Hugely popular actor, producer, screenwriter, and comedian, Vince Vaughn is generally cited as one of the most successful men in Hollywood. Famed for his early starring roles in universally adored comedies such as ‘Dodgeball’ and ‘Wedding Crashers’, it’s no surprise that Vaughn’s fans are as eager to learn more about his personal life than ever before.
Vince Vaughn was never in the military, although he is a three-time USO veteran – the USO is a charity that offers live entertainment to members of the military. Vaughn first became involved with the USO after a friend of his was killed in Afghanistan during active service.
When it comes to his contribution to the USO, Vaughn is a seasoned veteran who has repeatedly done his bit for the troops. Talking about his respect for those in the military, he once said: “I’m always appreciative of the troops and all the sacrifices that are made, and it’s always been important to me to express that.”
Contributions to the USO
In addition to the shocking news of his friend that was tragically killed, Vaughn’s strong bond to the military also stems from the fact that a number of his relatives also served at one stage.
Vaughn has been involved with the USO since the early 2000s. Upon the release of ‘Dodgeball’, Vaughn decided to call the USO “out of nowhere” to see if they’d be interested in screening the comedy for members of the military to see.
As well as sharing the movie with those in the military, Vaughn actually travelled to countries such as Irag, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and “some other places I can’t pronounce” to show the film in person.
Proving to be a resounding success, Vaughn went on to do the same with his movie ‘Wedding Crashers’ (2006) and an advanced screening of ‘Unfinished Business’ (2015). In light of these experiences, Vaughn said: “I’d love to get a chance to go back overseas… Hopefully, we can get everybody home here sooner than later.”
Vaughn’s charitable exploits and high regard for the military were recently awarded when the actor received the United States Army Meritorious Public Service Medal – which is the third-highest civilian honour.
Part of the reason Vaughn received this honour was because of the supporting role he played the film ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, which saw him retell the stories of the soldiers’ of the past.
Much like his earlier works, Vaughn also arranged a screening of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. 900 services members were in attendance and Vaughn was joined by actor, Luke Bracey, and film director, Mel Gibson.
At the screening, Vaughn said: “I’ve had the opportunity to go on a few different USO tours and I’ve always supported the men and women of the military”.
As commendable and respected as Vaughn’s support for the troops is, it’s worth taking a look back at how the Hollywood heavyweight rose to greatness and achieved the status needed to become a USO veteran.
How Did Vince Vaughn Become Famous?
Born in Minnesota in 1970, Vaughn had a fairly unextraordinary upbringing and attended high school until he suddenly decided to become an actor in 1987.
Almost immediately, Vaughn landed a role in a television advert for Chevrolet and then made the big decision to pursue a professional career in Los Angeles. Getting a series of minor roles in TV shows such as ‘China Beach’, Vaughn eventually landed his first big-screen role as Jamie O’Hare in the film ‘Rudy’ (1993).
Ultimately, however, it was his burgeoning friendship with fellow actor and entertainer, Jon Favreau – who he met while filming ‘Rudy’ – that really characterised his early acting career.
In 1996, Favreau and Vaughn teamed up to make ‘Swingers’ which really put the two young actors on the map and helped to establish their credentials in the industry.
The film portrayed the lives of a number of unattached, unemployed actors living on the ‘eastside’ of Hollywood. ‘Swingers’ is generally believed to have been one of the best independent comedies of the decade and received swathes of critical accolades.
Following the success of ‘Swingers’, Vaughn’s career really took and, soon enough, Steven Spielberg was desperate to cast Vaughn in ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park’. The star also landed high-profile roles in late ‘90s films such as ‘Clay Pigeons’ and ‘Return to Paradise’.
By the dawn of the 21st century, Vince Vaughn’s career had effectively taken off and, before long, Vince Vaughn was working on the all the classics that we know and love today.