Corporal Jamey Johnson served his country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves prior to his days chasing the country music dream in Birmingham, Ala. and then Nashville. He speaks fondly of his days in the military, and even makes mention of it twice on his debut album.

"I'm very proud to have served in the Marines," he told CMT in 2010. "I respect the Marines. They gave me guidance and stability. I'd wake up every day and have a purpose."

Johnson was a mortar man, and while in the service he made friends with a number of other musicians. They'd sing and write songs together and many keep in contact with him today. At the time of the CMT interview, Johnson's road manager was a man he served alongside.

More From Taste of Country