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Unexpected Celebrity Veterans

November 8th, 2013 Seasonal

What do Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas author Hunter S. Thompson and Golden Girls star Bea Arthur have in common? The country thanks both for them, and innumerable others, for their service in the U.S. armed forces on November 11 every year.  According to the Smoking Gun, although she denied it while she was alive, records show that Bea Arthur drove trucks and typed for Uncle Sam during World War II, as one of the earliest members of the Marine Corps Women's Reserve. As for Thompson, multiple biographical sources show that his stint in the Air Force wasn't by any means his most impressive lifetime accomplishment. He was dishonorably discharged in 1958, allegedly for ignoring proper military attire requirements and failing to respecting authority figures. However, Thompson wrote some of his earliest published work as the sports reporter for the Florida Air Force base, so the experience wasn't a complete loss. By no means are Thompson and Arthur the only two veterans who went onto fame and fortune. According to Military.com, noted comedian Drew Carey has his time in the Marine Corps Reserves to thank for his military-trim hairstyle. He remains known for performing his stand-up routine at USO tours. Carey isn't even close to the most famous comedian who enlisted for a tour of duty. A 19-year-old Bill Cosby worked as a hospital corpsman, helping to treat soldiers who had been wounded in the Korean War. Going back even further, the godfather of late-night TV, Johnny Carson, narrowly avoided combat in the World War II. According to Military.com, he was on his way to his first battle just as atomic bombs fell on two Japanese cities, which resulted in the end of the conflict.