I had no idea what Vaughn’s politics were when I came across this Facebook item by Colby Smith yesterday morning:
(Reposted with permission.)
When I was in Iraq, in 2005, I was stationed in an extremely dangerous area. At the time, the most hostile combat area in the world. We lost a lot of good men and our base was mortared or shot at almost daily. Leaving the wire was worse in terms of violence.
I say all of this because no one stopped at any of the FOBs under 108th Armor’s control.
We heard that comedians, actors/actresses, cheerleaders and musicians were visiting the troops in Baghdad, or in Taji, or in Tallil, but they’d never stop in Mahmudiyah. They’d never endanger themselves by visiting the Triangle of Death.
No one, except Vince Vaughn.
Vince stopped at FOB St. Michael purely because he was told that no one stopped there. He went around our base, talking with every soldier. He signed photos and took photos while holding a sign that said, “If you can dodge an IED, you can dodge a ball.”
He even sat and played me, a lowly medic, in NCAA football in our haphazard, poorly constructed smoke shack. He played as Virginia Tech, if I remember, and I played as Texas Tech.
He was relaxed even though we were mortared when he landed and he had to lay on the helipad (everyone around him was still standing as we were accustomed to it, but we won’t fault him for that.)
Here’s the thing. We had lost multiple men in the days leading up to his visit and the constant combat was exhausting… but Vince Vaughn is an entertainer, and he used his skills to enable us, for just a few hours, to forget the horrors of the conflict we were in at great danger to himself.
So, sure, nobodies behind a keyboard will fault him for shaking the President’s hand. Nobodies will say that he needs to be canceled. Hollywood hacks who flew over our base will judge him. But I, for one, know better. I know that he’s a hero and that I will support him in his endeavors as he supported me in mine.
Please, let others know about what Vince did. He deserves credit, although, I know, he’s asked for none.
Vaughn seems like one of Hollywood’s rare off-screen good guys.