As I’m sure all of you are aware, this weekend saw the passing of the legendary “Gunny” R. Lee Ermey, a Marine veteran and actor that was renowned and loved across all spectrums. He was obviously best known for his work in Full Metal Jacket as the ubiquitous film Senior Drill Instructor, a role that has yet to be surpassed by anyone for its authenticity and character.
I don’t often regret the work that I do, but I have to say that I’ve always regretted the making the only strip that I did about the good Gunny. It was quite unfair to him and his work as a professional actor. Like many celebrities, I found myself easily able to distance myself from the reality of the man behind the character, and he ended up being the butt of a joke about selling out while he is referred to as a “Drill Sergeant” in a Geico commercial (the idea being that every Marine knows that they’re called Drill Instructors). Not my best work, at any rate, and I’ve always felt bad about the strip.
The truth is that I’ve always loved Full Metal Jacket as a film, specifically for Ermey’s amazing work in it. He will always be a legend in Marine Corps culture for his acting work and deserves all of the love he has received.
My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, and may he rest in peace.