My cousin, Grant, finished his tour of duty in Afghanistan and returned to American soil on January 5, 2010. I cannot even begin to say how proud I am of Grant Man for his service.
Official Photo by Richard Corman
4Troops are a group of four United States combat veterans- Former Cpt. Meredith Melcher, Former Sgt. Daniel Jens, Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Ron Henry, and Former Sgt. David Clemo. – who served on the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq. While overseas, music was an important and integral part of their lives. While serving abroad, the four would sing at everything from large military events to more intimate settings, jamming in their bunk and trying to recall a slice of home. They also raised their voices to remember those that had been lost at memorial services. The group was brought together by veteran Victor Hurtado. 4Troops now come together for one purpose, and that is to sing on behalf of all troops, to honor their sacrifices and to create awareness for their needs. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of their debut album will benefit veteran-related organizations.
Sony MASTERWORKS announced the signing of 4TROOPS in January. 4Troops self-titled debut album will be available nationwide on May 11, to coincide with Armed Forces Week (May 8th -May 15th). Listen as they discuss the role of music in their lives…
I could tell when I heard the first strains of Track 1, Bless the Broken Road, that this would be an album that I loved. When I heard Track 2, For Freedom, I just had to turn the stereo up. Listen for yourself…
Bob Woodruff, the ABC news anchor who was severely injured in Iraq, conducted the first television interview with 4Troops, which aired on Good Morning America (ABC) in January. Woodruff is personally invested in creating a better environment for injured troops who return from war. Through The Bob Woodruff Foundation and ReMIND.org, Woodruff’s goal is to provide resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities, in addition to educate the public about the needs of the injured troops and empower people everywhere to take action. Ironically, Former Cpt. Meredith Melcher helped to set up the first true medical center in Balad, Iraq, which is where Bob and ABC cameraman, Doug Vogt, were treated after being hit by an IED. He went as far as to say, “Without soldiers like Meredith, I would not be here today.” Bob also spent some time at the piano with these combat heroes. Here is 4Troops, as seen on Good Morning America:
The 4Troops debut album consists of well-known positive pop and country songs and some new songs. Because they are being performed by combat veterans, each song takes on a new special meaning. Country star Toby Keith gave his blessing for a new version of his popular and controversial post 9/11 hit “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” to be included on the album with revised lyrics to reflect a 2010 outlook. Thanks, Toby. I love Toby’s original version of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.” When I heard the 4Troops revised version, I was overwhelmed with pride!
4Troops Track Listing:
1. Bless The Broken Road
2. For Freedom
3. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (2010)
4. I’m Already There
5. Dance With My Father
8. You Raise Me Up
9. You’ll Never Walk Alone
10. Medley (Battle Hymn of the Republic, You’re a Grand Old Flag, America The Beautiful)
11. Here We’ve Been
12. Raise Your Glasses
The 4Troops recently taped their concert special from the U.S.S. Intrepid in New York City. The program “4Troops: Live from the Intrepid” will air on participating PBS stations this summer.
4TROOPS are in the midst of a U.S. Military base tour which will be followed by a National tour in the fall. Upon hearing of the 4TROOPS, the Motel 6 hotel chain immediately wanted to be involved as a promotional partner and as a first step has generously donated lodging for the group throughout their U.S. Military base tour. Cracker Barrel has generously donated free food to the 4TROOPS when they are on the road.
For more information on 4Troops, please visit their official site at www.4TROOPSmusic.com.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the album will benefit veteran related organizations, including the IAVA, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the USO, and the American Legion.
The IAVA, founded by Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, is the first and largest non-partisan, non-profit for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. IAVA has more than 180,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide.http://www.iava.org
IFHF has raised over $120 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. The Fund is currently building the National Intrepid Center of Excellence to support the research, diagnosis, and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Previous efforts include the Center for the Intrepid for amputee and severe burn patients and providing unrestricted grants to family members of service members killed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. http://fallenheroesfund.org
The USO delivers its programs and services to millions of active duty service members National Guard and Reserves, as well as their families at more than 140 centers located worldwide. Some of the services that the centers include free Internet and e-mail access, libraries and reading rooms, housing assistance, family crisis counseling, support groups, game rooms and nursery facilities. The USO also produces hundreds of entertainment shows around the world each year. http://www.uso.org
The nation’s largest military veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation. http://www.legion.org
If you would like to learn more about how you can support the organizations affiliated with this project, please visit their websites at legion.org, iava.org, fallenheroesfund.org, uso.org
If you are even the least bit patriotic, you will enjoy this C.D. I have had it playing in my van since I received it.
Lady V dZine
***Disclosure: I received an advance copy of the 4Troops self-title debut album, courtesy of Sony Masterworks, to facilitate this review. The opinions stated herein are my own.***