05/15/2013 10:30 am ET

At La Roche College Commencement, Martin Sheen Evokes Iraq War (VIDEO)

Acclaimed actor Martin Sheen dished out some jokes when he gave the commencement address at La Roche College in Pennsylvania on May 4, but he didn't shy away from politics either.

Sheen is well-known for playing President Josiah Bartlet on television show "The West Wing," but during his acting career he was in feature films "The Departed," "Wall Street" and "Apocalypse Now," and voiced a character on the television show "Captain Planet," to name a few.

Sheen, 72, has a history of activism too, supporting the 1960s farm worker movement, supporting environmental causes and openly opposing the Iraq war, which he discussed in the speech.

"In the days and weeks leading up to the invasion, I spoke out repeatedly against that war at a series of nonviolent demonstrations, peace rallies and press conferences, all of which only served to isolate me to a small minority of fellow Americans," Sheen said. "Then on the feast of St. Joseph, I watched helplessly in despair as a horrible bombardment of Baghdad commenced. And I wrote these words: 'Choose your enemy well, for he is what you will become.'"

Sheen also described the gross difference between the riches of first-world countries and the American standard of living compared to the rest of the globe.

"The more the world changes, the more it remains the same, I believe, because the most important needs of every human being on Earth are not only food, clothin, and shelter, but equally the need for justice, healing and mercy," Sheen said. "Without the latter, the former are useless."

On the lighter side, Sheen joked about people recognizing him in public, recalling a woman at the airport who he heard say "No, no, no. He is not Emilio Estévez' brother, he is Charlie Sheen's son." (Martin Sheen is the father of both Estévez and Sheen. Martin Sheen's real name is Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez.)

"It's not easy being Sheen," he joked, as someone in the crowd shouted that they still love him.

Sheen received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from La Roche at the ceremony during which 302 students graduated, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Watch the full speech in the video above.



Celebrities Giving Commencement Speeches In 2013