U.S veterans are justifiably given certain privileges post service, and their service also comes with a certain amount of respect. Due for release in theaters this week, the movie Thank You For Your Service deals with some of the issues veterans deal with when they come home from military service.
Back in the day, a lot of movie and music stars served in various military, although sometimes their service was more for show than them actually being sent to war or a dangerous situation. Some of them carried their military experience into their acting roles, as was the case with Chuck Norris, Mr. T, and Kirk Douglas.
Others quietly slipped out of their respective uniforms and got into acting, singing, and writing books.
No matter what, every year the U.S. honors veterans on Nov. 11 as a national holiday that includes parades, other events and even some businesses providing special discounts and free meals.
Research shows that some unusual Hollywood stars and music celebrities did their time in military service before launching successful careers on the big and small screens and on the charts. Some had good service records while others had a rocky stint wearing a Navy, Army, Marine or Air Force uniform.
There were very few women, and very few men even that have come out of the military and had a successful career in the limelight in the last 25 years. In fact, since military service became voluntary in the U.S. in 1973, enrollment has been on a steady decline, down to only 1 percent of the eligible population signing up for military service in the U.S.
With that in mind, some of these voluntary entries may be surprising.
14. Adam Driver Still Involved With Military
He played a villain in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but came into his own as Adam Sackler on HBO’s Girls. However, what a lot of people might not know is that after 9-11, Adam Driver enlisted into the U.S. Marines. According to Military.com, Driver trained hard and looked forward to being deployed. But he suffered an injury to his sternum, and despite working hard to heal, he was never actually deployed and was eventually medically discharged. After his two year stint in the Marines, Driver ended up at Julliard, where he studied drama and then began acting on off-Broadway productions. Driver has never forgotten his military experience and remains dedicated to his former comrades. When he’s not acting, he’s working with the non-profit Arts in the Armed Forces, which brings stage plays to service members.
134. ‘Hot Shot’ Shaggy A Gulf War Veteran
Reggae superstar Shaggy, aka Orville Richard Burrell, was born in Jamaica, but joined the U.S. Marines after moving to New York City to live with his mother. After two years, he found himself in the Gulf War, where he served as a field artillery cannon crewman. The experience was reportedly hard on him, so he was determined to make his dream of being in the music industry a reality. By 1993, he released the album Pure Pleasure, with the single “Oh Carolina” becoming one of the biggest hits in U.K. history. Next he released “Hot Shot”, which charted No. 1 on Billboard. In an interview with Hot 97 New York in 2013, Shaggy says his military experience prepared him for the music industry. “This is the hardest job in the world,” he told radio listeners. Also known as Mr. Bombastic, the reggae artist has won a Grammy. He also remains loyal to the Corp, often performing for the troops with the USO.