Thank You: A Memorial Day Salute To Celebrities Who Served In The Military

These famous veterans did their part to help protect us.

Ice-T - The Law & Order: SVU actor enlisted in the army at age 17 as a way to earn enough money to support his girlfriend and their child. He spent most of his four years of duty stationed in Honolulu and much of his off-duty time learning the turntables and practicing his flow. He was honorably discharged at age 21, after which he embarked on a life of crime before gaining fame as a rapper and actor. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

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Ice-T - The Law & Order: SVU actor enlisted in the army at age 17 as a way to earn enough money to support his girlfriend and their child. He spent most of his four years of duty stationed in Honolulu and much of his off-duty time learning the turntables and practicing his flow. He was honorably discharged at age 21, after which he embarked on a life of crime before gaining fame as a rapper and actor. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Montel Williams - The Baltimore native joined the Marines straight out of high school and his superiors were immediately impressed with his leadership skills. Williams was given a scholarship to the prestigious Naval Academy and upon graduation served over twenty years in the Navy, where he became a successful and heavily-decorated officer. It was his experience in community outreach through the Navy that gave Williams the skills he would eventually put to use as a world-famous talk show host.  (Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for USANA)

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Montel Williams - The Baltimore native joined the Marines straight out of high school and his superiors were immediately impressed with his leadership skills. Williams was given a scholarship to the prestigious Naval Academy and upon graduation served over twenty years in the Navy, where he became a successful and heavily-decorated officer. It was his experience in community outreach through the Navy that gave Williams the skills he would eventually put to use as a world-famous talk show host.  (Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for USANA)

Jimi Hendrix - Before he set the world on fire with his guitar, Jimi Hendrix got his hands on some actual firepower as a member of the Army's 101st Airborne division. The troubled teen enlisted in the military as an alternative to jail time following an arrest for stealing cars but was later honorably discharged for "unsuitability."  (Photo: David Montgomery/Getty Images)

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Jimi Hendrix - Before he set the world on fire with his guitar, Jimi Hendrix got his hands on some actual firepower as a member of the Army's 101st Airborne division. The troubled teen enlisted in the military as an alternative to jail time following an arrest for stealing cars but was later honorably discharged for "unsuitability."  (Photo: David Montgomery/Getty Images)

Nate Dogg - Before he helped put LBC on the map in the hip hop world, Nate Dogg was a munitions specialist in the US Marines. The rapper once, who tragically died of heart failure in 2011, said he joined the military to "see if I was a man."(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Nate Dogg - Before he helped put LBC on the map in the hip hop world, Nate Dogg was a munitions specialist in the US Marines. The rapper once, who tragically died of heart failure in 2011, said he joined the military to "see if I was a man."(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Shaggy - The international reggae star joined the Marines after deciding he needed a career upgrade from his job at Baskin Robbins. But five months in Operation Desert Storm made him realize he had more to live for. Though he served out his tour of duty, he later said, "it just made me realize I'm not going to fight for anybody anymore." Still, one good thing came from the experience: he recorded his track "Oh Carolina" while on active duty, and it landed him a multi-million dollar contract with Virgin Records when he got out.(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Shaggy - The international reggae star joined the Marines after deciding he needed a career upgrade from his job at Baskin Robbins. But five months in Operation Desert Storm made him realize he had more to live for. Though he served out his tour of duty, he later said, "it just made me realize I'm not going to fight for anybody anymore." Still, one good thing came from the experience: he recorded his track "Oh Carolina" while on active duty, and it landed him a multi-million dollar contract with Virgin Records when he got out.(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

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Terence Trent D'Arby - It's hard to picture this soft-voiced R&B singer as either a boxer or a soldier, but he was both. After his skills as a lightweight champ earned him an invitation to boxing school in the U.S. Army, D'Arby enlisted and served his country for three years in Oklahoma and West Germany. He was dishonorably discharged in 1983, however, for going AWOL.  (Photo: Alpha /Landov)

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Terence Trent D'Arby - It's hard to picture this soft-voiced R&B singer as either a boxer or a soldier, but he was both. After his skills as a lightweight champ earned him an invitation to boxing school in the U.S. Army, D'Arby enlisted and served his country for three years in Oklahoma and West Germany. He was dishonorably discharged in 1983, however, for going AWOL.  (Photo: Alpha /Landov)

Morgan Freeman - Long before he played an officer in the Oscar-nominated film Glory, Freeman served in the Air Force, where he worked as a radar technician. Though his time in active duty was relatively brief, it instilled in Freeman a lifelong love of flying. The actor finally got a pilot's license at the age of 65.  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Morgan Freeman - Long before he played an officer in the Oscar-nominated film Glory, Freeman served in the Air Force, where he worked as a radar technician. Though his time in active duty was relatively brief, it instilled in Freeman a lifelong love of flying. The actor finally got a pilot's license at the age of 65.  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Marvin Gaye - The Prince of Motown spent a few turbulent years in the Air Force as a teenager before faking a mental illness to get a discharge. His wish was granted and he went on to become a musical legend. Years later, his commanding officer said in an interview that Gaye often refused to follow orders. Perhaps we'll get a glimpse into this part of his life in one of the several biopics currently in the works about the Motown legend?(Photo by Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Marvin Gaye - The Prince of Motown spent a few turbulent years in the Air Force as a teenager before faking a mental illness to get a discharge. His wish was granted and he went on to become a musical legend. Years later, his commanding officer said in an interview that Gaye often refused to follow orders. Perhaps we'll get a glimpse into this part of his life in one of the several biopics currently in the works about the Motown legend?(Photo by Jim Britt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Berry Gordy - Before he became one of the most influential men in music, Gordy was drafted into the Army and served for three years in the Korean War. Upon his release from the military in 1953, Gordy pursued a career as a songwriter and founded Motown Records four years later in 1957.  (Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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Berry Gordy - Before he became one of the most influential men in music, Gordy was drafted into the Army and served for three years in the Korean War. Upon his release from the military in 1953, Gordy pursued a career as a songwriter and founded Motown Records four years later in 1957.  (Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

James Earl Jones - Jones enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) while in college and enlisted in the Army after graduation. While he was never dispatched to the front in the Korean War, the actor rose the ranks to First Lieutenant before his discharge in 1954.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

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James Earl Jones - Jones enrolled in Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) while in college and enlisted in the Army after graduation. While he was never dispatched to the front in the Korean War, the actor rose the ranks to First Lieutenant before his discharge in 1954.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

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MC Hammer - Before popularizing parachute pants, Hammer was actually trained to use a real parachute. The Oakland native served three years in the US Navy.(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

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MC Hammer - Before popularizing parachute pants, Hammer was actually trained to use a real parachute. The Oakland native served three years in the US Navy.(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Harry Belafonte - The actor, singer and activist served three years in the Navy during World War II before his G.I. benefits gave him the opportunity to attend college in New York City. It was during his time at the New School for Social Research that he developed the seeds of his radical ideals.   (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

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Harry Belafonte - The actor, singer and activist served three years in the Navy during World War II before his G.I. benefits gave him the opportunity to attend college in New York City. It was during his time at the New School for Social Research that he developed the seeds of his radical ideals.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)