John Wayne - American Patriot
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
Why I Love Her
Wayne: Actor, Artist, Hero
Reagan tribute to his long time friend, John Wayne.
Wayne - Patriot
works with the USO, visits the troops and is honored by the military
with a Army RAH-66 Helicopter named the "Duke."
behind John Wayne's POW and Montagnard bracelets.
was often in the news. Here are some little known news events.
States honors John Wayne with a gold medal.
represented all branches of the Armed Forces in his movies.
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.
scenes and quotes in the film career of John Wayne.
interesting trivia in the life and film career of John Wayne.
are lots of "Duke" places to visit in California. Read our
humorous account of "the John Wayne" tour.