Kristofferson came from a long line of veterans. He was under pressure from his family to follow in their footsteps, so he joined the Army.
He completed Ranger School and was stationed in Germany in the early 1960s. While he was there, he formed a band.
After he came back in 1965, he was offered a position at West Point to teach English literature, but turned it down to pursue a career in music. His family disowned him and they sadly never reconciled.
Kristofferson was awarded the "Veteran of the Year Award" in 2003 from the American Veterans Awards.