Scroll through to learn more about the showbiz figures who lend steady support to members of the military.
Along with dedicating 2013’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness” to post-9/11 servicemembers, Abrams has volunteered with vets in the Got Your 6 food program. Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures partnered with The Mission Continues to raise awareness and funds for vets, and since 2008 has donated holiday gifts to Fisher House, Operation Homefront and Camp Pendleton. Abrams says he and wife Katie McGrath are “proud” to help those “who sacrifice so much on behalf of our country.”
Amazon CEO, chairman, and president Bezos recently donated $10 million to the With Honor Fund, a nonpartisan super PAC that helps to get U.S. veterans elected to the House of Representatives. His $2 billion Day One Fund helps to end homelessness for families which include service members, and in 2016, Bezos made a pledge through the White House’s Joining Forces initiative to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.
People Picture/Willi Schneider/R
From 1968’s anti-war “Fortunate Son” to 2017’s “Love and War,” which tackled mistreatment of military veterans, Fogerty’s career has been entangled with support for soldiers — if not conflicts. The CCR founder avoided being drafted into Vietnam by signing up with the Army Reserve. He’s since performed frequently before and at benefits for veterans, including 2001’s American Thunder Music Festival (benefitting the Bob Woodruff Foundation) and 2014’s Salute the Troops White House event.
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Country music’s powerhouse couple has a long history of supporting veterans and families through special concerts for and appearances at events for such nonprofits as Folds of Honor and Country United, and donations to the Navy-Marine Relief Society. For the past several years, McGraw — who counts vets among his family and friends — has also collaborated with Chase Bank and Operation Homefront to provide more than 100 mortgage-free homes to military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The “Avengers” actor’s work with the USO includes a 2016 tour with co-star Chris Evans. “It is my great honor and privilege to stand united with the brave men and women of the armed forces who risk their lives on a daily basis,” she says. “I pledge to continue to wholeheartedly support them through times of peace and times of unrest, because they make the ultimate sacrifice so that my family and I stay safe.”
Box-office mega-star Johnson, who has military family ties stretching with the Navy SEALS to the Vietnam War, continues to flex his charitable muscles, lending support to the U.S. Armed Forces with his popular Rock the Troops event, as well as his partnership with Under Armour, which helps to benefit service members. Johnson helped to craft a positive cinematic image of the U.S. Army with his role in the blockbuster action film “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”
The country singer-songwriter has a long history of providing support to troops both in the U.S. and abroad. Since 2002, he has been a staple of USO tours in 17 countries, and has been honored with the Spirit of the USO Award in recognition of his dedication. Keith has also received the Johnny “Mike” Spann Semper Fidelis Award from the Marine Corps and Distinguished Service Award from the Military Officers Assn. of America.
Tommy Thayer, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Paul Stanley (KISS)
“Support our veterans” is a rallying cry for the legendary rockers: During their 2016 Freedom to Rock tour, vets served as “roadie for a day” in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative; the band also engages regularly with the Wounded Warriors Project and the USO. Heck, their fans are known as the KISS Army. “Working with veterans has been one of the most important parts of KISS,” says Paul Stanley.
The veteran actor (“Avatar”) has been touring the country with his one-man show “Beyond Glory” since 2003, portraying eight Medal of Honor recipients from WWII, Vietnam and the Korean War. Thus far, Lang has performed his “tour de force” for audiences, many of which are filled with members of the military and veterans, about 500 times. “This country is so fragmented, so splintered, and I wanted to do something that we can all agree on, I wanted to create some common ground,” says Lang of the show. “The themes of courage, humility, fortitude and service are not American themes — they are human themes. ‘Beyond Glory’ is a pathway to hope.”
An outspoken writer and “The View” co-host, McCain, the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, has found her strongest voice in supporting her father’s legacy as a former Vietnam POW and champion of military and veterans’ rights. She’s helped vets in the Got Your 6 program, written a 2008 children’s book, “My Dad, John McCain,” that focuses on his service days and presidential bid, and gave a pointed eulogy at his September funeral.
Oscar-winning actor McConaughey finds time in his busy schedule to help out the U.S. armed forces. In 2017 he took part in the Red River Charity Softball Game in Texas that benefited the Lone Survivor Foundation, and he recently appeared in a Memorial Day-timed, History channel PSA which encouraged American citizens to support the military through a variety of methods. His visits to Fort Hood, Texas, have also helped to boost morale for troops.
Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque
WWE CEO Vince McMahon and chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon have long championed various military causes, with Stephanie having joined the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) at Arlington National Cemetery for the annual Veterans Day ceremony. Vince attended military school before turning professional wrestling into a worldwide success. The WWE holds the yearly Tribute for the Troops event, and its partnership with Hire Heroes USA has helped to secure job opportunities for veterans.
The former “SNL” head writer and current host of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” has served as master of ceremonies at annual benefits for the Headstrong Project, a nonprofit that helps provide mental health treatment for post 9/11 veterans. Meyers is a longtime friend of the project’s founder, Zach Iscol, himself a veteran who saw how his fellow former military personnel lacked help for psychological trauma.
Television actress Milano, who toured with the USO in 2003, says of her military support, “I am so happy and honored to be included in this. I have so much respect for members of the military and their families who sacrifice so much for this country. These men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line, as well as the loved ones of those who do, are forever owed our gratitude and support.”
James L. Nederlander
The president of the legendary Nederlander theatrical organization, Nederlander is also a trustee of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a nonprofit educational institution aboard the famed aircraft carrier Intrepid, which sees more than 1 million visitors per year. He recently co-chaired the Freedom 2018 Gala, which honored the life and work of Sen. John McCain and the Fisher Family, and has supported the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation.
Joe Russo/imageSPACE/Sipa USA
Former CBS News chief White House correspondent and current “CBS This Morning” co-anchor O’Donnell won a 2018 Emmy for her report that exposed a sexual-abuse scandal within the U.S. Air Force. “These are issues I know well. We wanted to find out why this happened, and by shining a light, we were able to enact change,” she says. She’s a self-described Army brat, whose father served for 30 years after being drafted during the Vietnam War.
For the Emmy-winning host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” support for military service begins at home: his wife, Kate Norley, is a U.S. Army combat medic who counseled soldiers suffering from war-induced mental trauma in Baghdad, Iraq, and then as a mental health specialist at Fort Hood, Texas. The couple, who met at the Republican National Convention in 2008 and were married in 2011, have also toured Afghanistan with the USO.
The Grammy-nominated singer and actress has expressed her support for military personnel on several occasions, most notably in the music video for her 2012 single “Part of Me,” for which she trained with the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton to portray a young woman who enters the military to get over heartbreak. Perry has also advocated for military-oriented nonprofits including Veterans Matter and the Wounded Warrior Project.
President and CEO of U.S. Vets, Peck is a premier leader in the national effort to eradicate homelessness among American veterans. “I never expected to be doing what I’m doing now, and I do this job with all of my heart,” he says. Peck served as a lieutenant in the 1st Marine Division in the Vietnam War, and that, he says, gives him “credibility with those I meet on the street who most need help.”
Brian L. Roberts
The chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., Roberts has long understood that military veterans and reservists develop skills during their service that can be of great benefit to employers. In 2010, Comcast NBCUniversal honored those talents by sponsoring Hiring Our Heroes, a campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to aid veterans and military spouses in finding employment. Since then the corporation has hired more than 15,000 members of the military.
A familiar face to American armed forces personnel around the world for more than a decade, the singer-songwriter and rapper has paid tribute to their sacrifices through work with Operation Homefront and Operation Troop Aid, with such songs as “Born Free” and “Highway of Heroes” (with the Trews), and through numerous tours with the USO. For these efforts, he was honored with Operation Troop Aid’s Patriot Award in 2014.
An Air Force veteran who segued into journalism after his discharge, 36-time Emmy winner Scarborough has always kept military and veterans in his sights. He recalls taking a skeptical veteran to visit the Vietnam Memorial and seeing the man’s attitude shift to gratitude. “I don’t know how many veterans I’ve helped by telling their stories,” he says in an email, “but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to help that one.”
Olympic medalist and Grand Slam tennis player Sharapova may be from Russia, but as a U.S. resident she donates frequently to Wish for Our Heroes, and works closely with the organization, whose goal is to grant one wish for each military member on duty, making it the Make a Wish Foundation for active military members and their families.
Smith may be best known for producing “The Blind Side” and “La La Land,” but her Black Label Media (with partners Thad and Trent Luckinbill) has championed military films, including the recent post-9/11 Afghanistan anti-terror “12 Strong.” Plus, her father — FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith — is a decorated Marine officer and Vietnam vet. “We’re inspired by service men and women, and the jobs they do on an everyday basis,” she says.
Iconic rock ‘n’ roller Springsteen was drafted at 18 to serve in Vietnam, but was eventually deemed unfit for duty, and has long supported the American military and veterans issues through a number of causes; he has also performed concerts for Vietnam veterans. His involvement throughout the years with Stand Up for Heroes has helped to raise not only money but emotional support for troops and families, with auction proceeds totaling nearly a million dollars.
Douliery Olivier/Sipa USA USA
Comedian, filmmaker, and former “The Daily Show” host Stewart has long been active with charitable work with the armed forces. He’s headlining this year’s New York Comedy Festival Stand Up for Heroes Event. In 2015, he created a program that centers on finding jobs for veterans within the television industry. His USO tour of Afghanistan in 2011 was a major morale booster for troops, and Stewart has also hosted West Point’s Warrior Games.
CNN’s chief Washington correspondent as well as, host of television programs “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and “State of the Union,” combat life for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in his book, “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.” It’s now getting the big-screen treatment. “My hope is that audiences will become inspired by what they see, and much more aware of the sacrifices that were made during this event.”
Wahlberg, whose father was a veteran of the Korean War, is a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, appearing in the group’s direct-response TV commercials. He received the foundation’s James Gandolfini Award in 2015, which recognized his work with military veterans and their families. Wahlberg also played U.S. Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell in the Afghanistan-set war picture “Lone Survivor,” and has long history of charitable efforts within the armed forces.
Educated at Oakland Military Academy in New York, Washington has donned uniforms in a number of films since, including his breakthrough in 1984’s “A Soldier’s Story” and 1989’s “Glory,” for which he won his first Academy Award. In 2004, Washington visited Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he presented medals to wounded Army soldiers; later, after a tour of the fort’s Fisher House “comfort home” facilities, he contributed a sizable donation.
The country music superstar’s support for military personnel and their families has included USO tours in Iraq and Kuwait and performances at bases throughout the United States, as well as an invitation-only concert for military families aboard the Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Vista. Underwood also co-wrote and performed the song “Keep Us Safe” at the Academy of Country Music special “ACM Presents an All-Star Salute to the Troops.”
Jim H. Webb, Jr.
Webb’s life overflows with service: a decorated Vietnam combat Marine, he served as assistant secretary of defense, secretary of the Navy and Virginia senator; was the guiding light behind the post-9/11 GI Bill, and co-authored legislation exposing fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan wartime-supported contracts. He’s authored six bestselling novels, including the Vietnam-era “Fields of Fire” and authored the 2000 box office hit “Rules of Engagement.”