Friday, January 11, 2008

Martha Raye in Vietnam

The late funny lady and jazz singer, Martha Raye, used to appear in Vietnam to entertain our troops. But she did it differently than Bob Hope and his organized shows or Jane Fonda who just insulted our forces by showing up.

Raye had training as a nurse so she put on a uniform and would go from foxhole to foxhole administering aid to wounded soldiers. One soldier in a foxhole asked her whether she was sterile and she replied that at her age, she certainly hoped so. This exchange was reported by a news magazine.

I know that there is organized entertainment for our troops in Iraq, but I wonder if any of today's entertainers follow Raye's example and offer encouragement and comfort on the front lines. Raye's appearance always surprised our troops and they appreciated it.

I listen to a nostalgia radio station and they played clips this morning of Raye singing and clowning around. It reminded me of her courage. God bless her for her thoughtfulness.

Do any Vietnam War veterans out there personally remember Martha Raye showing up on their frontlines out of the blue?--Copyright 2008 by Walter Haan,


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