GeekDad Salutes Our American Veterans

Geek Culture People


We’d like to take a moment to commemorate Veterans Day in the U.S. We ordinarily deal with far less serious matters, but as most of us are American, we felt it was important that we remember all those who have given part of their lives in service to their country’s military.

While we are grateful to all those who have served, we would like to specifically mention some who are particularly important to us. These include well-known geek celebrities (that is, people whom geeks consider celebrities — not necessarily people who are/were geeks themselves) of all sorts, and also family members of ours (and the one GeekDad contributor who is herself a veteran). It is almost certain that we have missed people who should have been on the list; if you are aware of any, please let us know with a comment. Also, if there are members of your own family (or you yourself) whose service you would like to mention, please leave a comment about them.

We American GeekDad writers would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who have served or are serving now in our country’s armed forces. Please join us: thank a veteran today!

Geek Celebrities (in alphabetical order)

Robert Heinlein, L. Sprague de Camp, and Isaac Asimov (l-r) at Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1944 (Photo is in public domain)

Isaac Asimov (served nine months in the Army just after WWII)

Robert Asprin (Army in Vietnam, 1965-6)

Hal Clement (Harry Stubbs) (flew 35 combat missions in a B-24 over Europe in WWII)

Myke Cole (three tours in Iraq)

L. Sprague de Camp (Navy, Lt. Commander, served in WWII at Philadelphia Navy Yard with then-civilians Heinlein and Asimov)

Steve Ditko (Army in post-WWII Germany, drew comics for an Army newspaper)

David Drake (Army in Vietnam)

Harlan Ellison (Army, 1957-9)

Theodore Geisel (Army Air Force, WWII – GeekMom Jenny’s grandfather served with him)

Joe Haldeman (combat engineer, Army in Vietnam)

Robert Heinlein (served in Navy from 1929-34)

Frank Herbert (Navy Seabees as a photographer in WWII for six months)

James Earl Jones (Army, Ranger, 1953 – 55)

Robert Jordan (James Oliver Rigney, Jr.) (two tours in Army in Vietnam 1968-70)

DeForest Kelley (Army Air Corps/Force in WWII, 1943-6)

Jack Kirby (WWII, service in Europe after D-Day)

Keith Laumer (Army in WWII, Air Force 1953-6 and 1960-5)

Stan Lee (WWII stateside service from 1942-45, Signal Corps)

Tom Lehrer (Army, 1955-7, achieving the rank of Specialist Third Class: “Corporal without portfolio”)

Mark Lenard (Army during WWII, 1943-6)

Elizabeth Moon (Marines, 1968-71)

Leonard Nimoy (Army, Sgt., 1953-5)

Edgar Allan Poe (Army, 1827-9)

Fred Pohl (served about 2.5 years in the Army from 1943-5, stationed primarily in Italy)

John Ringo (four years active duty in the Army)

Gene Roddenberry (Army Air Corps/Force in WWII, 1941-5; flew 89 combat missions in the Pacific Theatre)

Kurt Vonnegut (turned POW experience of Dresden firebombing into antiwar sci-fi classic)

Gene Wolfe (Army in Korean War)

GeekDad Editors’ & Contributors’ Family Members (also in alphabetical order)

Harold Bair, Jenny Williams’s maternal grandfather (Army Air Force in WWII 1941-1945)

Jim Banks, Dave Banks’s paternal uncle (Navy in Vietnam)

Louis A. Banks, Dave Banks’s paternal grandfather (Navy in WWII)

Tom Banks, Dave Banks’s father (Navy in Vietnam)

Harry Blacker, Curtis Silver’s maternal grandfather (Marines in WWII)

Irwin Blum, Matt Blum’s paternal grandfather (Navy in WWII)

Richard E. Booth, John Booth’s father (Air Force, from 1968-72)

John Charow, Corrina Lawson’s maternal grandfather (WWII veteran, served in the Italian campaign)

Harry Chew, Dave Banks’s maternal grandfather (Army in WWII)

Sergeant Jason Cohen, Doug Cornelius’s brother (currently serving in Marines)

Roy Cornelius, Doug Cornelius’s father (Navy)

Jerome Czisny, Chuck Lawton’s maternal grandfather (Navy in WWII)

Ned Denmead, Ken Denmead’s paternal grandfather (Army Air Corps in WWII)

James Ferrell, Dave Banks’s father-in-law (Army in Korea)

Roger Garrison, Jenny Williams’s paternal grandfather (Army Air Force in WWII 1941-1945 – Worked in Hollywood with Theodore Geisel writing propaganda for the war effort)

Don Hughes, Jim MacQuarrie’s brother (Navy, on the USS Constellation in the mid-1980s)

Joseph Hughes, Jim MacQuarrie’s father (Army paratrooper in Korea, 82nd Airborne)

Cliff Joseph, Matt Blum’s wife’s paternal grandfather (Marines in WWII)

Pat Kolinsky, Matt Forbeck’s father-in-law (Air Force, from 1957–1960)

Joshua LaCasse, Corrina Lawson’s nephew (Vermont Army National Guard in Afghanistan)

Corrina Lawson, herself (Coast Guard, from 1983-85)

Gilbert Richard Lawson, Corrina Lawson’s paternal grandfather (WWII veteran, served in the Italian campaign)

Roger Gordon Lawson, Corrina Lawson’s father (Navy from 1962-1966)

Tom Lawton, Chuck Lawton’s paternal uncle (Marines in Vietnam)

Hazel Levy, Matt Blum’s paternal great-aunt (WAVES in WWII)

Joy Liu, Jonathan Liu’s sister-in-law (Navy in Middle East)

Terry Mann, Curtis Silver’s cousin (currently serving in Army)

Bob Musetti, Ken Denmead’s father-in-law (Navy in Vietnam)

Ken Silver, Curtis Silver’s father (Navy in Vietnam, 1968-72)

Martin Silver, Curtis Silver’s grandfather (Navy in WWII)

James H. Wecks, Erik Wecks’s grandfather (Navy in WWII)

Richard J. Wecks, Erik Wecks’s father (Army radio teletype operator in Vietnam, 1967-1968)

Jay F. Wisman, Erik Wecks’s father-in-law (Army Counter Intelligence in Berlin, 1963)

Photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany DeNault; released under CC BY 2.0

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