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Celebrities in the Military: 14 Beloved Stars We Never Realized Were Veterans!

God bless these amazing actors, musicians and comedians served our country before they were famous!


We are so grateful to the men and women in the armed forces who keep our country safe and help to maintain the freedoms we enjoy every day. At the same time, we were surprised to discover that there are many veterans we unwittingly welcome into our hearts and homes through their movies, music or roles on the small screen. That’s right — many of our favorite celebrities got their start the military!

Hollywood has always gone hand-in-hand with the military in ways that have ranged from the creation of propaganda films to celebrities who have chosen to give of themselves by traveling from base to base and country to country — never limited to one branch — to provide entertainment.

Whether you’re talking about World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam or beyond, there was never a shortage of entertainers willing to do what they could to help in the best way they knew how: by performing. And those names would include people like Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Benny, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Raquel Welch, Ann-Margret and so many more.

But then again, there is still something even more fascinating about the celebrities who were enlisted prior to their stardom.

We love that happy-go-lucky Bob Ross served in the United States Air Force for 20 years before becoming an on-screen painter. Or how, before he became a country music icon, Willie Nelson also served in the Air Force, but had to leave for a shocking medical reason. Or maybe you didn’t know that an iconic Golden Girl was one of the first members of the Women’s Reserve in the Marines.

Related: “It’s To Give Veterans the Thanks They Deserve,” says Teen Who Builds Memorial 

Here we’ve gathered 14 of the amazing celebrities that we didn’t know were veterans, so every time we see them on screen or hear their music, we can off a silent, “Thank you for your service.”

For all things memorial day, click here!

14 Celebrities That Were in the Military

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