We Salute Our American Veterans

Featured Geek Culture People


Every year on Veterans Day in the U.S., we on GeekDad and GeekMom like to take a moment to remember our American veterans. We ordinarily deal with far less serious matters, but as most of us are American, we feel it is 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 several contributors who are themselves veterans). 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 and GeekMom 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!

Please also see Patricia Vollmer’s excellent post from this morning with videos of veterans returning home following a deployment.

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

Geek Celebrities (in alphabetical order)

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)

Rondo Hatton (Army, “Mexican Expedition” and WWI)

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)

Ed Wood (Marines in WWII, was in the Battle of Tarawa)

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

Harold Bair, Jenny Bristol’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)

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)

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

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

Alvin Fox, Patricia Vollmer’s grandfather (Army in WWII)

Timothy Fox, Patricia Vollmer’s father (US Navy, 1965-1998)

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

Charles F. Hart, Lisa Tate’s father (Air Force 1958-1962)

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)

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)

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

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

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

Elmer Slavey, Randy Slavey’s grandfather (Army in WWII)

Elmer Slavey (junior), Randy Slavey’s paternal uncle (MISTY fighter pilot in Vietnam)

Richard Tate, Lisa Tate’s husband (Army 1985-1989)

Jerry Tolbert, M.D., Gerry Tolbert’s father (Army, 2001-present)

Dave Vollmer, Patricia Vollmer’s husband (USAF, 1996-present)

Patricia Vollmer, herself (USAF Reserves, 1995 – present)

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

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