John Wayne - Green Berets

John Wayne was probably the biggest star in the world...yet he retained the qualities of a small boy. He had the enthusiasm for life that would make a high school football star envious. And through it all, Duke never changed. As a man he was exactly the boy he started out. And as a friend...well, you just wouldn't want a better one. In his lifetime, Duke stamped AMERICA across the face of the motion picture industry. Few other men, living dead, have ever portrayed the fine, decent, and generous American qualities as Duke did. He portrayed on screen the values he lived off screen. much so, it would have surprised his critics. Loyal...once your friend, always your friend. Courageous...if you doubt it, remember his fight against cancer, or the way he faced heart surgery. And decent. Above all, Duke was a decent man. He was also far from perfect. He made his mistakes as I have made mine and you have made yours. All in all, I would say they were unintentional. Mistakes of the heart, I would say. Let me say this about the John Wayne I knew. He was an Original. He was the Statue of his Times. All in all, I think it was the man's integrity that speaks most of him. His principles never varied. Nor did his ideals. Nor did his faith in mankind.                                                                                  Jimmy Stewart

Throughout John Wayne's motion picture career, with very few exceptions, he portrayed America and Americans. On the silver screen we were with Duke through the winning of the West, our victory over the evil powers of World War II, battling against nature, facing down the dangers of the not always "Cold War," and just facing every day life. We were with him as he fought against British tyranny, joined the gallant men at the Alamo, met the call to duty in the second world war, and fought to stop Communism in far off Vietnam.
We were with him as he combated the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, fought against the floods of the Mississippi, battled droughts on the Great Plains, and survived and suffered losses from illness and injury. And, we were with John Wayne as he loved and lost, raised families, fought against local corruption, and overcame personal tragedy.


What is different is that the John Wayne you see on the screen, is the man he was in real life. He didn't get the title, "Mr. America," for nothing. Duke was and is Mr. America. Decades after his death, he is still an inspiration of what is good and right about America.                                                                                         Denis R. Graham