Among the countless blessings that music has bestowed upon Christine and me is the opportunity to play for veterans….constantly really.
We usually ask for a show of hands for servicemembers and wives, and I am only now getting used to how many hands go up.…..an astounding % of our senior population have served. The greatest generation as they say.
We also travel a lot now, and some of the best times we ever have are doing these free shows at VA hospitals. Vets love music, maybe more than any other group we know.
We are making contacts and efforts in order to “improve the visits”….working towards multiple concerts at a given hospital, larger groups in better venues within the facility….more time to hang out with the patients and residents before and after the show.
It is just such a treat to arrive in a city and be able to play for these folks…
My father passed away a few years back, and he used to speak frequently about the sacrifices that were made by our soldiers, and the incredible things that our country has done.
He was quite fluent in his understanding of the Marshall Plan, and pointed out to me often that we not only won a war that “saved the world”, but we worked our butts off to rebuild the countries where that war had occurred, and restored not just peace, but economic sanity to Europe, including Germany.
18 months ago Christine and I made a commitment to do 50 free shows over a two-year span. Most of those shows are for veterans. I cannot tell you good it feels to give back a little to the people who have given so much.
I have spent more time with veterans in the past five years that I did in my entire life, and I have learned things about veterans.
The main thing that I learned is pretty simple though…. I OWE THEM.
My freedom, my lifestyle, my wonderful family…being able to play this music that I love so dearly….all not happening without those sacrifices.
I really want you to hear that this American appreciates what you Americans have done, and that this great experiment we call America is alive and well, and it is so because of you.