Music has already played an integral part of military history. It has guided men into battle, inspired them during battle and even been used to intimidate the enemy. However, music has also played a huge role in the lives of veterans. Believe it or not some service people have gone on to have had world-class musical careers. Here are 6 veterans who have excelled in the field of music showing that nothing is too great for a veteran to achieve.
- Elvis Presley: Of course, we had to start with the King himself. When Elvis was inducted into the U.S. Army back in March of 1958, it caused his legions of fans to go into frenzy mode. The ironic thing is that Elvis did have a choice of performing for the troops as a way of forgoing traditional service. Patriot that he was, he chose to become a tanker and served in West Germany.
- Johnny Cash: The Man in Black (aka A Boy Named Sue), Cash earned the rank of Sergeant serving in the U.S. Air Force where he intercepted codes in Germany during the Cold War.
- Jimi Hendrix: Rock guitar virtuoso James Marshall Hendrix served in the 101st Airborne Division. However, due to his obsession with the guitar he was considered a poor soldier and eventually given an Honorable Discharge.
- Ray Manzarek: This contemporary of Hendrix, keyboard player for The Doors, joined the Army before the buildup to Vietnam. He served in Thailand and Okinawa before being kicked out. Two months after returning home Manzarek and Jim Morrison formed their legendary band.
- Tony Bennett: Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto, Bennett saw hard combat during WWII as a member of the U.S. Army. Bennett did his basic training at Fort Dix and Fort Robinson and served on the front lines in Germany and France.
- Toy Caldwell: Lead guitarist and co-founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band, Toy served in the Marines Corps when he was injured in battle and received a medical discharge as a result of that injury.
These musicians and many others prove that nothing is beyond the reach of veterans. It shows that people who serve their country have a wide variety of interests and these interests do not have to end simply because one chooses to serve his or her country. Yes, music is an essential part of the Corps and always has been. So too are expressions of pride such as visitors to our site who purchase Marine Corps hats for sale and other Marine Corps clothing.