8 Memorable Soap Opera Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day, below is a list of 8 Memorable Soap Opera Veterans from daytime history.  Soaps have been telling stories about the men and women who serve in the military for decades from many different points of view.  Tell us which stories have been your favorites over the years in our Comments section.

VETERAN: Tommy Horton (played by John Lupton)
SHOW: DAYS OF OUR LIVES
SERVED: Army ("Korea")
COMMENT:
"In 1968 we wrote a story line that had one of our characters, Tommy Horton, return from Vietnam with amnesia and post-traumatic stress disorder," exec producer Ken Corday told Mental Floss in a 2011 feature. "War was completely raging at the time, and the network wouldn't let us mention it in any way whatsoever. They said, 'No, let’s just say that he came back from Korea.' We said, 'Wait, Korea was 1950 … this is 1968!' But they insisted that we couldn't talk about Vietnam. So he came back from Korea."

VETERAN: Bo Buchanan (played by real-life veteran Robert S. Woods)
SHOW: ONE LIFE TO LIVE
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
Bo arrived in Llanview in 1979.  In 1985 he left town to return to Vietnam to look for MIA soldiers.  Woods spent 15 months in Vietnam as a Green Beret with the Army's Fifth Special Forces Group. Bo's Vietnam experience is loosley based on his portrayer's actual war experiences.

VETERAN: Mike Donovan (played by James Kiberd)
SHOW: LOVING
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
Mike suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome years after leaving Vietnam.

"Personally, I liked doing the delayed stress syndrome story line with Mike Donovan," LOVING creator Agnes Nixon said in a 1987 Los Angeles Times interview. "We were the first to do that story, even before the movies did it, and I believe we covered the story in a realistic way."

VETERAN: John Hudson (played by real-life veteran David Forsyth)
SHOW: ANOTHER WORLD
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
For many years, John suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of his years as a corpsman in the Vietnam War. He received a substantial wound to his left leg during the war and was forced to use a cane for many years. He returned to Bay City in 1987. Year later, after John revealed to Felicia Gallant that a child had died in his arms in Vietnam, they made love which broke up his relationship with Sharlene.



VETERAN: Phil Brent (played by Richard Hatch, Nick Benedict)
SHOW: ALL MY CHILDREN
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
Before leaving for Vietnam, Phil tried to marry Tara but they were unable to find a justice of the peace so they performed their own impromptu ceremony and spent the night together. Phil went MIA in Vietnam after his plane was shot down and was presumed dead.  Tara became pregnant from their "wedding" night and married Chuck believing Phil to be dead.  Phil eventually healed and returned to Pine Valley only to find out Tara was married to Chuck raising "Chuck's" baby.

VETERAN: Brot Monroe & Taylor Thompson (real-life veteran J.R. Martinez & Beth Ehlers)
SHOW: ALL MY CHILDREN
SERVED: Army (Iraq War)
COMMENT:
Brot and Taylor fell in love while serving in Iraq.  Brot was ambushed by insurgents and was thought to be dead after a terrible explosion.  Brot had suffered massive injuries, including extensive burns to much of his body, and rather than have the woman he loved see him burned and scarred, he hid out at a veterans hospital. He eventually made himself known to Taylor in Pine Valley.



VETERAN: Tom Hughes (played by Peter Link, Peter Galman)
SHOW: AS THE WORLD TURNS
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
As a teenager Tom became hooked on drugs and his grades were terrible so he decided to join the Army for guidance, and ended up in Vietnam. His time in Vietnam was cut short, after a self-inflicted wound resulted in his early discharge from the Army. He recovered at Great Lakes Hospital then returned to Oakdale. Many years later, in 1988, Tom learned he had fathered a daughter (Lien) while in Vietnam.

VETERAN: Jack Abbott (played by Peter Bergman)
SHOW: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
SERVED: Army (Vietnam War)
COMMENT:
Jack's story was revealed decades after he served in Vietnam.  While there, he had fallen in love with a young Vietnamese woman he had known as Mai Yun. When Jack's military service ended he returned to her village, but not knowing her real name, it was impossible to find her. Unknown to Jack, Mai Yun was pregnant with his son, and had moved to a safer place. In 1994 Christine and Paul met Jack's former love, now known as Luan, and agreed to track down her son, Keemo, who eventually came to know and accept Jack as his father.   Jack and Luan eventually married with Keemo serving as best man.

9 comments:

  1. Let's not forget Buzz Cooper on GL - the great scenes where Harley went to find him on the Vietnam Memorial and realized he wasn't there.

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  2. Great one!

    Cain from SANTA BARBARA was mentioned on Facebook too.

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  3. David Forsyth is a real life Vietnam veteran too--s medic. His picture is on the veteran's wall at The Columns, the Pike County Historical Society in Milford, PA. --Connie Passalacqua Hayman

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  4. Wasn't Nurse Audrey March Hardy (GH) in Vietnam? Was she an Army nurse or working for some other organization? Just trying to think if there have ever been any female veterans on daytime.

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  5. Fox, if the summaries online are correct, Audrey went to Vietnam for four years.

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  6. Great list. Wonderful idea to compile it.

    Here's another one. Barrett Marshall on Texas returned after being presumed dead in Vietnam. If memory serves me, he had some kind of post traumatic stress that was stirred up when he learned that his wife Ginny had fallen in love with Ryan Conner while he was presumed dead.

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  7. Thanks, James. I was trying to remember someone from Texas but it never came to me.

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  8. Excellent & Respectful Dedication This Is!

    Brian :-)

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