Despite being named NFL MVP, Paul Hornung was briefly lost to the military. In response to the construction of the Berlin Wall, the United States Department of Defense activated thousands of reservists. Two dozen football players were activated, including Paul Hornung, Boyd Dowler and Ray Nitschke. On November 14, Hornung was to report to Fort Riley in Kansas. Wisconsin residents were so upset that Republican senator Alexander Wiley and Democratic congressman Clement Zablocki requested deferments for the players. On October 18, the final word was that the players had to serve.
Hornung missed the November 19 game against the Los Angeles Rams. He was flown from Fort Riley to Detroit for the November 23 Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions. Hornung would score a field goal and two extra points in the 17-9 victory.