Graceland marks Elvis' Army stint with free day for military vets, active duty
Elvis Presley began his service in the United States military on March 24, 1958, when he was inducted into the U.S. Army. To salute our troops and to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Elvis' military service, Graceland has announced that complimentary tickets to the new Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex will be made available on March 24 to all military veterans and those serving on active duty.
This anniversary day will also mark the opening of an expanded “Private Presley” Army exhibit at Elvis Presley's Memphis. Additionally, the AAA four-diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel will offer its “Salute to Heroes” discounted rate of 30 percent off standard room rates to both active and retired military.
The newly expanded “Private Presley” exhibit will take an in-depth look at Elvis' military service, including letters from Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker to the Army asking for a deferment to allow Elvis to complete filming of “King Creole,” letters from the Army regarding press access to Elvis, his original Army footlocker, the dress that his mother Gladys wore at his induction ceremony and more.
Fans can also learn about how Colonel Parker kept Elvis' career alive while he was serving in Germany and see items from Frank Sinatra's legendary “Welcome Home, Elvis” 1960 ABC television special.
Elvis In the Military
On March 24, 1958, Elvis was inducted into the United States Army at the Memphis Draft Board and assigned serial number 53310761. On March 25, at Fort Chaffee, Ark., he received his indoctrination exam and traditional, military G.I. haircut in front of 55 media photographers.
Elvis received basic training at Fort Hood, Texas. Private Presley was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood and was stationed there for six months before being sent to West Germany in September 1958. He was honorably discharged on March 5, 1960.
Elvis served his country just like any other G.I., with none of the special privileges his celebrity status might have afforded him. He was, by all accounts, a model soldier, earning the lasting respect of his fellow soldiers and the public at large. He returned to civilian life in March 1960.
Complimentary tickets for Elvis Presley's Memphis must be requested on-site at Graceland on March 24 by active or retired members of the U.S. military with valid ID. Full details and restrictions are available at graceland.com .
Guest House at Graceland accommodations at the “Salute to Heroes” discounted rate have limited availability. Information is available at 800-238-2000 or guesthousegraceland.com .