Gunny Ermy’s was the same boot camp that I went to and during the same time in history. Drill Instructors had one primary goal–to save lives. It was better to break the kid here than to have him break over there.
Morning chow in the mess hall: While we hurriedly ate, our Drill Instructor would sit in the Drill Instructor section of the mess hall and read his news paper (Probably Navy Times). We didn’t know at first but somebody finally figured it out–connected the dots. He was reading the Obits. And God could only help us for the rest of that day should he have read that one of his “turds” had been killed in action.
Rest in Peace, Guns. — jtl, 419
by Tom Knighton via Bearing Arms
R. Lee Ermey was a unique character in American film. When you needed someone to play a grizzled, in-your-face Marine drill instructor, Hollywood had just one stop to make. It was this character that really launched Ermey’s acting career and made him a part of my life.
Unfortunately for us, we are diminished today.
I’m not going to lie, I’m heartbroken.
You see, while I never got a chance to meet Ermey, his roll in Full Metal Jacket was a key part of my preparation to go to boot camp myself. While I was going Navy and not Marines, I knew that what Ermey portrayed would be worse than anything I would encounter.
So I watched his scenes each and every day until that became the reality I was sure to encounter. I was fully prepared to have R. Lee Ermey himself in my face, screaming at me, even punching me in the stomach if I smarted off (which I’ve been known to do since early childhood). Every moment of him in that film terrified me as I became convinced that he was what awaited me.
And then I shipped out.
I won’t say boot camp was a cakewalk because it wasn’t. But it also wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been because I had Ermey’s tough, hardnosed drill instructor prepping my wife.
Well after my time in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club was over, Ermey started doing Mail Call on the History Channel. It was there that I got a glimpse of what he was like as a person. There, he didn’t need to be the hardass Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War epic. There, he was a guy who got to mess with all the cool hardware I could only dream of.
Everyone I’ve known who met Ermey sung his praises, that he was an awesome, down-to-earth kind of guy. He was just another man who got to live a dream.
But he knew his reputation from his films and had no problem playing with them. Such as here:
In fact, some of you may have noticed my use of the term “jackwagon.” That’s directly because of Ermey’s role in this commercial.
Again, I never got a chance to meet the man, but I hoped that one of the opportunities I’d get through my work here at Bearing Arms would be the chance to shake his hand and tell him how much I’ve enjoyed his work. Maybe, if I got enough time, I’d recount my boot camp story to him.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen now. We’ve lost “The Gunny” forever. We are truly diminished today.
Most actors in Hollywood seem preoccupied with fitting a mold, of being liked. Ermey seemed to simply be R. Lee Ermey, and if anyone didn’t like it, tough. At the same time, though, it doesn’t seem like he went out of his way to offend, either. He simply was.
That is something we can all not just respect but emulate.
Goodbye, Gunny. We’re going to miss you.
Land & Livestock International, Inc is offering a “Free” week-long ranch management-planned grazing seminar-workshop.
What follows is a business model we have been following that has worked very well for us and for our clientele.
We are seeking individual ranchers to sponsor/host workshops . The sponsor/host (and spouse or key employee) get the training at his/her ranch for no charge. This is an extra special benefit to the host as his/her land will be used for the “lab” work and hands on demonstrations. This provides a great start in the implementation of his/her program.
In return, he/she takes care of the logistics involved in putting on the event. This includes arranging for the venue, booking a block of rooms for lodging, arranging for meals (if any), putting out the advertising, setting and collecting the fees and so forth.
We are then responsible for putting on the workshop.
During the interim we will each keep track of our out of pocket costs (from our end, that will be mostly travel and lodging). Then, when it is all over, we both are reimbursed our out of pocket costs and split any funds remaining 50:50.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, click here and let us know. If the link won’t work for you, copy and paste firstname.lastname@example.org into your browser.