Before Johnny Cash was a country mega-star, he served his country in the Air Force. Cash enlisted when he was 18 years old, though he would have likely been drafted if he had not joined voluntarily.
Time In the Military
Cash went to basic training at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. His time there was followed by additional training at the Brooks Air Force Base, which was also in Texas.
Cash was deployed to West Germany with the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile with the Air Force’s Security Service. His job while there was to intercept messages from the Soviets and put them into Morse code.
Cash spent four peaceful years in the Air Force and left once his contract was up. When he left, his rank was a staff sergeant.
Orgins of a Scar
Johnny Cash had a very noticeable scar on his right jaw. Fans could see it easily during TV performances and when he was photographed at the right angle.
It turns out he got the scar while he was in the military. However, it did not come from anything too exciting.
It was from a cyst. One of the Air Force doctors said that cyst needed to be taken off, so Cash had it surgically removed. As a result, he was left with one of his most defining features.
A month after Cash left the Air Force, he married his first wife, Vivian Liberto, who he met while at basic training. The two met at a skating rink.
When he deployed to Germany, the pair would write letters to one another. The notes numbered in the thousands by the time he came back.
A month after he got back, the two were married and moved to Nashville. Cash was a vacuum salesman while becoming a radio announcer.
When his music career took off, they moved to Hollywood. Vivian divorced him, and he married June two years later, in 1968. Cash is most remembered for his legendary music and he and June’s epic love story.