Entertainer and U.S. Army Veteran Delights the Crowd
American patriots come from all walks of life and every conceivable background. Wreaths Across America is honored, humbled, and filled with gratitude for those who have served our nation in uniformed service and for the millions of people across this country and overseas who unite in the name of respect and patriotism.
Wreaths Across America recently had the opportunity to meet one such patriot during the July Stem to Stone event. The day’s activities concluded with a concert at the Balsam Valley Amphitheater where active duty military and veterans always have free admission. The U.S. Army Field Band, Six-String Soldiers opened for Craig Morgan.
Craig Morgan is a decorated U.S. Army veteran, and he graciously spoke with Wreaths Across America before his performance about his 17 years of military service on active duty and in the active reserves.
“Once a soldier, always a soldier,“ he said with a grin. “I miss it. When you spend that much time of your life in the service it becomes a part of who you are.“ Craig served in the U.S. Army as a 13 Foxtrot field forward observer.
“For many years I was a forward observer, which had the shortest life expectancy of any military MOS,” Craig explained. “We were the guys who put the eyes on the target. The enemy definitely needed to take us out because we had the most fire-power even though it wasn’t coming from a direct-fire weapons system. It was an intense job, but also very rewarding. We had the luxury of being an artillery guy, but we worked with different military divisions and branches of service.”
Craig is grateful for his military service, which has provided him the opportunity to “see the world and meet a lot of people.” He also believes the discipline he learned has helped him as an entertainer.
“Someone who has never served in the military does not carry or have the same disciplines as someone who has served does. To this day, I still get up at 5:30 every morning and my work ethic may be a bit different although I have learned how to take a nap,“ he chuckled.
Craig says he’s often asked the question of how his military service has impacted his songwriting.
“As a songwriter, we write about life’s experiences, and I do reflect on some of those military times, but I don’t write about that experience per se as much as I do about the emotion that situation created. You take that emotion and apply it to what you’re writing about.”
Craig says he believes military service is about the greatest thing anyone could do, but, admits he encouraged his own kids to pursue college first.
“I think there’s a great deal to be gained from military service,” Craig explained. “You develop a respect for freedom, our flag, the National Anthem those items that truly represent this country.” He says he’s got the greatest respect and gratitude for those who serve or are thinking about serving.
“It takes an exceptional person. Back when I joined the U.S. Army, there was no war, and we didn’t know we were going to be in one. Today, these people joining the military know there’s a good chance they’re going to war because we’re at war around the world and I don’t think it’s going to end anytime soon for us to maintain the freedom that we have.”
Thank you for your service Craig Morgan, and for delighting other veterans, Gold Star families, and volunteers with your concert performance during the Wreaths Across America Stem to Stone event.