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A Veteran’s Day Salute to Rockers Who Served Their Country

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images

To all of the brave men and women who have served our great country, The Hawk salutes you.  In celebration of Veteran’s Day, here are the Top 5 Hard Rock Vets.

1.  Jimi Hendrix – Before Jimi became the greatest guitar player of all time, he served as a paratrooper in the Army’s famous 101st Airborne.  According to his superiors, James Marshall Hendrix wasn’t particularly suited for military life.  One officer noted that he was more interested in “playing his guitar” than being a soldier.  Jimi received an honorable discharge in 1962 after injuring himself in a parachute jump.

2.  Jerry Garcia – Another counter culture icon who served in the military before inspiring the peace movement of the late 60’s was Grateful Dead leader Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia.  Like Hendrix, Jerry wasn’t cut out for the Army.  After going AWOL on several occasions, he received a dishonorable discharge.

3.  John Fogerty – Like his famous Creedence Clearwater Revival song suggests, Fogerty was not a “fortunate son”.  In fact, he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War.  He was able to avoid deployment by registering in the Army Reserve and later had a short stint in the United States Coast Guard.

4.  Axl Rose – The subject of Axl’s military career is shrouded in controversy.  According to some sources, Axl served in the Army and was stationed in Germany in the early 1980s.  Other sources have disputed that claim.  While Axl has never addressed the issue publicly, he is known to have a tattoo of the 32nd Armory Regiment Crest on his forearm.

5.  Frank Cavanaugh – Unlike other rockers who rose to fame after their military service, this guy did it the other way around.  In the 90’s, Cavanaugh was the bass player for the band Filter.  After scoring a huge hit with the song “Hey Man, Nice Shot”, he left the band and enlisted in the Army.  He’s now a Sergeant in the 27 Delta division and is the third generation of his family to serve our country.

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