Country music singer and philanthropist John Rich encouraged fans to sing along to an inspiring, impromptu version of “God Bless America” at a recent Indiana show. Performing alongside his Big & Rich partner Big Kenny, Rich told fans to whip out their cell phones and light the whole room up.
“Light this whole room up for me. Bring ’em up, bring ’em up,” he beckoned from the stage as a member of his band filmed from behind. “We’re going to sing a song that we all learned when we were little kids. I think this song becomes more important every day that we live in this country. See if you remember this one.”
Big & Rich then led the capacity Indiana crowd to a heartfelt, acoustic rendition of the American classic. In a tweet later summarizing the event, Rich said “America is banged up, but we still love her.”
Some fans agreed with Rich’s sentiment and applauded the effort in the comment section.
User DebYo said, “I was born and raised in Indy. I haven’t lived in IN for years. Hoosiers are hard working, God fearing, Americans who love this country.”
Another user, Elizabeth Chaline, agreed, saying “We the people DO love America. Our government doesn’t.”
In addition to his “God Bless America” serenades, John Rich contributes mightily to military causes that benefit this country’s veterans
Rich’s involvement with military, memorial, and veteran-centric nonprofit organizations is no secret. In 2018, he appeared on an episode of the Today Show in New York City to promote Folds of Honor, a non-profit that directly benefits vets. According to Rich, the org awards scholarships to children and spouses of fallen servicemen or women. The scholarships are meant to “fill in the gaps” for young students who find themselves suddenly without family members to support their educations.
“Folds of Honor is an organization started by Major Dan Rooney, who one day saw the caskets unloading from under a service plane, all draped in the American flag. He then thought to himself, ‘There’s got to be something we can do for these families; this man and this woman gave their life for this country, so what about their kids or their spouse?’” Rich explained. “We support [Folds of Honor] with my brand Redneck Riviera. I just wrote a check on behalf of the brand that covered 37 college grants. So it’s a big deal [to us].”
Rich raises much of the charitable funds through his various Redneck Riviera businesses. He says the only reason he even owns a business is that veterans died for that right.
“The only reason a guy like me, who has a high school diploma and grew up in a double-wide trailer in Amarillo, Texas can achieve all of this, is because I have the right to pursue happiness. [I can] exhaust my potential,” Rich said. “And the only reason we have those rights is because men and women, for the past two hundred plus years, have been willing to die to keep the right alive.”