Years ago, my Uncle Jerry (my dad’s younger brother) sent me pictures from his time in Vietnam with the First Cavalry Division as a combat engineer.
In some pictures he’s working in the field, others he has a cigarette dangling from his mouth as he poses with an unnamed friend.
And in a few pictures, Uncle Jerry was in the crowd during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour. Some shots showed an older man, just shy of six feet tall, known affectionately among friends as “Old Ski Nose.”
For his years in USO entertaining troops, the English-born, Cleveland-raised Hope would receive a rare honor from the U.S. government: honorary veteran.
Hope also was an actor, comedian, avid golfer and was close friends with many U.S. presidents.
I thought a lot about the pictures as I recently visited the temporary Bob Hope Exhibit at the National Museum for the Pacific War.