Editorial: A reminder our troops are at war

Mar. 18, 2013 @ 03:35 PM

Augustus Cho wants to remind us that there is still a war going on – and that we need to be mindful of the fact that the men and women fighting it, and their families, need our help.

So he’s using his role in a soon-to-premier action movie to focus attention and raise some money.

Cho, a former candidate for Town Council in Chapel Hill, a Korean immigrant and a budding actor, plays a North Korean leader in the Bruce Willis action picture, “GI Joe 2:Retaliation.”

On March 30, the day after the movie opens in theaters nationwide, Cho will host a red-carpet event at AMC’s Southpoint 17 cinemas. The showing to honor active-duty military personnel and other activities will help raise awareness of and money for the USO at Raleigh-Durham Airport. The USO, a long-standing non-profit group, provides programs and services to boost troop morale and that of their families.

The USO’s role is no less important these days, although its visibility is hardly that of the days of Bob Hope, Christmas shows and stage-door canteens.  The return of troops first from Iraq and now from Afghanistan is placing unusually heavy pressure on the organization.

Connie Inggs, director of the USO at RDU, is delighted Cho “reached out to us because of his passion for the military,” she told The Herald-Sun’s Greg Childress.

“It’s going to be a big education event about the military to let the community know about the heavy burden we have now with service members coming back home, some returning to difficult times.”

The March 30 event, in addition to the moving screening, will include a parachute jump by retired members of the Golden Knights team. (One member of the team performed the widely watched tandem jumps by former president – and naval aviator –

George H. W. Bush on his 80th and 85th birthdays.) If movie-goers present their G.I. Joe ticket stubs at California Pizza Kitchen that day, 20 percent of their bill will go to the USO of North Carolina.

“There’s a war still going on and people really don’t know that because less than 1 percent of our citizens are fighting that war,” Cho said last week. “This is my way of contributing to families in the military.”

It’s a commendable gesture, and a reminder we all can use.