19 TV Characters Who Have Served Their Country: A Memorial Day Montage

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Memorial Day is an occasion for time at the beach, meals from the barbecue - and a few moments of silence for those who have given their lives in battle.

And while we'd never compare the fictional exploits of characters on television to the real world heroism of men and women in the military... the small screen is filled with a variety of veterans.

Many of these former armed service members use skills honed from years of training and fighting to apprehend bad guys in a different setting, from Los Angeles to Hawaii to D.C.

Some are vampires. Which would serve them well on the front lines, really.

So in honor of Memorial Day, we salute the following 17 TV characters, all of whom have proudly served their country. Click around and pay your respects now:

Leroy Jethro Gibbs
This NCIS team leader is a veteran of Desert Storm action in Iraq. He was a gunnery sergeant in the Marines. We thank him for his service.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I'd like to see a featured article on actors that actually served in the military...perhaps one could be done for Veterans Day...

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Wished Jay Halstead and Alvin Olinsky from Chicago PD made the list.

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Mark Harmon is an actor, who has worked continously from high school through college, where he played varsity football for UCLA, and has never served personally in the military, nor did his sons, although his oldest has been in 4 episodes as a young Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

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@ klimville

The article is talking about the character he plays on the TV show, not the actor in real life.

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Saw all 19, what about Gary Sinese/Mac Taylor, CSI-NY, a former Marine who is now an actual honorary Marine? Or Michelle Borth, Lt Catherine Rollins, on Hawaii Five-O...or...as Maj Rebecca Gordon on Combat Hospital in 2011? Or Tom Selleck as Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV on Magnum p.i., a former USNA grad as a former Navy SEAL in Viet Nam -- or his "landlord" Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman) an ex-British Army Sergeant Major, or the rest of the cast as Magnum's Viet Nam buddies?

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Not only did he serve on the show but Mark did in real life too as did both of his sons

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@ Michael

no they didn't. Wish people would stop writing fantasy here. MH never served, but his father did. His sons have not served either, his oldest has graduated college and his youngest is finishing college. WE've met Sean he's played young LJ as a young marine on NCIS. Ty Christian, hasn't done any acting , to my knowledge, yet. None of them have served, but that's not the point of the article. It's characters who've served.

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