Lee Greenwood: ‘It’s a Great Honor, and a Privilege’ to Support America’s Veterans
Lee Greenwood is passionate about advocating for those who have fought for our freedom and helping veterans who have faced struggles after returning from service. As an ambassador for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the singer is using Veterans Day to ask for his fans' support.
"There are 25 million disabled veterans who are struggling to find work, and [the DAV] help[s] around a million a year, depending on what their needs are. They go around and make sure that they have what they need to survive," Greenwood tells The Boot. "It’s just a simple thing of attrition at this point, and to be an ambassador for the DAV, it’s a great honor, and a privilege."
Greenwood has been an unofficial advocate for the U.S. military ever since the release of his single "God Bless the USA" in 1984. Although the song only mentions the military in the chorus -- "And I'm proud to be an American / Where at least I know I'm free / And I won't forget the men who died / Who gave that right to me," -- "God Bless the USA" became an anthem for those serving in the armed forces, and those who support those who serve.
"You have to realize why I wrote it: Yes, the military’s always been important to me, but not necessarily in the forefront ...," Greenwood says. "But in recognizing that I wouldn’t have what I get to have without the sacrifice of the military, it became more of an investment, once I’d written "God Bless the USA."
"You have to have great respect for the people who put their life on the line," he adds. "I’ve watched the military sacrifice for so many years, in and out of wars, and there’s no other way I can help, other than to support them and let the public know that it’s important."
Greenwood hopes that his fans will follow him in showing their support for America's veterans, and particularly for the DAV.
"[Veterans Day] is a time to not just remember, but to help somebody who’s serving in the military," Greenwood explains. "Go ahead and step out. If you’ve got a soldier in the neighborhood, you go to an airport and you see a soldier walking by in their uniform, tell them thank you. If you have any patriotic blood at all, and you want to do something -- and I think everybody wants to do something, they just don’t know what to do -- get involved with the DAV in some way ... And continue to do what’s necessary for our veterans."
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