Country music singer and Salute to the Troops headliner Craig Morgan loves to play music for veterans, especially on a day as meaningful as Memorial Day. A 10-year service veteran himself, Morgan said he empathizes with soldiers in his audience. Whenever he sees them in the crowds, a little bit of his past comes flooding back, and he’s reminded of what it takes to do that job well every day.
“I’m not a full-time soldier anymore, but that is still very much who I am,” he said, speaking to the identities of soldiers and how their work affects their entire lives. “Going overseas and doing a show … it’s a little difficult because I still feel like I want to be the guy over there protecting the guy on the stage.”
Beyond just headlining shows like Salute to the Troops, which was backed by the Grand Ole Opry, Morgan works with other military orgs like Operation Finally Home. The philanthropy provides and improves homes for veterans, first responders, and their families.
“There’s a lot of great organizations out there that do this sort of thing,” Morgan said in a Fox interview. “What I love about Operation Finally Home that they do differently is that they really, really involve the community. They get the community to donate time, effort, resources. What it does is create a relationship between the recipient and the community.”
During his Salute to the Troops show last week, Morgan presented Operation Finally Home with a check for $100,000 during a fun onstage moment. The donation included Morgan’s $70,000 in winnings from the CBS survival show Beyond the Edge.
Craig Morgan will offer much more philosophy and opinion in his new book
Morgan has also been speaking out about the concept of pride, especially pride in one’s own work as a soldier. Oftentimes in the military, positive attitude is not something a soldier can afford. Or at least that is the prevailing sentiment. The way to combat that issue and avoid pessimism is to take pride in the work, Morgan said.
“Be proud,” he said. “Simple. As military personnel, we’re not always in a place of positive energy or positive light.”
Morgan equates service in the military to providing a “privilege” to American citizens, some of whom appreciate the effort and some who may not understand it.
“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.
His forthcoming book, “God, Family and Country: A Memoir,” will hit shelves and digital retailers this September.
The book promises to share Craig Morgan’s life work and values. It will include his background as “an avid outdoorsman and a former sheriff’s deputy. He’s still a member of the auxiliary and always a husband and father first,” his website reads.