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In late 30s, Hope made fun of veterans on his radio show. Performing at army bases was a way to bring up ratings. Then came World War II with Hope and a number of other stars recruited by government for a war bond selling, victory caravan tour. Unlike many of pampered celebrities who complained about cramped quarters on their shared train, ex-vaudevillian Hope was exhilarated by travel. It was no problem for him to go overseas to entertain troops.
At first Hope found America's homesick young fighting men to be easiest audience he ever faced. Jokes that would die in states would get uproarious laughter from troops. In beginning Hope stayed out of combat areas, but then he reasoned that those in actual battles needed him most. Hope became addicted to to danger of flying in planes that might get shot down or performing in places that had recently been attacked. But he was greatly moved by injuries he saw in hospital wards, and quietly help set up several of soldiers he met in their own businesses after war ended. Later he could not understand Vietnam situation, getting in trouble when he repeatedly suggested we should bomb enemy into submission. Hope's love for troops stayed constant, even in Nam when they booed him.
Hope got along great with all Presidents he met, whether he agreed with them or not. He once said that Roosevelt laughed so hard at his jokes he almost voted democratic. He loved telling story about a marine in World War II who was disappointed that he had not killed a Japanese soldier. At edge of a jungle he tried to smoke them out, by shouting," To hell with Hirohito!" It worked, a Japanese soldier came out and shouted," To hell with Roosevelt!" But marine lowered his weapon," Darn it, I can't shoot a fellow Republican."
Author/Narrator Stephen Schochet researched Hollywood and Disney stories and lore for 10 years while giving tours of Hollywood. He had the unique idea the stories could be told anywhere and that's what led him to create the audiobooks "Fascinating Walt Disney" and "Tales Of Hollywood". The Saint Louis Post Dispatch says," These two elaborate productions are exceptionally entertaining." Realaudio samples can be heard at his website www.hollywoodstories.com.