Joan B., Illinois, sent an email that is a combination of stories that have circulated around the Internet (seems forever) as separate entities, but now has been combined; the following is the most recent version:
YOU NEVER KNOW WITH THE QUIET ONES.
Captain Kangaroo passed away on January 23, 2004 as age 76 , which is >odd, because he always looked to be 76. (DOB: 6/27/27.) His death reminded me of the following story.
Some people have been a bit offended that the actor, 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 didn’t 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 Jima. There is only one higher Naval 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. Dialogue 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 bottom 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 getting’ 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. That dumb guy actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach. Bullets flying by, with mortar rounds landing everywhere and he stood there as the main target of gunfire so that he could get his men to safety. He did this on more than one occasion because his men’s safety was more important than his own life. 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 be fore me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!”
Johnny, I’m not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew.
The Sergeant’s name is Bob Keeshan. You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo.”
On another note, there was this wimpy little man (who just passed away) on PBS, gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of those you would least suspect of being anything but what he now portrays to our youth. But Mr. Rogers was a U.S. Navy Seal, combat-proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV, to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. He was a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat. After the war Mr. Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister and therefore a pacifist. Vowing to never harm another human and also dedicating the rest of his life to trying to help lead children on the right path in life. He hid away the tattoos and his past life and won our hearts with his quiet wit and charm. America’s real heroes don’t flaunt what they did; they quietly go about their day-to-day lives, doing what they do best. They earned our respect and the freedoms that we all enjoy. Look around and see if you can find one of those heroes in your midst. Often, they are the ones you’d least suspect, but would most like to have on your side if anything ever happened. Take the time to thank anyone that has fought for our freedom. With encouragement they could be the next Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers.
Myth Blaster Verdict: Lee Marvin portion = partly TRUE. Captain Kangaroo portion = partly TRUE. Mr. Rogers story = FALSE. [Source: Snopes]
Mr. Rogers was a television host for a children’s show for many years. He didn’t wear a sweater to hide any tattoos and never served in the military.
The interview involving Lee Marvin on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson hosted it is true in the respect that he was wounded but it was the battle for Saipan, not Iwo Jima. The transcript written in the e-mail to Joan is fiction. Lee Marvin was awarded the Purple Heart, not the Navy Cross.
Bob Keeshan, later to be known as “Captain Kangaroo” – joined the Marines just before the Japanese surrendered. Her served in the military, but not in any battles of World War II and certainly didn’t save Lee Marvin’s life.
These stories began circulating in 2002 and have resurfaced, rewritten and includes all three falsified stories.
There are heroes among us every day, some who never saw combat but heroes in another fashion – we don’t need to conjure up false heroes, there are plenty of real stories to go around. There are heroes that are fire fighters, policemen, teachers, students, and almost every walk of life who have come up upon a moment in their life when they had to make a decision to put themselves in jeopardy in order to save another’s life.