R. Lee Ermey pays tribute to 'Full Metal Jacket' screenwriter
By Jeff Schogol
Retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey is paying tribute to Michael Herr, who co-wrote the movie that made Ermey a legend: "Full Metal Jacket."
"It's real loss," said Ermey, who played Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the movie. "He absolutely got it right with 'Full Metal Jacket.' As Ttechnical Aadviser, I really didn't have to fix much."
Herr died on June 23 at 76 years old. He also helped write actor Martin Sheen’s voiceover for "Apocalypse Now" and he authored the novel "Dispatches," based on his experience covering the Vietnam War as a journalist.
"He was a man who had great respect for the Corps," Ermey said in a statement. "And, over 30 years later, his screenplay still lives on as an iconic classic. He will be missed. Semper FI, MIchael. Rest in Peace."
Ermey’s role as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, has inspired many Marines to enlist so they could see if they have what it takes to survive recruit training and receive the honor of getting to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
Actor Matthew Modine, who played Pvt. Joker in the movie, has released an iPad app and later an audio book about his experiences filming "Full Metal Jacket."
On Friday, Modine tweeted that Herr had struggled with Ppost-Ttraumatic Sstress Ddisorder for years as he sought spiritual peace: "I pray he found it."