Over seven percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives, according to FiveThirtyEight. That’s millions of people willing to give up their lives so the rest of us can have the freedoms we have. They deserve the utmost respect.
Country artists are known for their faithful support of those who bravely serve our country. But did you know that some of the most famous names in country music also stepped up to the plate when they’re homeland called? And then wrote songs about their experiences?
Well, here are four famous country artists who are veterans and who also sang about war.
Johnny Cash is a classic in the country music world, a member of the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame. But before he became the man in black, he was a Morse Code Intercept Operator in the Air Force. He also wrote a song called “Singin´ In Vietnam Talkin´ Blues.”
Who doesn’t know Willie Nelson? Although this member of the Grammy Hall of Fame is known for his music, he also served in the U.S. Air Force for a bit after graduating high school in 1950. He ended up leaving the service because of back problems he was having. But the war still made an impact on him; he wrote a war protest song called “Whatever Happened To Peace On Earth.”
One of the most famous country artists and a man with one of the most recognizable, seemingly fake, names. He was an Army Captain and helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, he wrote “Vietnam Blues.”
Although the Korean War was underway during George Jones‘ time with the Marines, the eventual country legend was never asked to go overseas. He spent his entire enlistment — beginning in 1951 — stationed in California.
Johnson reportedly quit college after two years with the US Marine Corp Reserve. He earned his way to Corporal and served for eight years as a mortarman.
He also wrote “Lead Me Home,” a song in support of our troops.