

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