On Veterans Day, we honor and celebrate military veterans who dedicated their lives to savor the freedom of the people of the United States.
Many celebrities, before becoming famous, served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Here are eight celebrities who have served in the U.S. military and made their country proud.
Years before Drew Carey entertained audiences across America on television shows like The Drew Carey Show, The Price Is Right and Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the stand-up comedian served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps between 1980 and 1986.
Rob Riggle, who has appeared in films like 21 Jump Street and Let's Be Cops, had a long stint in the U.S. military before he started his stand-up comedy and acting career in Hollywood. Riggle was in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than 20 years from 1990 to 2013, and he served in the Afghanistan and Kosovo wars and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly star Clint Eastwood was drafted into the U.S. military in 1950 during the Korean War and had a close brush with death during his service. In 1951, the actor was in a bomber when it crashed into the ocean and he swam 3 miles to shore. Four decades later, Eastwood picked up his first Oscar for directing the 1992 Western film Unforgiven.
In 1955, veteran actor Morgan Freeman turned down a drama scholarship to join the U.S. Air Force. He rose the ranks to Airman 1st Class after nearly four years in service. He then left the military to pursue an acting career, making his on-screen debut with the 1964 TV series Another World. Freeman went on to act in more prominent supporting roles, bagging an Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby.
Adam Driver, best known for his role as Kylo Ren in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The 33-year-old made the rank of lance corporal but was medically discharged from service after breaking his sternum in a mountain biking accident. He served for two years and eight months.
Martial artist and actor Chuck Norris enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1958 as a police airman. He was deployed in South Korea, where he started his martial arts training and he returned to the United States to serve at the March Air Force Base in California. Norris was discharged from service in 1962 and he made his first on-screen appearance six years later in The Wrecking Crew.
Jeff Bridges joined the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves at the age of 18 and served from 1967 to 1975. In his interviews, the Oscar winner has mentioned that one of his tasks during service was to chip paint off buoys as a buoy tender, a role which he wasn't a big fan of.
"The King of Rock 'n' Roll" started his service in the U.S. Army as a private in 1958. He was stationed in Germany, where he met Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he later married. Presley returned to the United States in 1960 and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.