John Wayne - American Patriot

John Wayne had a deep love for his country. This patriotism is reflected throughout his life. He had wanted to go into the military but an old football injury prevented it. He is quoted as saying,
"More than anything else, I wanted to go to Annapolis and become an officer in the Navy. It was a terrible disappointment when I didn't make it."

The American public may have lost the chance at a great officer but John Wayne never failed us. He worked with the USO (United Service Organization) in supporting US troops from WW2 through to Vietnam. His visits cheered and encouraged many a young service man. Duke wore Capt. Stephen P Hanson's "Prisoner of War" bracelet after the Marine was shot down over Laos, Vietnam. Sadly, Hanson never came home but John Wayne stayed in contact with his wife and young son.

John Wayne in VietnamJune 20,1966 - John Wayne signs Pvt. 1st class Fonsell Wofford's helmet during visit to the 3rd battalion 7th Marines at Chu Lai.
Photographer Ssgt. Fleetwood

John Wayne never shied away from politics. He actively spoke out for the candidates he thought were best including Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He honorably held for 3 years the position of president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

John Wayne had many honors bestowed on him. During a visit to Vietnam in 1966 he was given a tribal bracelet of the Montagnard people. In 1973 he was honored with the Veterans of Foreign Wars highest award - The National Americanism Gold Medal. Congress awarded Duke the Congressional Gold Medal in 1979.

John Wayne helicopterMost recently John Wayne has been honored with an Army RAH-66 Helicopter, to be named "The Duke." Many were there at the naming ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 12, 1998, including his children and grandchildren, congress men, the president of the USO Metropolitan Washington, dignitaries and many military personnel. Michael Wayne said at the ceremonies,
"John Wayne loved his country and he loved its traditions."

US flag

John Wayne once said,"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been and never will be."


America, Why I Love Her

John Wayne's Military movies

John Wayne: Actor, Artist, Hero

John Wayne, patriot

JW Home

Ronald Reagan tribute to his long time friend, John Wayne.

John Wayne - Patriot
John Wayne works with the USO, visits the troops and is honored by the military with a Army RAH-66 Helicopter named the "Duke."

The Bracelet
The story behind John Wayne's POW and Montagnard bracelets.

In the News
John Wayne was often in the news. Here are some little known news events.

Congressional Gold Medal
The United States honors John Wayne with a gold medal.

Duke's Military Films
John Wayne represented all branches of the Armed Forces in his movies.

John Wayne Facts
Are you wanting to know how tall John Wayne was, where he was born, where he went to school... Check out this quick fact sheet on the Duke.

Memorable Moments
Special scenes and quotes in the film career of John Wayne.

John Wayne Trivia
Fun and interesting trivia in the life and film career of John Wayne.

John Wayne Tour
There are lots of "Duke" places to visit in California. Read our humorous account of "the John Wayne" tour.


John Wayne gifts

John Wayne books, movies, photos, posters, gifts and collectibles

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