On his 95th birthday, today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Mel Brooks, who served during World War II and became an actor, comedian and director.
Mel Brooks, born in Brooklyn as Melvin Kaminsky in 1926, had dreams of working in showbusiness from a young age. After graduating from Eastern District High School, he attended Brooklyn College as a psychology major for a year before the Army drafted him in 1944. He went to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) as part of the Army Specialized Training Program, where he studied military engineering and other topics. He completed basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Brooks joined the Army as a combat engineer. He served as a corporal with the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, 78th Infantry Division and defused land mines as the Allies advanced into Germany.
Following his service, Brooks went on to have a hugely successful film career as an actor, director, writer, comedian and producer. His most famous works include “Blazing Saddles,” “The Producers” and “Young Frankenstein,” among others. Brooks is one of the few people to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award.
Thank you for your service!
Listen to Mel Brooks and Air Force Veteran Adrian Cronauer on this special Borne the Battle episode:
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
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Fact checker: L. Rebeca Ahring