Interesting heroes rumor.... as seen by clicking here

Lee Marvin, Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers

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Created 9/24/2002 (6/9/2003) This story offers several stunning revelations. First, that a Hollywood actor deserves his final resting place alongside military heroes. Second, that a kid's TV legend was a fearless Marine soldier. Later versions make a third assertion that young America's favorite 'neighbor' was a trained assassin. Story Here

Though rugged actor Lee Marvin was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," it's unclear whether the exchange cited in this letter ever took place. What we do know is that the story can't be true, regardless of whether it was actually ever told. Here are the facts:

Entertainment legends are expected to tell legendary tales. It's possible that Marvin did relate this story, but its also just as likely that it's an urban legend that got attributed to Marvin to make it sound better.

Urban legends that portray childrens' television stars in a situation or profession that is in stark contrast to their on-screen personas are common. Can you imagine dear Captain Kangaroo lying in the sand, clad in fatigues, dragging on a cigarette? Me neither, that's why legends like this endure - shock value.

Newer versions of the Marvin/Keeshan chain above now carry an interesting prologue that suggests another beloved Childrens' TV personality has a dark and deadly secret:

This one is completely the stuff of Urban Legend - The facts do not bear it out. (The same rumor has also been falsely applied to folk singer, John Denver." Rogers was never in the military - let alone a Navy Seal. And, he was born in 1928, so he would've been the oldest sniper in Viet Nam. It's no surprise that this bit of folklore resurfaced in the days following Fred Rogers' death in 2003 - and the Marvin/Keeshan chain seems a logical vehicle to tack it on to. But, to paraphrase an old cliché, two lies do not make a truth. Break this Chain. 

Interesting heroes....

...and why this is junk 

and you can help get rid of this type of junk

For those of you, your children or your grandchildren who grew up with captain Kangaroo and/or Mr. Rogers and thought you knew them  quite well, the following may give you a deeper appreciation of their   services to us all. 

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  Cemetery. His marker gives 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 answer:

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 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. Bullets flying by  and mortar rounds landing every where and he stood there as the main  target of gun fire 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 get home before 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 recently  passed away) on PBS, gentle and quiet. Mr. Rogers is another of  those you would least suspect of being anything but what he 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 long sleeve sweaters on his show 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 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 the tattoos and his past life  away 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 protected the freedoms that we all enjoy.

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