Just received the following from Bob Vernum -- Ted Perzeszty
I was pleasantly suprised to read this account of Lee Marvin and a Sgt on Iwo Jima, both marines and both were awarded the Navy Cross, the Sgt was a guy I had the privledge of working with 1972-1979, a most professional man-BOB KEESHAN! Bob Vernum
Date: 6/22/02 4:10:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Subject: Fw: Lee Marvin
Now you will know the rest of the story !!!
Some have been a bit offended that Lee Marvin is buried in a grave
alongside 3 and 4 star generals at Arlington National Cemetery. His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC). Nothing else. Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why the heck does he rate burial
with these guys?
Well, following is the amazing answer:
I always liked Lee Marvin, but did not know the extent of his Corps
experiences. In a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in
the armed forces, often in rear-echelon posts where they were carefully
protected, only to be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war bond
promotions, Lee Marvin was a genuine hero. He won the Navy Cross at Iwo
There is only one higher award... the Medal Of Honor.
If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he
credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery. Dialog From The
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:
His guest was Lee Marvin.
Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a
Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima... and that during the course
of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded."
"Yeah, yeah... I got shot square in the ass and they gave me the Cross
for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi... bad thing about getting
shot up on a mountain is guys gettin' shot hauling you down. But Johnny,
at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew... We both got the Cross
the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison.
The dumb bastard actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move
forward and get the hell off the beach. That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends.
When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a
smoke and passed it to me lying on my belly on the litter and said, 'Where'd
they get you Lee?' Well Bob... if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell
Johnny, I'm not lying... Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever
knew..... Bob Keeshan... You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo."