Famous Veteran: Beau Bridges

Beau Bridges

The Bridges family is no stranger to military service. Lloyd Bridges, the son of Lloyd and Dorothy Bridges and more commonly known as Beau, is no exception. The oldest child to Lloyd and Dorothy, he was born December 9th 1941 and became the first among his siblings to join the Coast Guard. His father was a veteran, and helped usher his son into military service after he studied at UCLA, then the University of Hawaii.

Bridge's fondly remembers his time serving in the Coast Guard. He credits military service for teaching him how to adequately prepare for whatever happens in life. He learned and has since adopted the idea that he should always be ready for life's trials, and to prepare himself physically and mentally for whatever lies ahead. Furthermore, he firmly holds dear the concept of respect as more than a word, but something people should give to themselves, their colleagues, and their duties.

"I think it prepared me for life, my training in the Coast Guard. It was a peacetime service, so I didn't see any wartime action; but I learned a lot about life. How to take care of myself. How to be of service to other people."

Life in the Coast Guard required a great deal of responsibility and hard work, but Bridges found strong camaraderie with his fellow service members. Comparing the Coast Guard to a second family, Bridges' service ended just before the start of the Vietnam war. Although he had separated, many of his friends remained, and some lost their lives. These experiences contributed to his belief that returning veterans currently receive inadequate care and attention, and should receive more respect than they currently do.

In the Coast Guard, Bridge's main line of work was as a cook's helper on a buoy tender. When his ship, the USS Dexter, sailed out of port, Bridges was greeted by an ocean that provided unforgettable awe and beauty.

"But I mostly remember the beauty of being out at sea. It's just a wonderful feeling. The ocean is so powerful, but it can be so still and peaceful. Even if you're on the beach, you can look out at least at a 180 degrees of nothing but horizon. When you're out at sea, of course you get 360 degrees. If you got that watch and you're out there by yourself in the morning, it's beautiful. Nothing matches it. You can't be fooled by the ocean."

Bridges found steady work in the acting business as early as 1948 in the film "Force of Evil." Since then, he's enjoyed success with a wide variety of roles in a wide variety of genres. He played a brother to his actual brother's character in "The Fabulous Baker Boys," as well as "Greased Lightening and others. To sci-fi aficionados, he is known for playing Major General Hank Landry in the Stargate franchise.

After well over 60 years of acting, Bridges is still going strong with roles in 2015's "Tumbledown" and the upcoming film "Underdog Kids."

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