How Bruce Willis became a hero to US troops and even offered to fight Iraq war!
Bruce Willis is a legend who has worked in a number of iconic Hollywood movies over the years. But the veteran actor’s decision to retire and leave the film industry has left his fans disheartened. According to his family, Bruce has been diagnosed with aphasia – a language disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Rumer Willis, the daughter of the ‘Die Hard’ star, issued a joint statement from the family on her Instagram page that read, “To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
What is Aphasia and is it fatal? Bruce Willis failed to recall lines, used body doubles on sets
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore: Even divorce could not destroy a magical friendship
She continued, “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him," before adding: “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”
Though Bruce is widely known for his iconic movies, very few know he is also a patriot, who had not just distributed 12,000 boxes of cookies to sailors aboard USS John F Kennedy and other troops deployed across the Middle East in 2002 but also volunteered to join the military to help fight the second Iraq War. According to reports, in 2002, ‘The Sixth Sense’ star’s then-eight-year-old daughter Tallulah Belle Willis, and “her cousins, Katie and Haley Rogers, came up with the idea to donate the cookies to Sailors, soldiers, Marines and airmen deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.”
Bruce reportedly immediately fulfilled his daughter’s wish by buying thousands of Girl Scout Cookies and sending them to military personnel forward-stationed in the Middle East. At the time, Kennedy's commanding officer, Capt Ronald H Henderson Jr, had shown his gratitude towards the actor and his daughter while speaking to the crew: “You know it's really hard to be a Sailor, we all know that. We give up a lot of comforts and most of our privacy. But, one of the most important things we give up is some of the rhythms of American life. One of the American traditions we miss most is Girl Scouts coming around and selling their cookies. I'm really pleased with the support of Mr Willis and his daughter and I thank them for providing us with a small taste of America.”
Command Master Chief (SW/SS) Kevin C Davis of JFK had also said: “The men and women of 'Big John' are grateful and humbled at the support shown by Mr. Willis. Many of the Sailors could not believe that Bruce Willis and his family took the time to make sure these cookies reached us. One Sailor asked me to thank Mr Willis. He said if Bruce was able to get his old band out here for a show, he would thank him personally!”
Bruce’s support and respect for his country and soldiers was seen again in 2003 when he visited Iraq as part of the United Service Organizations (USO) tour. It has been reported that he offered his help in the war but because of his age he couldn’t. At the time, he had also reportedly slammed the media by saying, “I went to Iraq because what I saw when I was over there was soldiers—young kids for the most part—helping people in Iraq; helping getting the power turned back on, helping get hospitals open, helping get the water turned back on and you don't hear any of that on the news. You hear, ‘X number of people were killed today,’ which I think does a huge disservice. It's like spitting on these young men and women who are over there fighting to help this country.”