President’s Day is a holiday that was made to honor our country’s past and present leaders, and their time as presidents of the United States. This year, we wanted to highlight little known facts about a handful of those presidents who have served in our nation’s military.
Did you know that 31 out of our 45 presidents have served in the military? We’re featuring just a few of those noble individuals, but you can find a full list of those who served here.
George Washington, Continental Army
The most notable of the past presidents, not only because he was the first U.S. president, but because he is the reason that President’s Day exists, Washington served and lead the Continental Army during the French and Indian War, as well as the American Revolution.
President Washington suffered from major dental problems in his twenties, which caused him to wear false teeth throughout his presidency. Contrary to popular belief, Washington’s teeth were made from elephant and walrus tusks, not wood.
Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. Army
The 19th president of the United States served in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War. During his time in the Army, Hayes was wounded in action and went on the rank of brevet major-general, entering Congress before becoming president.
He earned his law degree from Harvard University and married Lucy Ware Webb – the first presidential wife to graduate from college. He was also the first president ever to use a telephone, with the telephone number “1.”
Theodore Roosevelt, U.S. Army
Roosevelt served his country during the Spanish-American War shortly before becoming president in 1901. As the lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, he was said to be one of the most conspicuous heroes of war, later becoming Governor of New York.
Roosevelt was the youngest person to serve as president, entering his first term at just 43 years old. He is also the only president in the history of the United States to receive the Medal of Honor.
Harry S. Truman, U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve
Growing up as a farmer in the appropriately-named Independence, Missouri, Truman left for France during World War I where he served as a captain in the Field Artillery for the U.S. Army. Shortly after, he became active in the Democratic Party and later was elected judge of the Jackson County Court.
Mostly known for his order to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Truman was also known for his love of learning. He was legendary in hometown of Independence for reading every book in the library.
George H. W. Bush, U.S. Navy Reserve
The 41st president of the United States served in our nation’s military as a combat pilot during World War II. Enlisting in the military on his 18th birthday, Bush was the youngest pilot in the Navy to receive his wings. He was ultimately awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery in action.
As a pilot in the Navy, Bush flew 58 combat missions during World War II. While carrying out one of those missions, Bush’s plane was hit and set fire. Through this, Bush continued to fly towards his target, ultimately disabling it and finally, parachuting out of his plane.
Although we’ve just scratched the surface, we encourage everyone to take some time this President’s Day to explore the heritage of our nation’s leaders. If you would like to show your support for those who have served our country, you can do so by donating to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Do you have a fun fact about your favorite president? Leave us a comment on Facebook to let us know!