On the very first Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson addressed the country. “To us in America,” he said, “the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”
In 1954, an entire second World War later, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day at the urging of veterans service organizations, further solidifying the day’s historic and patriotic significance. Today, there are almost 20 million U.S. veterans. A handful of them were also famous for their musical talent.
Some, like former Nirvana and Soundgarden member Jason Everman, have been at the forefront of active combat; others, like Elvis Presley, served during more peaceful eras of U.S. history. A few late greats — most notably Jimi Hendrix and Jerry Garcia — didn’t quite take to Army life and were discharged before finishing their assignments. Some channeled their military experience into their musical work, like Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s John Fogerty.
“I have a song called ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone.’ It’s a bit mysterious, but it comes from a guy who went through the military at a very emotional and volatile time in history,” Fogerty told Fort Knox News in 2019. “And a lot of the songs that talk about or are reflective of my personality — taking note of class structure or the inequality of the way society works — certainly, those are references to my time in the military.”
We take a look at 14 Rock Stars Who Served in the U.S. Military below.
14 Rock Stars Who Served in the U.S. Military
A salute to veterans who served their country.