Chuck Norris, the “Walker: Texas Ranger” star who now writes a column for WND, has been honored by the U.S. Marine Corps, which named him an “honorary Marine.”
“When I was asked to come to Washington, D.C., to meet and have dinner with Marine Corps Commandant, General James T. Conway, that was honor enough. When he informed me I had been named an honorary member of the Marine Corps, I was speechless,” Norris said.
Norris’ connection to the Corps includes a November 2006 United Service Organizations tour with Marines in Iraq, which Corps officials described as one of the best received ever.
“During my November, 2006 USO ‘hand shake’ tour of Iraq, the Marine Corps, which was then celebrating its 231st anniversary, offered to be my military sponsor. I was both pleased and grateful for the offer,” Norris said.
“As a former Airman in the U.S. Air Force, the military has always been very close to me. It turned my life around. It helped me get on the right path. This tour was an opportunity for me to meet many of the brave young men and women who now serve our country and also get to know some of the skilled and dedicated warriors who lead them,” Norris said.
“Included in the latter category are Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert B. Neller, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, and Gen. Robert Magnus, with whom I had the privilege of traveling to Iraq and who has since then become a good friend,” Norris said.
Norris, whose reputation for pursuing – and dispensing – justice in his various roles has surpassed even legendary proportions these days, said he is grateful for the recognition.
“It is a great honor and I am humbled by it,” he said. “For all of those who thought of me for this recognition, I thank you. To all of our service men and women, I salute you. I support you, and I am so proud to now, in a small way, be one of you. God bless you all.”
His career began not in movies or television, but as a real-life martial arts star. Six times he was an undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion, and taught celebrity students including Priscilla Presley, Donnie and Marie Osmond and Steve McQueen.
He founded the United Fighting Arts Federation with more than 2,300 black belts around the world, and in 1997 because the first man ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system, a precedent in 4,500 years of tradition.
Norris also is a powerboat racer, and in 1991 with his team won the World Offshore Powerboat championship. He followed that up with a world record time of 12 hours and 8 minutes for the 605-mile trip across the Great Lakes in a 38-foot Scarab boat.
Of course his autobiography, in 1988, called “The Secret of Inner Strength,” was a New York Times best seller, and he’s represented the United Way, the Veterans Administration and the Make A Wish Foundation.
He’s described his most rewarding accomplishment as the creation of his Kick-Start Foundation. With the help of President Bush, he implemented a program teaching the martial arts to 150 high-risk children at M.C. Williams Middle School in Houston, Texas, as part of the school curriculum. It was so successful at helping instill discipline and respect in the kids, as well as getting them out of gangs, the program now is in 30 schools with more than 4,200 young boys and girls participating.
Recently, Norris and his wife, Gena, joined the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum In Public Schools with the quest of helping students understand the Bible’s impact on history and literature.
WND’s announcement about Norris’ new column posed it as a question: “Where does Chuck Norris write a weekly column? Anywhere he wants.”
“But he has chosen WND as the flagship outlet for his new commentary endeavor – in between keeping the boogeyman awake nights.”
WND launched its Chuck Norris forum at the same time, to highlight the Internet craze for one-liners usually labeled not as jokes but as “facts.”
- “Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.”
- “They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for Chuck’s beard.”
- “Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.”
- “Chuck Norris sleeps with a night-light because the dark is afraid of him.”
- “Superman owns a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas.”
- “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”
Joseph Farah, editor and founder of WND, said the idea for the Chuck Norris column came from his teenage daughters.
“I heard them talking about Chuck Norris and wondered what it was all about. They introduced me to the ‘facts.’ They were absolutely fascinated by the action star. Once I realized how widespread this phenomenon was I thought it might be time to introduce the real Chuck Norris – not the characters he plays – in a new venue. He is certainly one of the biggest box-office stars of our era. And he has a much different worldview than most of Hollywood.”
Since its launch, Norris has used his column to talk about Iraq, tackle the “Abolishing Christian Legacy Union,” portray the editing of American history to remove Christian references as “shocking,” reminisce about “fighting” Bruce Lee, and talk about child trafficking, abortion, slavery and the biggest threat to America.
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