Screen icon of the Marine Corps R. Lee Ermey has died

Having missed the movie Full Metal Jacket, I first encountered R. Lee Ermey in his role as host of the History Channel series, Mail Call, and immediately became a devoted fan. His character was known simply as “Gunny,” referring  to his real life status as a veteran Gunnery Sergeant – a title that evokes awe in the eyes of anyone who knows what it means and implies. Here is the scene in Full Metal Jacket that ensured Ermey's cinematic immortality: In the History Channel series, he fielded questions from viewers and explained or demonstrated all sorts of interesting things about military weaponry and life. There was a huge wink to viewers in his performances on the series, revealing the self-deprecating and warm man that lived beneath the exterior of a hard ass. My son (with whom I watched the series religiously) and I both adored him, understanding that he was real: A genuine warrior, and a genuine human being. Master Sergeant Ermey’s...(Read Full Post)

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