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The First and Only Honorary Veteran of the Armed Forces

December 24, 2014


With his self-deprecating humor and ski slope profile, legendary entertainer, actor, comedian and philanthropist Bob Hope bought joy and laughter to troops stationed around the world. Hope performed his first USO Show at California’s March Field, on May 6, 1941 and for the next 63 years, with his caravan of stars, Hope entertained millions of troops and their families.

Throughout his long and extensive career Bob Hope came to represent home for many if not all of the troops, and for an hour or so, American service personnel were visited by an old friend and comrade. His signature shows included comedians, singers, actors and actresses, and led the way for celebrities of every kind to commit to giving their time and talent to lift the spirit of American military personnel.

In October 1997, in honor of Bob Hope and his extensive humanitarian work, the members of both houses unanimously passed Resolution 75 making Bob Hope an Honorary Veteran. Hope was the first and to date the only individual so honored in the history of the United States.

“Today I signed into law H.J. Res. 75, which confers upon Bob Hope the status of honorary veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and extends to him the gratitude of the American people for his lifetime of accomplishments and service on behalf of our men and women in uniform.

Bob Hope is a great American whose life has defined patriotism and service. In times of war and peace, good times and bad, he entertained our troops and brought to them a familiar and comforting sense of home while they defended our nation’s interests around the world. Bob Hope richly deserves this unique honor and I am proud to be able to sign this measure into law.” 

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From → History

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