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Elvis' Army Stint: A Job Well Done (With So Much Too Lose)

Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:39 pm

One of the things about Elvis that has always impressed me was his Army service. I've heard it said that he "hated" having to be in the Army- if that was true then it's even more impressive. I know some could argue that it was a mandatory thing (after all he was drafted!) and that the Colonel used the event to "mold" Elvis (into what?)- and that's all true. But here's my point- Elvis did an outstanding job. For a young man who had acheived so much at that point in his career- and had so much to lose- he displayed a lot of personal character and grit. By all accounts, Elvis was well liked by his fellow G.I.'s. He was "one of the boys." So many celebrities would have tried to get out of the service if they could have- or have joined the U.S.O. I personally believe that Elvis sensed that despite who he was at that time- he still was an American and he did was was "expected" of young men at that time. Elvis' Army stint was a job well done. What do you think? Can you think of another time in Elvis' life when he did something like this (where he had so much to lose?). Also, do you think the Army changed Elvis in a negative way? Remember when John Lennon commented something to the effect that Elvis' career was killed by the Army- meaning that he was no longer the rocker that he had been. What say you all?


Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:01 pm

Personally Elvis doesn't get enough credit for his two year stint in the army. I thought he handled the situation great and did his country proud. He came out of the army a much more mature person and musically he switched his focus a bit so that he appealed to all the ages which served him much better in the long run and increased his popularity. As far as John Lennon's comments, who cares? I'm sure Elvis didn't.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 6:34 pm

The photo here is appropriate don't you think?

My proposal for a statue of Sergeant Elvis Presley made it into the, "Stars and Stripes", US Army newspaper 16th August 2002.

Graceland staff (Curators) liked the Idea but as usual nothing happened. Even 'tho' Jack Soden wrote to say what a good idea the statue of, "Elvis at 13", in Tupelo, was!!!

Meanwhile an Irish Times journalist (a huge fan of McCartney) is interested iin doing a little piece on Michiel Van der Sommen's lecture at the Dublin Central Library, Ireland, 18th June 2003-free and open to all:-)

Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:39 pm

So much one of the boys :!:

How many other soldiers drag their mommys and daddys to live by him near the training base?

How many other conscripts spent their overseas postings in their own home with daddy and grandma?

It is well documented that Elvis detested the army.

He hardly spent any time at reunions etc

He has a very cushy army number - and well protected from potential harm as not to upset the Pentagon PR factory.

Acting as a driver for an officer is about as easy as any work a grunt can do.


Sun Jun 08, 2003 8:49 pm

How do you think Lennon would have done in the service? I am quite sure he would have been a draft dodger. So what should Elvis have done differently Kiwi? Anyone can live off base if they have the money to. Also due to Elvis' status he could not be a normal soldier, I feel quite good in how he represented hisself on this occasion.
You know Kiwi just once I would like to see you come out and defend the man rather than sit and wait on an oportunity to undercut him. Whats wrong with you man? There are many times in Elvis career that I have not been proud of but on the whole he was quite exceptional, hence the reason we are at this message board 25 years after his death. Why are you here? Are you Goldmans illegitimate son or something?


Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:00 pm

Well said Blue-Gypsy, Kiwi is simply Goldman's clone.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:32 pm

What on earth has John Lennon got to do with Elvis's conscription?

Talk about a Liverpool herring.

To pretend that every aspect of Elvis life was beyond reproach and not subject to critical opinion is that of a star-crossed lover.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Elvis' contributuion to the US Army was any more than that of any other soldier. His wealth and fame gave him a far easier ride.

Is it the norm for US non officers to live off base? In Germany during the cold war?

Lets not continue to elevate Elvis to sainthood - let his talent stand alone.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:40 pm

I do think Elvis did his country proud. Elvis and his family got special permission from the U.S. Army to live off base. The Army must have thought it to be in everybody's best interest to allow this.

No matter where he lived, he still did his job as a soldier and served his country.


Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:43 pm

During Elvis Presley's Army hitch, he accomplished...

two #1 hit Extended-Plays (King Creole Vol 1 & 2)

and a #1 hit Single (Big Hunk O Love)

and five other Top 5 Hits
(Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
Hard Headed Woman
I Need Your Love Tonight
One Night
A Fool Such As I

plus he earned his firs two Grammy nominations
(A Fool Such As I and A Big Hunk O Love) d

This is undeniable proof Elvis did not die went he went into the Army.

He and his loyal fans were ever-present in the world of music!

Lennon is ingorant to say that he died.

Elvis did not die when he went in the Army.
But Lennon died when one of his one loyal fans shot him in the back five times.
Last edited by Graceland Gardener on Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 10:50 pm

Nobody ever said his army stint was anymore then that of any other soldier. His wealth and fame did not give him a free ride since he was always under scrutiny. If anything in certain areas it was a negative. As far as Elvis be beyond reproach, that's certainly not true. Name me a superstar that's put up with more negative press since he first arrived on the scene than Elvis. Kiwi you talk about Elvis like he was a piece of sh*t or something. The only person he ever hurt his whole life was himself.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:12 pm

Just curious to know whether or not Elvis' army stint had any bearing on the achievement of
becoming one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Men In America" in January 1971?

Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:34 pm

Forgive me for forgetting that Elvis was the most perfect human speciman ever created.

And as such one must never express a negative opinion.

Funny enough I watched the John Hurt 1884 movie yesterday.

It is still my opinion that Elvis had the softest ride any conscript could have in the US Army in 1958.

His army career was not extraordinary.


But let's not try to make him some kind of SUPER SOLDIER. He just did his job, perod, no more and no less like hundreds of thousands of others in many countries at the time - including me.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:45 pm

Kiwi, is not the brightest spark on this message board. Putting his words into other peoples posts is a sure sign of impotent arguement.

Elvis shivered along with the rest and was just as homesick. His Mother died dont forget! Kiwi-Elvis bore it like a man. So he had a few perks-so what so did the officers!

Kiwi,Your whimpering is unbecoming. Now please depart on the double to your Fox hole before Brer rabbit comes along.

Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:49 pm

elvis took his army stint on the chin like a true man.
as for lennon he was a pussy who got pushed about by some jap bird.

mark chapman was a good shot

have you ever tried to get 5 bullets in a beatle. lol. :D


Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:04 am

I am not so sure about those comments....You might be getting carried away my friend. Losing Lennon like we did was a tragedy and I bet you are going to get some heat over the word Jap.

C'mon now

Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:08 am

hey just a bit off fun no harm intended lennon was ok. :wink:

Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:21 am

Yes Alan why are you here? you're a joke to be called a fan. You're worse than any misspelled words by Curtis. So as Tom usually tells me, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it most likely is. So go be a fan of Elvis' somewhere else. your phoniness reeks. and im sure ill hear the usual "u just pick on Alan all the time" from the regulars.. oh?? well whats the excuse for the rest on this thread who smell a bad joke when they see it.

Elvis did NOT take the easy road in The Army.

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:38 am

Elvis certainly could have had a very, very "cushy" service, but ............. the bottom line is - he (wisely and honorably) did his time just like any regular conscript (in as much as it was at all possible given his fame).

He also earned the respect of many as a result - then & now. Nothing anyone says can ever change that F-A-C-T.

Don't forget, it was also a very difficult time for Elvis to BOTH loss his mother and be shipped halfway across the world right after that. A definite turning point in Elvis' personal life and career. It could have been a swan song / act for any lesser talent. Not only did he do it, but he also did it all while under the microscope and lights of the media.

Any attempt to belittle or take away the significance of Elvis' time in the service ............. is simply petty, uncalled for, trivial axe-grinding against Elvis. If anything, it reveals a lot about the person doing it.

... just a fan ....

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:44 am

I feel this is a little bit ridiculous to accuse someone is not a fan becuase has different opinions than the others. I don't know if Elvis had differnet treatment becuase he was Elvis. But I dont see him like a hero in the Army.

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:56 am

Francesc wrote:I feel this is a little bit ridiculous to accuse someone is not a fan becuase has different opinions than the others. I don't know if Elvis had differnet treatment becuase he was Elvis. But I dont see him like a hero in the Army.

At this very moment, you are expressing a different "opinion" .......... nobody is saying you are NOT a fan.

It is important to consider the "history" of the person uttering the remarks. In this case, I suspect "Kiwi" looks upon Elvis' service (in comparison to his own) with just a "wee-wee" bit of envy. Let's face it, Elvis served like any other "Joe", but he certainly was anything BUT a "common Joe."

Where is the axe-grinding coming from ...... ? ....... from the fact that Elvis gets so much CREDIT for doing no more than millions of others have done and continue to do. Like I said, "petty."

That's just my O-P-I-N-I-O-N, mind you.


Kiwi's remarks:

"It is still my opinion that Elvis had the softest ride any conscript could have in the US Army in 1958.

His army career was not extraordinary.


But let's not try to make him some kind of SUPER SOLDIER."

Irregardless of just how "soft" one imagines Elvis' stint to have been (I don't feel that it was), ............. I think that it could have been much much softer had he wanted it to be.

I agree, there is nothing wrong with a mediocre stint in the Armed Forces. Anybody who serves their own country honorably when called to do so is - in a sense - a "hero" in my book.

I don't think anyone expected Elvis to win "The Congressional Medal of Honor" .......... sheesh ...............

...just a fan....
Last edited by N880EP on Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:56 am

Francesc wrote:I feel this is a little bit ridiculous to accuse someone is not a fan becuase has different opinions than the others. I don't know if Elvis had differnet treatment becuase he was Elvis. But I dont see him like a hero in the Army.

That's true,but Alan's comments are like those of the anti Elvis brigade,I don't think anybody thinks Elvis was a hero for his Army stint,any one of his fellow GI's could have done what he did (live off base with family) had they had the money to do so.he still did his bit and did it well IMO.


Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:57 am

Elvis was no more a hero than anyone else, and I can not find one post that claims that. What was said was that he could have put hisself in a lot easier position but he instead chose to fill a regular role as a GI. As regular as one could possibly fill with the fame and attention that comes with being an international superstar.
That being said I wish someone would point out one superstar that has encountered the same dilema and filled that role any better than Elvis. After pondering that last point maybe some of the detractors as we shall call them will realize how huge it was for Elvis to do what he did in the manner he did it.
Hero? No, I will save that stigma for the men and women who put theirselves in harms way for a better purpose.
A fine young man trying to do the right thing? You damn straight!


Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:29 am

Elvis was a hero in everything he did. That's all there is to it. Case closed.



Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:34 am

Okay then Elvis was the best soldier that Unlce Sam ever had.

He roughed it in barracks with 40 other sweaty grunts.

Driving an officer around all day would tax the most able-bodied person.

He did more than his duty.

I am jealous that he spent close to two years as a conscript and I spent the NZ norm of 14 weeks.


Mon Jun 09, 2003 5:53 am

Have you read anything I wrote? I am starting to think you got a problem son. I will not worry about your responses anymore because you obviously have a cognition problem. If you would like to debate then do exactly as I have done and address sentences in my post.


I am through with your idiotic posts and I would advise everyone else to do the same. Except of course the members of your fan-club....