Between 1969 and 2000, Charles Schulz dedicated 19 Peanuts strips to Veterans Day, making him perhaps the most decorated creator to commemorate the United States holiday on all of GoComics.
Schulz was 20 years old when he was drafted into the United States Army in 1943 to fight in World War II. He served as a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe until he was discharged in late 1945. After returning home, Schulz worked a number of art, illustration and comics jobs, including drawing his first serialized strip Li'l Folks starting in 1947 for St. Paul Pioneer Press. In October of 1950 Schulz's second and most famous work, Peanuts, debuted in a host of newspapers through United Feature Syndicate.
As Peanuts fans have been privy to for years, Snoopy is prone to a World War 1 Flying Ace fantasy. In Schulz's Veterans Day strips, however, Snoopy lives out a fantasy in line with his creator's World War II experience. He often hangs out with Schulz's fellow WWII veteran and cartoonist Bill Mauldin of war comic Willie and Joe and quaffs a root beer (or several). Other honored veterans include Ernie Pyle, an American journalist who was killed in WWII's Battle of Okinawa, and WWII vet Audie Murphy, who survied the war to become a movie and TV star. The Charles M. Schulz Museum website explains that Snoopy's Veteran's Day tradition is just one of many that honor the US armed services, as Schulz commemorated veterans on D-Day, Memorial Day and other non-holidays throughout his strip's 60-year history.
Many of these strips have returned to run in full color since Schulz concluded Peanuts and passed on in 2000.
Quaff the original 19 Peanuts Veterans Day comic strips below: