Remembering (Gunny) R. Lee Ermey 1944-2018

The Gunny

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Ronald Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018) was an American actor and voice actor known for playing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He was a former United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant; during his tenure in the U.S. Marine Corps he served as a drill instructor.

KVGI’s CEO Mark Wariner had the pleasure to work with The Gunny on multiple occasions with the radio station. Here is a video with The Gunny, Andrew White and Cliff Sosamon. this is what our CEO had to say.

” It is with great sadness that The Gunny, (SSgt R. Lee Ermey) #marines has passed away this morning due to complications from pneumonia. Rest is peace my friend. It was an honor to know you and work with you. #NeverForget “

 

He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform. He has also contributed many iconic and indelible characters on film that will live on forever. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket fame was a hard and principled man. The real R. Lee Ermey was a family man, and a kind and gentle soul. He was generous to everyone around him. And, he especially cared deeply for others in need.

There is a quote made famous in Full Metal Jacket. It’s actually the Riflemen’s Creed. “This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.”

There are many Gunny’s, but this one was OURS. And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.

Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.

Early life

Ermey was born in Emporia, Kansas, on March 24, 1944. He grew up with five brothers on a farm outside of Kansas City, Kansas.In 1958, when Ermey was 14, he and his family left Kansas and moved to Zillah, Washington.As a teenager, Ermey often got in trouble with the local authorities, and he had been arrested twice for criminal mischief by age 17. After his second arrest, a judge gave him a choice between joining the military or being sent to jail; Ermey chose the military.

Military career

U.S. Marine Corps

In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in San Diego, California.For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan.In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service.On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Read more of his story and career at: Wikipedia 

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