Army Veteran Mel Brooks is today's Veteran of the Day.

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:

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

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.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Writer: Gabriella Stockett

Editor: Elissa Tatum

Fact checker: L. Rebeca Ahring

Graphic artist: Sarah Kowalewski

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Published on Jun. 28, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 413


  1. Kenneth C. McKenna June 30, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for your service Sir.

  2. Lynne Burt-Jenkins June 29, 2021 at 2:50 pm

    Love to learn about the service of American men and women. As a Brooklyn girl myself, I appreciate what Mel’s early life must have been like. Things have changed a lot since he was 21 (me, too!) but bravery, a sense of duty and service of this kind is a monument to what it means to be an American, and a testimony to how much ALL Americans have given to this country, no matter where their ancestors came from. Love you, Mel!

    And thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

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