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Celebrities Who Were in the Service

July 6, 2017

Before they provided us with entertainment, these stars did a stint in the armed forces.
Celebrities Who Served

Drew Carey

This should explain why he’s worn a crewcut hairstyle for so many years: comedian and The Price is Right host Drew Carey served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years in the 1980s.

Adam Driver

Adam Driver (from Girls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) joined the Marines right after the attacks of 9/11. He was trained as a mortar man and served for almost three years—right before his unit was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq, he broke his sternum while mountain biking, and he got a medical discharge.

Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson wasn’t drafted during World War II—he enlisted in the Navy, hoping he’d get a shot at being a pilot. Instead, he was sent into training to be a midshipman and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania in the Pacific Ocean theater. But the ship was torpedoed while Carson’s unit was on its way, forcing him to re-report for duty on August 14, 1945, the day Japan’s surrender was announced…in other words, the last day of the U.S.’s involvement in the war.

Ed McMahon

Carson’s longtime The Tonight Show sidekick, Ed McMahon, put in a lot more time in the military than his boss did. McMahon was a veteran of two wars. He served as a captain in the Marines from 1943 to 1945 during World War II, and returned to active duty in 1952 to fight in the Korean War.

Ray Manzarek

The Doors were one of the edgier bands of the late 1960s, giving voice to the young “counterculture movement,” which was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, before keyboard player Ray Manzarek formed the band, he served for two years in Thailand and Okinawa as a member of the U.S. Army.

Johnny Cash

In the early ‘50s, and before his musical career took off, Johnny Cash was in the Air Force. He served as a Morse code intercept operator, meaning he spied on enemy transmissions. Because of the nature of the job, the future Man in Black was actually the first American to hear about the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1953.

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