Hollywood mensch

Last week Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit reported on the visit of Denzel Washington this past December to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio: “Hollywood hero.” Readers Janet Nilsen and Tim and Laura Sundvall wrote to remind us of the story, and today the Denver Post briefly reports: “Denzel donation salutes GIs.” Janet’s email quotes an email whose source I can’t peg but that has been making the rounds. It tells the story well:

Don’t know whether you heard about this but Denzel Washington and his family visited the troups at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, Texas (BAMC). This is where soldiers that have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States, especially burn victims. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a hotel where soldiers’ families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base but as you can imagine, they are almost completely filled most of the time.
denzel.jpg
While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He made a donation pledge on the spot, subsquently gave a huge donation, and has since agreed to serve on the Fisher House board. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.
The question I have is why do Alec Baldwin, Madonna, Sean Penn and other Hollywood types make front page news with their anti-everything America rhetoric, but this doesn’t even make page 3 in the Metro section of any newspaper except the base newspaper in San Antonio.

Janet and the Sundvalls included eight photos of Washington touring BAMC. I think the photo inset above best captures the spirit of the venture. What a shame that Washington’s recognition of the sacrifice made by his fellow citizens passing through Brooke sets him so far apart from his Hollywood colleagues.
UPDATE: Jeff Harrell of The Shape of Days writes:

You fellas might like to know that one of the details in your “Hollywood Mensch” article is incorrect. It’s a small thing, but it makes a difference. Your story quotes an e-mail that says Washington made a donation on the spot; this is almost correct, but not quite.
The details, along with audio excerpts of my interview with Fisher
House’s Jim Weiskopf, are available here.

Thanks also to reader Nora Armstrong for the relevant Snopes.com link here.

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