Country music singer Craig Morgan is making veterans a priority on Memorial Day by encouraging them to take pride in their service. Morgan, a 10-year veteran out of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, himself, said that soldiers do not always proud of their work. Sometimes positivity and optimism do not shine through, he said. The antidote, though, is taking pride in your work.
For Morgan, serving is both a privilege and an act of service for those who cannot fight for themselves.
“Every service member, regardless of where or when they served, they should be proud.” They should “be proud of what they have done and the privilege that they have served,” he elaborated.
Morgan recently sang at the Grand Ole Opry’s Salute the Troops event, which he described as a humbling experience. He echoed the sentiments of all involved with the program: that country music is inextricably intertwined with the ideals and customs of the American military.
“There’s a sense of gratitude for God, family and country in that group of people that they feel privileged to be able to share and discuss and be a part of,” he said.
The Salute to the Troops event featured many artists in addition to Craig Morgan who came out to play and thank the veterans
Other performers for the evening Salute to the Troops show included Cam, Riley Green, The War and Treaty, Jake Hoot, Riders in the Sky, and Dailey & Vincent.
Dan Rogers, Grand Ole Opry vice president and executive producer, said that the Opry enjoys a long-standing partnership with the American military.
“For years and years, folks in the military have perpetuated the sounds of country music,” he said. “And, of course, you’ve heard tributes to our fighting men and women in country music for years. And it’s just important to the Opry, really in every single show we do … to let those folks know they’re appreciated.”
Rogers specifically mentioned the importance of being able to thank servicemen and women for their sacrifice.
“The message that I can share on behalf of every artist who takes our stage and every fan who comes through the doors is simple — and that’s a heartfelt ‘thank you,’” he said. “We, due to their service, get to come [and] enjoy country music every day. And folks from around the world get to come sit in those pews and listen to country music’s most famous show. So, again, it would be a heartfelt ‘thank you.’”
Army Reserve Command Sgt. Major Andrew Lombardo spoke similarly about the Opry and their efforts. He said that the country music industry always leads from the front when it comes to supporting the troops.
“All the members and veterans and service members that are here tonight carry on that strong legacy of heroism. It’s the service and sacrifice that we service members make in order to ensure our nation’s freedom,” Lombardo said.