Country stars come together in Valentines for Veterans tour

Feb 7 | Posted by: Bombplates

via TheLeagChronicle.com 

Lucas Hoge, Aaron Tippin perform in Nashville this weekend

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — “Valentines for Veterans” kicks off its five-date tour Saturday, Feb. 8, in Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame. The show, sponsored by Help Hospitalized Veterans and free for veterans and their families, is now in its seventh year of showcasing a host of musical acts throughout its run.

“I’ve been working with HHV for three years now, doing shows,” said Lucas Hoge, one of the performers at this Saturday’s event. Hoge has performed for American troops in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Middle East, and has taken part in the Armed Forces Entertainment “Wrangler National Patriot” tour in 2011.
“This means everything – to be involved with anything involving our troops. To be able to give back.”

Giving back

This desire to give something back to veterans and their families is evident among all the acts who have committed to the tour. Many have a long history of performing for troops, cementing a musical relationship that goes beyond the songs.

“Showing support for the military, it’s how my career actually got its start, 21 years ago with Bob Hope,” said Aaron Tippin, another performer for the Nashville leg of the tour. “I was the first country entertainer to travelwith Bob Hope to the Persian Gulf to entertain our troops back in 1991. I got to perform my song, ‘You’ve Got to Stand For Something.’”

Tippin’s tune became an anthem for soldiers during the Gulf War. His brand of patriotic country has since become a trademark, a draw for his audience, earning him three No. 1 positions on the Billboard Hot Country Song charts.

“Patriotism is a badge I wear proudly, and have carried with me throughout my career – a career where I sing about what I know,” he said, discussing the flavor he’ll be bringing to the Nashville show. “The audience expects to hear working-class, patriotic songs, and that’s what they will get. They’ll stay on their feet the whole time!”

A romantic setting

The Valentine theme for the shows isn’t simply indicative of their audience – the shows aren’t intended to be exclusively for veteran couples. Rather, HHV sees the love as extending to the entire family, the concerts and opportunity for loved ones to spend quality time together.

That said, Hoge intends for the night to be an ideal setting for romance, too. “We’re gonna have some sexy love songs,” he said. “We’re gonna have some fun.”

'They deserve a song'With this particular audience, the inspiration behind the songs is returned to the stage.
“When you’re out there looking at that audience of veterans and their families, it comes back tenfold,” Hoge said. “Playing a song, that hopefully touches them, and then when they come up to you afterward, you can see it in their eyes.”

Added Tippin, “Shows like this continue to inspire me. They are all about who I am and what I stand for. It’s not hard to sing to our veterans – they deserve a song. The right words come when you learn about how these guys and gals demonstrate that they are the best and most professional warriors on the face of the planet.”

Limited seating

“Valentines for Veterans” is a free event, though tickets are required. Unfortunately, they were reserved quickly and only a couple of seats remain.

For more information, go to http://countrymusichalloffame.org and follow the Tickets link, or call 615-770-2994.

For all tour dates and locations, and more information about Help Hospitalized Veterans, go to http://hhv.org and follow the Sponsorships link.

Andy-Lee Fry Freelance writer news@theleafchronicle.com

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