This page was last updated on 20 January 2016.
Unsolicited Comments About Memories of
Here are some of the personal comments we have received from
civilians. As time goes on we will be adding more.
President Bill Clinton--Washington, DC:
Thank you so much for the
inscribed copy of Memories of Maggie. I was proud to award Martha Raye
the Presidential Medal of Freedom and your book is a wonderful reminder of her
valiant work on behalf of America's armed forces. I appreciate your generosity
and kind words and send my best wishes.
Melodye Condos, Martha Raye's daughter--Burbank, CA:
You did a
wonderful job. It is easy to read and follow. I am really impressed with the
work you did. Mom's life was so scattered, I'm amazed at how well you put it
together. It's like a gift from God.
Diana J Dell--Boston, MA:
Bravo! Noonie Fortin
deserves a standing ovation for her wonderful book about a great American woman
and patriot. Sincerely, Diana Dell, author, "A Saigon Party: And Other
Vietnam War Short Stories."
Mary Ann Kerl--McAlester, Oklahoma:
Martha Raye fans will love this book. It's written in an easy to read style
with a good balance of narration and dialog. I really didn't know very much
about Martha Raye before I read Fortin's book. Now I feel as though I've known
her personally. But the best compliment I think I can give this book is that
when my husband, a Viet Nam veteran, saw what I was reading, he smiled and said,
"Well, someone finally wrote about Martha Raye!" He was thrilled--as
I'm sure other veterans are. He read the book and loved it. Fortin tells how
this woman touched our American soldiers. I'd recommend it for any adult or
young person and think it would make a great addition to school and public
libraries. Fortin is to be commended not just on her writing but her research.
Col Maggie, a
legend in our time.
Memories For Maggie, is a real eye opener for America. Maggie's love for grunts,
her willingness to let no obstacle stand in her way to achieve her own personal
goal, "Take America to our servicemen and women on the battlefield, touch
them with real love and let them know that America is proud of them" has
reduced me to tears of joy and compassion. America has lost a a most valued
treasure. Col. Maggie has made me proud to have been an American soldier, to
have served my country overseas during the Vietnam War. I have but one regret, I
did not meet her, nor see her perform, but I feel that I have known Maggie for a
very long time.
well-written biography of a legendary filmstar.
Martha Raye---Maggie, as her friends called her---is remembered by millions for
her hilarious routines, largely based on her big mouth---a feature she played up
herself. She was also a pop singer of considerable skill. But she is most
vividly remembered by the tens of thousands of troops she entertained during her
three decades of tours abroad, during three wars. Later, she was honored
repeatedly by a great variety of veterans' organizations and was awarded a
Presidential Medal of Freedom. This biography is by skilled writer Noonie
Fortin, herself a Vietnam era veteran who served more than 20 years in the Army Reserves, retired as a First Sergeant. Fortin's book is written in a clear style,
moves rapidly, is packed with facts and fascinating stories about Martha Raye.
Author Fortin interviewed Ms Raye several times and gathered an impressive
amount of research about the famed star. Read this book and you will gain
insights to an actress who was a true star for troops around the world as well
as for movie goers whom she moved to laughter in film after film. A book you
will long remember.
Ed McDonald--San Francisco:
Started reading and was up all night. Had
to finish the book cover to cover. You did a first-class tribute to our Martha.
Interesting use of photos...I am so very proud of you. Now the book is out there
for the world to know a truly great American.
Virginia Pauley, mother of a deceased Veteran--Orchard Park, NY:
love the book and thank you all for the job you did.
Here are some comments from Veterans about the book:
Wheeler, US Army 64-66--Tampa, FL:
I don't know the author. I read the book and was very impressed with it
and the information about Martha Raye. It seems to me that Martha Raye is
sorta the forgotten hero of Vietnam, probably because she tended to avoid
publicity. I mentioned the book because it was a good book and because I
felt it would bring a little deserved attention to Martha Raye. I was very
impressed with the book's readability and honesty.
I thoroughly enjoyed your book, and would like to see
more people get the opportunity to read it. I also was a little disappointed
that the A&E Biography didn't focus more on the military phase of Maggie's
career. However, to be fair to them, she was a major star in her day, and the
A&E Biography approach is to start with the infant and show how the person
develops year by year.
Even more thanks for writing a great book. Without your
book, it is doubtful that a record would even exist about Maggie's Vietnam
efforts. It is an important historical document about an important person.
E. Jones, Saigon Military Intelligence, 1967-1968, author of War
Without Windows, Vanguard Press and Berkley Publishing Group--Modesto, CA:
Noonie wrote the book about Colonel Maggie that I once hoped I could have
written, but could never have applied the dedication and skill that the author
brought to the project. I'm glad I could be included in the book, both in text
and photo, because it keeps me linked with this special, complex, unique lady
who so influenced by life. My respect for her knows no bounds, and she will
always be in my heart. Thanks, Noonie.
William C Westmoreland, General, USA Retired--Charleston, SC:
is an interesting book about an American Legend--at least in the memory of
thousands of military Veterans--Martha Raye. Indeed, it is well done. Martha was
a real trooper in every respect. Thank you for telling an important story--in
fact recording American history.
Jim Tucker, OCSA, The Pentagon--Washington, DC:
I, obviously in my
position, read quite a bit. This is the first one in a long time that gave me
that warm and fuzzy feeling. It was positive, upbeat, and told it like it
Richard Goldsberry, US Department of State--Washington, DC:
completed your wonderful biography Memories of Maggie. Very well done.
Thanks for writing about this truly remarkable woman. It's sad she has passed
on, but this book will keep her spirit alive as long as there are wars to be
fought and Vets to care for.
Chris Noel, Armed Forces Radio Vietnam 66-71--West Palm Beach,
Martha Raye, my hero! Maggie introduced me to my Green Beret love. In
Vietnam, I watched her, in awe, as she sang songs, gave love, and said "God
Bless" to her guys. Noonie Fortin, a wonderful writer, leaves us with memories
of the good that was America in Vietnam.
Ronald Winkles, Major, USA Retired--Whitesboro, TN:
I highly recommend
this book...The author did a wonderful job at capturing Ms. Raye's frontline
dedication to entertaining our military men and women as well as providing them
with nursing care. If I could, I would see that every Veteran's organization had
a copy. I know this book would have been Martha's greatest gift.
Gil Woodside, Jr., Sergeant, USMC Retired--Seekonk, MA:
She visited our
sniper-filled jungle around Chu-Lai in 1965...you'll never know what that visit
did for morale.
Bill Hoffman, USA Retired--Longmont, CO:
God love Miss Raye, Colonel
Maggie, for all she did for us, and Noonie as well for a book that has brought
tears of gratitude several times already.
John "Top" Holland, President of AFFA (Americans For Freedom Always), USA
It's wonderful and really tells her story.
Lloyd Simpson, Colonel, USA Special Forces Retired--Phoenix, AZ:
personal copy was read and greatly enjoyed the same day it was received. My
compliments on a job well done.
Mike Karr, USA Special Forces Retired--Bothell, WA:
You made an old
Joe Bristol, USMC Retired--Potterville, MI:
A great book. If only
Maggie could have read your book.
Charlie "PJ" Coulter, USA Special Forces Retired--Gahanna, OH:
done such a great job as far as Maggie is concerned...I take my hat off to
Larry Lentz, USA--Blackstone, VA:
I have read your book
more than once, and couldn't put it down the night I first started it. Not
until I finished it. I want to express my thanks for your efforts.
It warms the soul to know people like you care so much.
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