These Country Stars Served Their Country
We country music fans have always been a very patriotic group and the stars we admire have stepped forward to serve this great country in the military. Let's take a look at our heroes and how they spent their time in uniform.
JOHNNY CASH - The man in black was the man in blue for four years in the 1950's when he spent time in the US Air Force in Germany. Johnny was a code expert who intercepted and translated Russian Morse code. He was the first person to learn of the death of Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.
GEORGE JONES - From 1953 to 1956 the Possum was a US Marine but got a soft posting in California where he played in night spots near his base.
ROGER MILLER - Another star with an easy army job, Roger volunteered and was shipped to Korea where he spent his three years in the Special Service Corps and played in a country band.
GEORGE STRAIT - He used his army stint from 1971 to 1975 to start country bands "Ramblin Country" and "Santee". It must have been tuff for poor George to spend his last two army years stationed in Hawaii.
CONWAY TWITTY - Right out of high school Conway was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies but before he could report to their farm system he was drafted again by the US Army and sent to Japan where he ended up on Armed Forces Radio in Tokyo and won the 1954 talent competition as best band for his group "Cimarron".
TOM T HALL - He volunteered for Army service in 1957 and served in Germany until 1961. He sang in NCO clubs and on Armed Forces Network. One of his exploits is unveiled in his song "Ode to a Switchblade".
KRIS KRISTOFFERSON- He was the son of an Army Air Corps officer who lived on several bases before going into the Army himself. He rose to the rank of Captain as a helicopter pilot and turned down a teaching position at West Point to attempt a singing career. Legend has it that he landed a helicopter on Johnny Cash's lawn to deliver a tape of a song he had written.
WILLIE NELSON - In 1950 he joined the Air Force but a back injury forced his discharge after a few months.
ELVIS PRESLEY - The King was drafted at the height of his popularity in 1958 and could have easily gone into a Special Services Corps and travel around entertaining the stoops but two factors kept that from happening. His manager Tom Parker knew that if Elvis went that direction the Army had control of recordings of all appearances which they could sell and keep the proceeds and Colonel Tom would have none of that plus Elvis really wanted to just be a regular soldier and get no special treatment. He was a good soldier and really took to weapons training were he became a pistol expert.
MARTY ROBBINS - Like so many youngsters, Marty volunteered for Naval service at age 17 in 1943. He served in several battle actions in the Solomon Islands against the Japanese. Marty did not talk much about his service.
CRAIG MORGAN - Ten years of active duty and seven years in the reserves before his country career. A true patriot.
JAMEY JOHNSON - Member of Marine reserves.
Thank you all for your service.