In 1944, successful actor Mickey Rooney was drafted by the army, assigned mostly to entertain the troops on stage and on the radio during WWII.
He earned himself a Bronze Star for his performances as well as a World War II Victory Medal, and a medal for good conduct in appreciation of his military service.
From 1943 to 1945, Tony Curtis served in the submarine force during WWII. He was ranked 3rd class signalman and served in the Pacific Theatre.
He witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo from the signal bridge of his vessel. Upon his death, Curtis received honors from the flag and firing detail of the Local US Air force.
In 1967, Oliver Stone joined the US Army. Wanting to participate in combat himself, he made a special request and was wounded in action twice during the Vietnam War.
He was awarded a Bronze Star with a “V” device, and a Purple Heart with one Oak Leaf Cluster. His experiences in battle elevated Platoon to cinematic heights.
Izzy Demsky gave himself the name Kirk Douglas in 1941, right before he joined the navy, and shortly after the US entered WWII.
He served as a communication and gunnery officer in anti-submarine warfare. He was medically discharged after suffering injuries following the dropping of an accidental depth charge in 1944.
John Glenn was the first US astronaut to orbit the earth. Before that, he served as a backup pilot for Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom.
He joined the Project Mercury Astronaut Training in 1959 and served both in the marines and NASA. He then pursued a political career and won a senatorial seat out of Ohio.