After working all night at one of my employer’s analog transmitter sites, I had arranged to catch a flight out of the Burbank (Bob Hope) airport early that same morning.
Luckily I was flying United today and not American Airlines, because their aircraft had crapped out and was screwing up everyone’s schedule (of course) and all the people connecting to that aircraft thereafter.
One of the people screwed by American was the redoubtable R Lee Ermey. There was “the Gunny”, chatting with fans in the terminal while his traveling crew was working to see if the aircraft would ever leave or if they could get their luggage and find another flight.
Now you may think that an ex-Army infantry paratrooper wouldn’t get along with any Marine, but every serviceman knows that we all fight for the same country and principles. The inter-service rivalry is a form of healthy competition to push yourself a little harder in order to be better than “those dumb Jarheads”, “those lazy flyboys” or those “Dumb Ass Tankers”. And the occasional bar room brawl in town helps keep the fires of competition stoked and burning strong!
While we were both waiting I had the chance to say hello and get a photo taken with him. I can honestly say that he is a great, stand-up guy. He was very friendly to everyone that pestered him (myself included) and was very happy to avail himself for the brief fan photo session.
I asked him about his show on the History channel called “Mail Call” and he mentioned that it’s been renamed to “Trigger Time”. I’ve been looking for a show of that name, but I can’t seem to find it… Looks like it’s still called “Mail Call”.
After I got back home I learned that he has his own web site (should’ve known) and has some fun things for sale. I couldn’t resist getting the signed copy of “Full Metal Jacket” and an outtake DVD from his “Mail Call” series. The outtake DVD is great! You can see he is having a blast doing the show. It lasts about an hour and you get to see the Gunny at his salty best!