Celebrities Who Served

PFC Hugh Hefner, U.S. Army (1944-1946)

PFC Hugh Hefner, U.S. Army (1944-1946)

It's well-known that the late Hugh Hefner was the founder of one of history's most iconic global brands. He transformed the adult entertainment industry with his groundbreaking publication Playboy. Less widely reported, however, is his contribution to the war effort during World War II. Just seven years before he created Playboy magazine from his kitchen table, Hefner joined the Army, serving as an infantry clerk and drawing cartoons for various military newspapers.  Hugh Hefner's Early Years...

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LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

Neil Alden Armstrong who served in the US Navy between 1949 and 1952, is better known as the first man to walk on the Moon. His iconic announcement ‘One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,’ and first steps on an extraterrestrial body were broadcast to over 650 million people: around a fifth of the total world population. Armstrong’s path to becoming the most iconic and famous astronaut of all time began near Wapakoneta, Ohio. Neil Armstrong’s Military Career Born on August 5,...

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PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

Jimi Hendrix, an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music is one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Did you know Jimi Hendrix briefly served in the U.S. Army? James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was born in 1942 in Seattle while his father Al Hendrix, drafted into the Army during World War II, was imprisoned in an Alabama stockade. Drafted just three days after marrying Jimi’s...

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2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, Social Reformer, famed baseball player and civil rights advocate, Jack "Jackie" Robinson became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball. Jack "Jackie" Robinson Was Assigned to a Segregated Army Cavalry Unit at Fort Riley In 1942, Jack Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for...

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Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Known for his leading role in ‘Magnum, P.I.’ and as Monica’s love interest in ‘Friends’, Tom Selleck is a household name whose career has spanned over four decades. He’s had numerous on-screen careers, but you know that Tom Selleck is a Vietnam War era veteran? Tom Selleck’s Early Life Thomas William Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1945, but his family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, in 1948. Raised by hardworking parents, Tom Selleck learned the values of the U.S. military from an...

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Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Dan Lauria: Marine Corps Veteran, Veteran Actor Dan Lauria, one of America’s best-known TV dads due to his famous role as “Kevin’s Dad” on the hit show Wonder Years, is an accomplished TV, film, and stage actor. His service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War had a profound impact on both his life and his acting career. Todays, Lauria continues to support veterans through his involvement in several important organizations. Dan Lauria’s Early Years On Stage Lauria, an Italian-American,...

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Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Elvis Presley: King of Rock-N-Roll, Army Veteran American singer and actor Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), widely recognized as The King of Rock-N-Roll, is the celebrity whose military service is probably best known. He enlisted in the US army at the peak of his career, in 1958, when he was already world-famous and had wide success as a rockabilly and rock-n-roll singer also encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads, and pop music. Elvis’s Early Years...

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Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Mel Brooks's Military Service “Springtime for Hitler” is one of the songs that made Mel Brooks famous. But did you know that this prolific actor, comedian, composer, and filmmaker served in World War II as a young man? Mel Brooks’s Early Life Mel Brooks was born Melvin James Kaminsky in 1926, the youngest of four boys. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a Jewish family of modest means. When Brooks was two years old, his father passed away from kidney disease. Mel was raised by his mother and...

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Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Maj Clark Gable, U.S. Army Air Forces (1942-1947)

Clark Gable, of the U.S. Army Air Forces between 1942 and 1947, is best known as the ‘King of Hollywood’, the womanizing man’s man with a filmography of over 60 productions. However, he had a passion for flying combat missions and defied death in World War II. Born William Clark Gable in 1901, his father Will was an oil-well driller living in Cadiz, Ohio. Baptized Catholic, his mother Adeline died when he was just ten months old, and his father refused to raise him in the faith. Gable’s father...

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PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

PFC Sixto Escobar, US Army (1941-1945)

Sixto Escobar, of the United States Army between 1941 and 1945, was Puerto Rico’s first world boxing champion, and International Boxing Hall of Fame member. Remembered today with the Estadio Sixto Escobar, the San Juan home of River Plate Puerto Rico, as well as many buildings, roads, and statues, he is a favored son of the island territory. Not as many people know, though, that he served in the military during the Second World War as an Army PFC. Remembering Sixto Escobar Escobar was born in...

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Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, of the US Navy between 1942 and 1946, interrupted a prominent career as a film actor in order to serve his country when it needed him most. Fonda’s commanding screen presence made him a favorite of theatergoers for five decades, culminating in an Oscar for his final performance. Henry Fonda’s Stage Beginnings Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1905, Fonda was the son of a printer. Raised in Omaha, he witnessed and was profoundly affected by the horrors of the Omaha race riot...

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GySgt R. Lee Ermey, USMC (1961-1972)

GySgt R. Lee Ermey, USMC (1961-1972)

Remembering R. Lee Ermey Together We Served is among those remembering R. Lee Ermey, aka ‘Gunny’, famous Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant-turned-Hollywood star. Ermey passed away on April 15 2018, at the age of 74, as a result of complications that arose from pneumonia.  Vietnam veteran and character actor R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey joined 700 Veterans as part of the IAVA/Victory Motorcycles presence at the 2014 America's Parade in New York. Ermey died Sunday from complications of pneumonia, his...

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