Miss World 1967, Madeleine Hartog Bell, A member of the Bob Hope USO 1967 Christmas Tour, was transported by Marine Helicopter to the Station Hospital at Marble Mountain. During her visit to the hospital, she spent time visiting wounded patients, including a sick little girl and her mother from Thon My Thi Village.
In 2002, on Thanksgiving Day, I was pleasantly surprised to receive the following communication from Madeleine:
I cannot think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving Day than visiting your website for the first time. I have to thank a stranger, a Peruvian young man, Javier, for locating me through the Internet and sending me your address. Since that fateful December of ’67 when I toured Vietnam with Bob Hope, I have always had a special place in my heart for all the Vietnam Veterans. Even more so, since I became an American citizen a decade ago. Afterwards, my family and I went to Washington, where we visited the Vietnam Memorial, it was such a moving experience…
Also, living in America allows me to celebrate every November 11th when all of you are in my thoughts. Besides, I am proud to say that I had my own Veteran at home, although from a different war. Is evident to me, my dear Doc, that everything you do, you do it well. Even aging, because as a good wine, you have improved with age my friend!
Your website exudes such a loving care, the same loving care you gave to everybody in that field hospital in Da Nang. By the way, were you present when I broke down in tears after seeing all those gravely wounded kids, and Bob was trying to console me, because I wanted to leave behind all that Miss World stuff and come back and work as a nurse assistant? See what you have done, Doc? Your touching tribute to my beloved Vietnam Veterans and to my humble little self, have brought back a torrent of memories…So I’ll leave you now with music in my heart and a heartfelt “Thanks For The Memories”… Madeleine
My Reply to Madeleine
Madeleine……”it is a pleasure to renew our friendship some 36 years after we met in Vietnam”…thank you so very much for your kind comments. I remember when they took you and the others into the Intensive Care recovery ward and what happened to all of you after seeing our badly wounded soldiers. We all thank you so very much for your inspiring visit to a lonely bunch of American soldiers in an advanced combat area of Vietnam. God bless your family and believe me, we Vietnam veterans love you too!!!”…..Doc Rockett