New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Aristomedia) - Craig
Morgan, Chris Young, and GAC host Nan Kelley are joining forces with Stars for Stripes (SFS), Great American Country (GAC) and Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) to bring hard-working service members overseas a much-needed taste of home.
The Stars for Stripes tour will visit military bases and hospitals in Iraq and Germany this month for a series of acoustic concerts, courtesy of RCA recording artist Chris Young and BNA recording artist Craig Morgan. Young is currently celebrating his first No. 1 on the Billboard chart with "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)," while Morgan's "Bonfire" is close behind at No. 12. GAC host Nan Kelley will serve as guest emcee at each tour stop.
"This will be my sixth trip to entertain and visit with the men and women of the Armed Forces," says Morgan, who was the first artist to perform on a Stars For Stripes/AFE event in 2003. "I know firsthand what it's like to be deployed overseas away from your loved ones, and it's an honor to be able to take a little piece of home to them with this tour. It is encouraging to see the advances that have been made over the years in an effort to establish peace and democracy."
Adds Young, "I have such respect for the men and women of our Armed Forces, and I am very excited to get the opportunity to go visit the troops in Iraq and Germany. Most people will never have the opportunity to see into their world. I'm looking forward to seeing it firsthand. I want to tell people back home how they're doing, and I hope I'm able to bring a little bit of 'home' to the troops."
The tour will also feature special appearances from two of the Armed Forces' wounded heroes, SFC Joe Bowser (U.S. Army Retired) and SSGT Scott Lilley (USAF), both of whom were injured overseas in the line of duty. Bowser is an amputee who was wounded in Iraq in 2004, while Lilley has undergone a remarkable recovery from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Baghdad in 2007. Both men are committed to returning to the Middle East to show their support for the troops stationed there today.
"My thoughts on returning to Iraq are more than I ever thought they would be. First, I never thought I would go back to Iraq after I was wounded, but now that I have the chance, I am so excited to go back to where it all started," says SSGT Lilley. "I'm a little nervous, but hey, I was nervous about going my first time. It's time for some closure after being wounded there, and here it comes. I am so ready."
Adds SFC Bowser, "I was wounded in Balad, Iraq and I would like to walk out this time. I never felt like I finished my mission and in some way I feel like this trip may change that feeling. They say after you get bucked off, you have to get back in the saddle. Well, this is my saddle."
Nonprofit entertainment organization Stars for Stripes is sponsoring the tour with GAC and Armed Forces Entertainment. High Five Entertainment will film the trip for a one-hour GAC television special in December documenting the visit.
"What an honor to take a little bit of home to our troops and to travel with some of our wounded heroes," says GAC's Nan Kelley. "I've had the privilege of visiting our troops overseas several times, and I am so proud again to be able to say thank you to the brave men and women who are serving us so proudly."
The artists and crew will depart for Iraq on Oct. 25 aboard a KC135 provided by the 434th Air Refueling Wing out of Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana.
For more information, visit www.StarsForStripes.com.