Adrian Cronauer, the Air Force DJ loosely portrayed by Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, has died, according to Oakey’s funeral home in Roanoke, Virginia.
Cronauer, 79, died on July 18, according to an obituary posted on the funeral home’s website. The former sergeant became an outspoken veterans advocate after leaving the Air Force, serving on the board of directors of the National D-Day Memorial and as a trustee for the Virginia War Memorial.
From 2001 to 2009 Cronauer served as an advisor to the deputy assistant defense secretary for prisoner of war and missing personnel affairs, his obituary says. He worked with veterans groups and international organizations such as the Red Cross on POW/MIA issues and was ultimately awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.
“As a Vietnam War veteran, he understood the issues facing America’s service members and veterans, as well as the concerns of family members of those who did not return from the war. Mr. Cronauer’s charisma and genuine empathy for the POW/MIA families brought a new level of compassion and understanding to the Department’s interaction with family members and veterans,” the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a statement on Thursday. “Upon his passing, much of the nation will remember him as an entertainer. But among the DPAA staff, Mr. Cronauer is most revered as a champion of the POW/MIA cause. His luminescent personality shed a great deal of light on the POW/MIA issue and helped ensure that our missing will not be forgotten.”
The famous movie based on his time as a DJ in Vietnam was highly fictionalized. In real life, Cronauer did not befriend a Vietnamese boy who was actually a Viet Cong guerilla, nor was he ordered to leave Vietnam before the official end of his tour.
“It was never intended to be a point-by-point accurate biography,” Cronauer told Military Times in 2014. “It was intended to be a piece of entertainment, and it certainly was that.”
Cronauer did not meet Williams until the film’s New York premiere, he told the newspaper. Despite the historical liberties, Cronauer praised Good Morning Vietnam for portraying U.S. troops in Vietnam "as they really were instead of a bunch of murderers and rapists and baby-killers and dope addicts and psychotics.”
UPDATE: This story was updated on July 20 with a statement from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.
"The adjectives a majority of witnesses used to describe his leadership were abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,"a DoD IG report on the investigation into Cooling's conduct found. "Some subordinates considered him an 'equal opportunity offender,' disparaging men and women. BGen Cooling denied making some of the comments attributed to him, but more than one witness told us they heard him make each of the comments described in this section of our report."