THE TRUE MEANING OF THE HOLIDAY
Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend… I know I did! It’s nice to have a day to relax and grill by the pool, but we all know that this summer celebration isn’t much of a celebration at all. It’s not about the hotdogs or the sunshine, it’s about remembering the fallen US soldiers from every generation.
For that reason, I thought it’d be appropriate to recognize some actors you might now who have served in the US military themselves. Though they may have not paid the ultimate price for our freedom, we can still honor their service as a way of recognizing those who did.
ACTORS WHO SERVED… DO YOU KNOW THESE FACES?
- Chuck Norris- Turns out this Texas Ranger fought for our safety off screen as well! Norris joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. He was stationed in South Korea for a while, which is where he began his martial arts training. After returning to the US and being honorably discharged in 1962, Norris continued his martial arts training before launching his acting career.
- Clint Eastwood- This tough guy lucked out when it came to his military service. Eastwood was drafted by the US Army to serve in the war with Korea, and served as a swim instructor after his basic training (his competitive swimming in high school sure helped out with that). He once had to swim over a mile to shore when his military aircraft had to make a water landing. He was discharged in 1953 and shortly after started studying drama to become an actor.
- Gene Wilder- Willy Wonka may have been a bit of a lune, but Gene Wilder was anything but. In fact, after being drafted into the US Army, he was assigned to the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology in Pennsylvania where he served 2 years as a paramedic. He was discharged in 1958 and began his acting career shortly after.
- Drew Carey- This comedian actually got his start in comedy during his time in the military! Carey joined the Marine Corps Reserves, serving from 1980-1986. While in the reserves, Carey was looking for a way to make some extra money when he discovered that he could get paid for performing his jokes! This eventually led to his various comedic roles on television. He even says that his time in the military is what inspired his signature crew-cut look.
- Morgan Freeman- Freeman always loved war films, so even though he wanted to be an actor, he enlisted in the military in 1955. He served in the US Air Force, inspired by his interest in flying, but started as just a radar technician. After about a year, he was given the opportunity to start his training as a fighter pilot, but as soon as he began, he realized where his heart truly was. He left the military in 1959 and pursued his true passion– acting.
There are lots more actors who served in the military. Check out this list from IMDb! And don’t forget to honor the many veterans who didn’t become famous, who made serving their final career. AOS thanks the men and women in the US military, past, present, and future!
Written by Katherine White / June 2, 2016