Standing 5 feet, six inches tall and weighing maybe 120 pounds soaking wet, 1st Lt. Garlin Murl Conner may not have been the most physically imposing GI during World War II, but on Jan. 24, 1945 he was an unmovable rock against which a wave of German troops crashed and ultimately rolled back.
The military-Hollywood marriage has generated some of the best entertainment since the dawn of motion pictures, and has inspired many to dig deeper into the stories of the real human drama they depict. If you’re a film buff like me, a lot of movies come to mind that epitomize this relationship --- “Fury,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “Flags of our Fathers,” and incredible miniseries such as “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” to name a few. Other people may think of “Saving Private Ryan,” one of the best war films of all time, or Ken Burns’ “Civil War” and “The War” documentaries. There are also productions that are entertaining, although not terribly accurate historically, such as “Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper.” In these projects, characters --- often based on real-life service members --- are portrayed by actors.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the man who led Allied forces to victory in Europe during World War II, had 10 ribbons on his uniform when he left the military after nearly 34 years of commissioned service. I checked into the visitors’ quarters on an Air Force base awhile back, and the 20-something check-in clerk had more ribbons than that.