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USO Tours

ANN-MARGRET
Performance for the Troops

 
Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang Vietnam
Bob Hope Show
(1968-1969)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang Vietnam
Bob Hope Show
(1968-1969)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang RVN
Johnny Rivers Show
(March 1966)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang Vietnam
Bob Hope Show
(1968-1969)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang RVN
Johnny Rivers Show
(March 1966
)
Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang RVN
Johnny Rivers Show
(March 1966
)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang RVN
Johnny Rivers Show
(March 1966
)

Ann-Margret USO Tours
Danang RVN
Johnny Rivers Show
(March 1966
)

ANN-MARGRET
Performance for the Troops
Vinh Long, Vietnam
(courtesy of
Malcolm I Campbell
CW-4 US Army (Ret))

A Story About A Vietnem Vet Named Richard

Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Vietnam 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 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-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 Vietnam 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.

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.

Letters from Vietnam Vets

I am a Vietnam Vet (1965-1969) and was stationed in Qui-Nhon and helped out at the 85th field hospital. I was in the hospital when you came by to see the troops. I was lucky to have you sit at my bed. Everytime I read that story about your book signing it brings tears to my eyes, you did more than you'll every know for all the service men and women than we can ever thank you for. I thank you for all the love and friendship you showed us.

Thomas
92nd Aviation Co.

Qui-Nhon

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Ann-Margret,

Just wanted to thank you again for the your warm hug when you landed at Anderson, AFB, Guam in '65. I also enjoyed your show with Bob Hope, near Pleiku AFB, Vietnam in '66. You're a sweetheart.

Gob Bless,

Roger

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Ms. Ann-Margret,

I just read a nice email that is circulating and telling a story of your kindness to a Vietnam veteran during a book signing. That story made me recall your visit to the USS Kitty Hawk while I was aboard in 1966. I worked for Captain Carmody as a Third Class Yeoman in his office. I recall the wonderful show you presented and then the subsequent events. You performed for a long time and the weather and other concerns made it difficult for you to fly off the ship. Hurried communications with higher Navel Command provided authorization for you to stay on the ship for the night. I believe that this was a first time event for a warsship in a battle zone. During the evening you emerged briefly from your cabin and spoke to the Marine stationed at your door and to the few sailers who were nearby. You were the epitome of kindness and grace, not to mention great beauty. You made us all feel appreciated and your warmth and real concern is remembered as a high point of that cruise. While I always enjoy your performances as an actress, you are special because of your respect for the military. You should be proud of the significance of your fine work and know that it has a lasting positive effect on many. I would like to take this opportunity to add my sincere thanks for your efforts.

Yours truly,

Tom

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Ms. Ann-Margret,

I am a retired soldier from the Vietnam period. I was in Vietman from 1965-1966, and again from 1967-1968, and saw you on my first tour at the 3rd Field Hospital in the Saigon area, I was a Medic/patient. I was one of the lucky guys to come to Hollywood and give over seas shots to the Bob Hope troupe, and gave you yours. Thank you for keeping our spirits up then and keep the soldiers in mind in your daily prayers, they are doing what we did in a different place and doing a superb job. You are as beautiful as you were 45 years ago!

Phil
SFC, USA Retired

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Dear Miss Ann-Margret,

As a Viet-Nam Veteran I would like to thank you for a story I read several years ago about a fellow service member showing up at a book signing, and was told that he could not ask you to sign any momento’s  as you would be signing books only and that you went to see what the commotion was about and that you announce that yes you would sign the picture he had of you when you were on the USO tour with Bob Hope. For far too long, to many of us veterans have been silent in offering our thanks to you and others for the taking of your time and putting yourself in Harm’s way to entertain our troops. I myself was not able to see the show, I’m not even sure you were there when I was, 1968-1969. But still the same, I would like to offer my deepest thanks for your unselfish efforts to bring a little joy to those who served.

Thank You;
Karl

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Ms. Ann-Margret,

At 32 years of age, I think that I am one of the few of my generation that  realizes what you did for our country during one of its most turbulent eras.  As an active duty service member, I am sure I can speak for all of us that currently serve..... Thank you for your continued encouragement of THE VETERANS of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, during the VIETNAM WAR >>>> THANK YOU!..... That is all that need be said, because you are one of the few and the proud in the public eye that KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!!!!  THANK YOU!!!   

V/R SSgt C.

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Dear Ann-Margret,

I was a United States Marine who served in Vietnam 1966-1967. At one point the Bob HopeE show 'came to town' near Danang (Freedom Hill--Danang Airstrip). I was Marine Security with I-Corps. I was given the privilege to guard the perimeter for that show. To be honest, I didn't want to do that, I wanted to see the show. I spent most of that day in my bunker with equipment to do my job. I could not see the show but I could hear it. I didn't listen because there were other sounds I had to be listening for ... but I heard it. I heard your lovely voice and my moral went from 0 to 100%. I felt "This is what I'm here for, this is why I'm here. I am here for all of the American people, even the ones who pronounce against me". That day I felt wonderful that I could do my job while my buddies could enjoy what you and all the entertainers had to offer. As I heard your voice I prayed "Dear God, not now, no incoming, no shots, no 'corpsman up', no Jolly Green Giant ... not today". I prayed the show would go as every one wanted it to go ... safe, undisturbed with loud cheers, and no tears. There were tears. I wiped them from my green and black painted face. They were happy tears. Thank you Ms Ann-Margret. For this I will always know what I did was right. I will always know you and "your buddies" are what makes it all okay and right.

After the show was over, after your people left, after my buddies went back to work ... I was relieved from my post. I went to the airstrip to turn in certain equipment. A civilian gentleman asked how I liked the show. I smiled (something I hadn't done for months) and simply said "loved it,sir". He asked how far away from the stage was I. I said "Close enough to never forget it, sir"). The gentleman reached into a satchel he had with him. He gave me a white USO hat and a picture.
I guarded that hat and that picture more than any gear or belongings I had (except of course for my M-14 and 45).

I went back to work. The hat was in my locker at camp, that picture was wrapped in plastic and secured in my back-pack. This was my good luck charm. This was, in a sense, my guardian Angel. With footprints in the sand, boots in rice paddies and jungles around me I felt safe.

I came home (back then) to Illinois. I had my honorable discharge, a few strips on my sleeve, several ribbons on my chest and I was proud. I had a picture of Ann-Margret, the most dearest &precious memento any soldier could earn. I would have given anything to meet you personally with my hand out to tell you how much you did for me and the rest of us. Isn't it amazing, after all the trials and tributes we have been thru, (including you, I'm sure) none of us has forgotten the day Ann-Margret with Bob Hope came to town for the love of American soldier!

As the years have passed I kept that picture in a place no one could ever find. It was safe from theft, from fire, and from any harm of any kind. After technology entered my life I got a computer. I didn't have too many pictures of my time in Nam but I took a few and made a "Poster Of Pride". The original picture and hat are put away in their safe place. These are my treasures of emotional value. The Poster Of Pride I have copied and sent one with this email. I want you to see it, to let you know how much you helped many "kids" needing help.

My memory isn't as good as it used to be but I remember that day. How can one forget an Angel who was on such an important mission? Mr. Hope knew. He sure earned his wings. Now I'm 63 and all the years have passed I have not been able to say what I need to.

Ann-Margret, I'm not talking to the movie star, nor the public idol, I'm talking to Ann-Margret the human being that has more caring, more of a heart, more love for soldiers, more bravery than Bob Hope could have ever hoped for in one package. At Danang, you did more to help our boys in uniform than you could ever know. As long as God graces me breath I will always remember ...

Semper Fidelis

Ms Ann Margret, thank you. Thank you for being you.

God Bless you and everyone around you,
Richard

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I just read an email about a gentleman who presented a picture of you during one of your USO tours in Vietnam.  The way you responded to this guy, based on the email, touched me.  As a Vietnam Vet who continues to struggle with all that transpired there and all that I faced when I came home I want to thank you for the way you treated the gentleman described in the email and your attitude toward all my brothers and sisters in arms.

Best Regards to you and may God shine on all that you do.

Ray

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My husband Jim was one of the men that was saved by Ann Margret during the vietnam war. He passed last year due to complications from diabetes. I had not thought of the stories he told about seeing you and the events that occured shortly after for some time. I was sitting watching CSI this evening and seeing you reminded me of Jim.

As odd as this sounds I want to thank you for helping him and so many others make it home. I was 25 years younger than my husband, I did not see that terrible war with my own eyes but I know very well the things that happened there. I think you are a wonderful person and stronger than I think I could be.

Thank you so much for the things you did then, and thank you for continuously being one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood and one of the kindest in your treatment of our beloved vets.

Cassie

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My Dear Ms. Ann-Margret,

I wish to express my most sincere congratulations on your Patriot of the Year award. In my humble opinion, it is more than thirty years OVERDUE! Your support of the American Serviceman in times of war is MOST appreciated. While I was a bit young to serve in Viet Nam, I enlisted in 1978 when it was still very unpopular to "join up" and serve our Great Nation. Please allow me to say that "You were patriotic, when patriotic wasn't cool" . For that; my dear Lady, I thank you and Salute you.

May God continue to Bless and Love you. Thank you for all you do and have done for the American Fighting Men and Women of the Greatest Nation on God's green earth.

Most lovingly,
James
ENC(SW) USN(Ret) 1978-2004

If anyone would like to submit photos, stories or thank-you's to Ann-Margret for submission on this page, please email them to us at mail@ann-margret.com. Thank you.

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Page Last Updated Oct. 24, 2011
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