The Washington Times - May 14, 2010, 04:19PM

The U.S. military has few supporters in Hollywood, so actor Ricky Schroder stands out as an outspoken patriot for the men in women in uniform and their sacrifice for our country.

headshotSchroder is in Washington, D.C. for the G.I. Film Festival (GIFF) which honors the heroic stories of U.S. armed forces and their successes and sacrifices for freedom around the world.


I interviewed Schroder Friday morning live on “America’s Morning News” national radio show about the GIFF and his support for the U.S military, an aberration in Hollywood.

“This is the fourth year for the festival,” Schroder said. “It was created by a wonderful young couple [Brandon and Laura Law Millett] who saw there was no festival specially designed for military armed forces stories.”

(When asked what first name he prefers, Rick or Ricky, Schroder good-naturedly explained that he tried to change to Rick when he turned 18, but it didn’t stick, so the 40-year old still goes by “Ricky” professionally.)

On Friday evening, Schroder will be given the 2010 G.I. Spirit Award as part of GIFF’s special event “Honoring Hollywood Patriots.” The Spirit Award is presented to one person every year in honor of all or all they do for the armed forces, of our country.

Ricky Schroder with troopsHonoring Hollywood Patriots’ event will also include a screening of Schroder’s new TV reality show “Starting Strong,” which follows real-life  potential Army recruits as they make the decision to enlist at the end of each episode. Schroder created, produced and directed the show.

The intent of “Starting Strong”, he told me, is “to show “young people how the skills and training they receive in the Army - in whatever MOS they choose- has a specific counterpart in the civilian world.” He said that he worked with the U.S. Army to find a way to demonstrate how a career in the military, no matter how short or long, “can translate to a civilian career.”

Ricky Schroder bucks the liberal, anti-war, anti-military culture of Hollywood. Instead he makes TV and movies that show American freedom is from the sacrifices and great successes of our military. Schroder is being honored as a “Hollywood Patriot”, but more importantly, he’s an American patriot.

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyMillerDC