Weird History

The Most Beloved US Veterans  

Mike Rothschild
50k votes 2.8k voters 37.5k views 109 items

List Rules Vote up the famous veterans that you love and respect the most.

While all of our veterans should be beloved and respected, many have stuck in the public consciousness. Some became famous veterans because of their incredible accomplishments in war, and others because of their accomplishments in entertainment or business after their service. While some of the names on this list of famous US veterans are decorated heroes, and others were malcontents who couldn't stay out of military prison (looking at you, George Carlin), all are veterans that are now loved and respected by the public.

Veterans like bomber pilot and movie star Jimmy Stewart, are obviously iconic. Others, like former Marine Corps driver turned icon Bea Arthur, might be people you had no idea served in the military. Their accomplishments in uniform run the gamut, from the heroism of Audie Murphy to personally having a bounty put on them by Hitler (Clark Gable) to undistinguished stints that ended quickly. A few fought in World War II and became highly anti-authoritarian. There are even some baseball players who gave up years of their careers to put themselves in harms way in combat in both World Wars.

Vote up the American veterans you respect and revere the most, and vote down the ones who don't deserve the admiration they get from the public. From US Army veterans to World War 2 veterans, any famous and beloved veteran of the US armed forces deserves a spot on this list!
list ordered by
1
George Washington is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)
How did we miss him? First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countryman. And nobody can ever outrank him, thanks to an appropriate bill passed by Congress. George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the ...more
2
Audie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 46 (1925-1971)
The most decorated soldier in American history. Later became a film actor.
Audie Leon Murphy was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and ...more
3
George S. Patton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 60 (1885-1945)
Famous "blood and guts" general who led tank armies across Germany.
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army general, who commanded the Seventh United States Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of WWII, but is best known for his leadership ...more
4
Alvin C. York is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 77 (1887-1964)
Heroic World War I soldier who became famous after the war.
Alvin Cullum York, known also by his rank, Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated American soldiers in World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine ...more
5
Chesty Puller is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 73 (1898-1971)
The most decorated Marine in history, he fought in the Banana Wars, World War II, and Korea.
Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller was a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general and one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps. Puller is one of two servicemen to ever be ...more
6
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997)
Enlisted as a private, flew combat missions in World War II and retired a two-star general.
James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many ...more
7
Jimmy Doolittle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 97 (1896-1993)
Army Air Force General who led the first bombing raid against Japan in World War II.
James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War and was ...more
8
Theodore Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 61 (1858-1919)
The future president led a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba in the Spanish-American War.
Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt Jr. was an American politician, author, naturalist, soldier, explorer, and historian who served as the 26th President of the United States. He was a leader of ...more
9
Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 79 (1890-1969)
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army during WWII and served as Supreme ...more
10
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)
The tough guy actor fought with the Marines at Saipan, and was badly wounded.
Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor. Known for his distinctive voice, white hair and 6 ft 2 in stature, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers ...more
11
John Basilone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
BrianEdwards added Dec. at 29 (1916-1945)
John Basilone was a United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant who received the nation's highest military award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal in World ...more
12
Pat Tillman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 28 (1976-2004)
Left the NFL to join the Army Rangers. Was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 ...more
13
Ted Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 84 (1918-2002)
Gave up four years of his baseball career to serve as a Naval aviator.
Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was an American Major League Baseball left fielder, and later manager. Williams played his entire 19-year major league career for the Boston Red Sox from ...more
14
Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 78 (1934-2012)
Known as "Stormin' Norman," he masterminded the 100-hour ground phase of the Gulf War.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. was a United States Army general. While serving as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Schwarzkopf grew up in the United ...more
15
Eddie Rickenbacker is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 83 (1890-1973)
World War I American fighter ace and aviation pioneer.
Edward Vernon Rickenbacker was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America's most successful fighter ace in the war. He was also ...more
16
Chester W. Nimitz is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 81 (1885-1966)
Chester William Nimitz was a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, for U.S. ...more
17
Chris Kyle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
icoachfb added Dec. at 39 (1974-2013)
Christopher Scott "Chris" Kyle was a United States Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills. Kyle served four tours in the Iraq War and ...more
18
Yogi Berra is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 93
Interrupted his baseball career to serve in the Navy, and was wounded in the Normandy invasion.
Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is a retired American Major League Baseball catcher, manager, and coach. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees. He is ...more
19
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
Dec. at 95 (1917-2012)
Served nearly 10 years in the Navy, mostly in anti-submarine warfare.
Ermes Effron Borgnino, known as Ernest Borgnine was an American film and television actor whose career spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, ...more
20
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 88
Drafted into the US Army in 1951.
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio ...more
21
Kirk Douglas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 102
Wounded in combat in the Navy during World War II.
Kirk Douglas is an American film and stage actor, film producer and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of ...more
22
Omar Bradley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Omar Bradley Dec. at 88 (1893-1981)
Omar Nelson "Brad" Bradley was a United States Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army. From the Normandy landings through the ...more
23
William Halsey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 77 (1882-1959)
Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr., GBE —known as Bill Halsey or "Bull" Halsey—was an American fleet admiral in the United States Navy. At the start of the War in the Pacific ...more
24
George Marshall is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
RobLein added Dec. at 79 (1880-1959)
George Catlett Marshall, Jr. was an American soldier and statesman famous for his leadership roles during WWII and others. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Secretary of State, ...more
25
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Beloved US Veterans
age 89
Served four years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator.
Eugene "Gene" Allen Hackman is an American actor and novelist. In a career spanning five decades, Hackman has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, including best actor ...more