RIP “The Gunny” R. Lee Ermey

It’s a sad day, beloved Marine Corps Sergeant and actor R. Lee Ermey, known as “The Gunny” passed away today at 74 due to complications from pneumonia. Ermey gained notoriety playing a U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor in the film “Full Metal Jacket”. He was actually a consultant on that film, but he was so convincing with his improvised lines that director Stanley Kubrick replaced the actor who was suppose to play the Drill Instructor with Ermey.

The Gunney is also well known for his voice acting and TV work on shows such as the History Channel’s “Mail Call” and “Lock n’ Load”. He was also known as a supporter of the Second Amendment and was a spokesman for Glock for many years.

It was at the Glock booth at SHOT Show 2012 where I first met The Gunny. He was a tall and imposing figure when I first met him, especially after watching him play Gunnery Sergeant Hartman when I was a kid. I couldn’t help thinking he’d start yelling at me over a jelly donut.

However, after greeting him and telling him how much I enjoyed his work it was then I realized he was actually a very friendly and approachable man. The lines to meet him at SHOT Show were always the longest of any other autograph signing at the show. He greeted ever fan with a firm handshake and treated them like they were his pal and he always stayed longer than his allotted time to be with the fans. RIP Gunny.

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