It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey ("The Gunny") passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia. He will be greatly missed by all of us. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. 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 andwomen 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.
The Kansas native enlisted in the Marine Corps and age 17 and spent 14 months in Vietnam before he was discharged in 1972.
He served as a technical adviser in Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic, “Apocalypse Now,” in which he also had a small role as a helicopter pilot.
But Ermey didn’t get his big break until nine years later, in Kubrick’s own take on Vietnam, which also earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
He made dozens of other appearances in film and television, a number of them in military roles. He also hosted documentary shows on the military including "Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey" on the History Channel and "GunnyTime" on the Outdoor Channel.
This story is developing.
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