Weird History

The Most Beloved US Veterans

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!
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  • 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 convention ...more
  • Heroic World War I soldier who became famous after the war.
    Alvin Cullum York (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), also known as Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I. He received the Medal of Honor for ...more
  • The most decorated soldier in American history. Later became a film actor.
    Audie Leon Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, ...more
  • Chester William Nimitz, Sr. (; February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) 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, ...more
  • Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower ( EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. ...more
  • Gregory "Pappy" Boyington (December 4, 1912 – January 11, 1988) was an American combat pilot who was a United States Marine Corps fighter ace during World War II. He received both the Medal of Honor ...more
  • John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above ...more
  • Famous "blood and guts" general who led tank armies across Germany.
    George Smith Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a General of the United States Army who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theater of World War II, and the U.S. ...more
  • Army Air Force General who led the first bombing raid against Japan in World War II.
    James Harold Doolittle (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) was an American General and aviation pioneer. He made early coast-to-coast flights, won many flying races and, most significantly, ...more
  • Ira Hamilton Hayes (January 12, 1923 – January 24, 1955) was a Pima Native American and a United States Marine who was one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic photograph of the flag ...more
  • The most decorated Marine in history, he fought in the Banana Wars, World War II, and Korea.
    Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller (June 26, 1898 – October 11, 1971) was a United States Marine Corps officer. Beginning his career fighting guerillas in Haiti and Nicaragua as part of the Banana Wars, ...more
  • Enlisted as a private, flew combat missions in World War II and retired a two-star general.
    James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl, ...more
  • George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army to become Chief of Staff under presidents Franklin D. ...more
  • World War I American fighter ace and aviation pioneer.
    Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America's most successful ...more
  • The future president led a charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba in the Spanish-American War.
    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ROH-zə-velt; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the ...more
  • 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 1939–1942 and ...more
  • The tough guy actor fought with the Marines at Saipan, and was badly wounded.
    Lee Marvin (February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an American film and television actor.Known for his distinctive voice and premature white hair, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, ...more
  • Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American soldier, politician, and international statesman who served as the 18th president of the United States from ...more
  • General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was a senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II. Bradley was the first Chairman of the Joint ...more
  • General of the Armies John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) was a senior United States Army officer. His most famous post was when he served as the commander of the ...more
  • Left the NFL to join the Army Rangers. Was killed in action in Afghanistan.
    Patrick Daniel Tillman (November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004) was an American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who left his sports career and enlisted in the United States Army in ...more
  • Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr., KBE (October 30, 1882 – August 16, 1959), known as Bill Halsey or "Bull" Halsey, was an American admiral in the United States Navy during World War II. He ...more
  • Interrupted his baseball career to serve in the Navy, and was wounded in the Normandy invasion.
    Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach. He played 19 seasons in Major League ...more
  • Richard Davis Winters (January 21, 1918 – January 2, 2011) was an officer of the United States Army and a decorated war veteran. He is best known for commanding Easy Company of the 2nd Battalion, ...more
  • Served nearly 10 years in the Navy, mostly in anti-submarine warfare.
    Ernest Borgnine (born January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012) was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades. He was noted for his gruff but calm voice and gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin. A ...more