Morning Air Show
Country artist Morgan speaks for war-torn troops
AP, May 28, 2010 9:00 am PDT
Now he's speaking for troops who are silently struggling with combat stress.
Morgan is the new spokesman for Not Alone, an online-based program that offers confidential counseling and support for soldiers and families dealing with depression, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It deals with a subject that is really sensitive to the military," Morgan said in a recent phone interview with The Associated Press from Las Vegas, where he was touring with Carrie Underwood. "It's difficult sometimes for a soldier to discuss his frustrations or his lack of understanding of what it is that he's going through."
Started in 2008, Not Alone provides blogs, forums, testimonies and online group sessions. It also has a partnership with Centerstone, a behavioral health care nonprofit, to provide free face-to-face counseling.
"When you wake up every morning, knowing that you're going to go out and patrol an area where there's a good chance you're going to be blown up or shot, that's a lot of stress," Morgan said. "It's a lot to deal with."
Jeff Searcy, the program's executive director, said veterans and soldiers are looking for help from others who have similar experiences after returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. And they will listen when another veteran tells them to get help, Searcy said.
"I think not only will they listen to his music, they will listen to his message," he said.
Morgan spent nearly 11 years as an active duty soldier before becoming a country artist, and his service to the country is never far from his mind. The song "Paradise" on his self-titled album released in 2000 detailed his feelings about deploying to Panama in 1989. Morgan also said he helped write a song for the program's website, http://www.notalone.com — he liked it so much, he's considering adding it to his next album.
"I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to serve as long as I did," he said. "So it's a big part of my life."
Morgan has played overseas for troops almost every year for the past eight years, and some of those soldiers return to see him play in the U.S.
"Without fail at every show, someone comes up and says, 'I've seen you in Baghdad,' and it's an awesome thing to see them back at home," he said.
On the Web:
Not Alone: http://www.notalone.com
Craig Morgan: http://www.craigmorgan.com
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Country music superstar Alan Jackson honored the fallen miners and rescue workers from April’s Upper Big Branch mining disaster on Saturday (5/22) with a benefit concert performance at the Charleston, West Virginia Civic Center. The 31 families affected and 230 rescue workers who were on site at the nation’s biggest mining disaster in four decades were offered free tickets to the show. 27 families who lost loved ones and the two whose family members survived met with Jackson before the show, including the family of Cory Davis who would have been 21 on Saturday. His family presented Jackson with a bracelet with David’s birthday on it, and Jackson wore it throughout the show.
Jackson kicked off his Freight Train Tour date with his No. 1 hit “Gone Country”, and told the packed auditorium that, “We’re here to honor the ones that we lost or were injured and we’re gonna celebrate their lives with some music.”
During the show, Jackson’s long time pedal steel player Robbie Flint, originally from Sylvester, WV, performed the moving ballad “Coalwood,” from the film October Sky, as the faces of the miners flashed on two large screens on either side of the stage. As each name and face appeared, cheers reverberated through the crowd. Jackson followed the heart-felt tribute with his post 9/11 anthem, “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning.”
Profits from the benefit go to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund, administrated by the West Virginia Council of Churches.
“Alan Jackson was the right music star for the moment to come to West Virginia and honor the memories of the miners lost at the Upper Big Branch and to all miners who go into the mines each day,” said Rev. Dennis Sparks, Exec Director of the Fund. “His music and performance offers a genuine expression of the hearts of our people. We offer a heartfelt thank you to Alan Jackson, his band and his entire team. The Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund will be enormously enhanced through his concert.”
Click here to make a donation to the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund.