John Rich Wraps Up 2010 Warrior Games with USO Concert in Honor of America’s Heroes

John Rich plays a concert at Arnold Hall on the United States Air Force Academy to cap off the 2010 Warrior Games. (USO photo by Michael J. Pach / 3 Peaks Photography & Design)

“When I was asked by the USO to perform as part of the closing ceremonies for the 2010 Warrior Games, I didn’t have to think about my answer. I knew I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to honor our wounded warriors. What they sacrifice, they sacrifice for us all and anything I can do to say thank you and to let them know that we appreciate them and support them in their recovery, I will. Performing for them was an honor and something that I will always treasure.” – John Rich.

A wounded warrior plays with John Rich and his band during a concert at Arnold Hall on the United States Air Force Academy. (USO photo by Michael J. Pach / 3 Peaks Photography & Design)

Rich recently performed an exclusive USO concert for over 500 country music fans during the closing ceremonies of the first-ever Warrior Games. The Games were held in Colorado Springs, CO, and hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Department of Department of Defense.  Rich has a history of supporting the Troops; this was the second USO tour, having gone out in 2005 as part of the country music duo Big and Rich to Germany and Iraq.

Before the concert, Rich visited with Troops at the USO center in Fort Carson and performed an acoustic set.  When he later took the stage at Arnold Hall Theater at the U.S. Air Force Academy, we was joined by three wounded heroes from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  The warriors are participants in Musicorps, an intensive music rehabilitation program founded and run by composer Arthur Bloom that aids healing and improves quality of life during long and difficult periods of recovery.

Rocky Mountain USO director Joe Aldaz presents a gift to country singer John Rich after his concert at Arnold Hall on the United States Air Force Academy. (USO photo by Michael J. Pach / 3 Peaks Photography & Design)

Bloom had this to say about the experience:  “When John Rich and the USO suggested bringing wounded warriors from Musicorps onto the stage with him for this event, we were thrilled, as were the soldiers. Musicorps is an intensive music rehab program that improves quality of life and aids healing during long and difficult periods of recovery.  As SGT Nicholas Firth commented, “it gives us a piece of us back.” It is an honor to bring SGT Firth, and two other wounded warriors – one who picked up a guitar for the first time at Walter Reed and never put it down –  to perform with John Rich at this unprecedented event in order to share their inspirational accomplishment with a wider audience.”

The inaugural Warrior Games were a five-day athletic competition featured 200 wounded warriors, from all branches of the military, competing in seven sports.  The sports featured during the games were shooting, swimming, archery, volleyball, cycling, track and field and basketball.  John Rich recently released his first solo project “Son of a Preacher Man,” and debuted his first chart-topping solo single “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.”  Check out more pics below!

Command Sgt. Maj. Kilpatrick thanks John Rich for entertaining Soldiers and their families at the Fort Carson USO center. (USO photo by Michael J. Pach / 3 Peaks Photography & Design)

Country star John Rich plays for Soldiers and their families at the Fort Carson USO center. (USO photo by Michael J. Pach / 3 Peaks Photography & Design)

Neck Up, Check Up

Today we’d like to share with you a special message from Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE):
May is Mental Health Month and a great opportunity to combat any stigma that may prevent our Warriors, Veterans and their loved ones from seeking help for the invisible wounds of war.

We are also trying to create more awareness on resources avaible to our Airmen, Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Reserves, Guard, Veterans and their Families related to PTSD, anxiety, depression and traumatic brain injuryby starting a viral “campaign.”

Post “Neck up, Check up” in your status sometime during the month of May to get the conversation started! Once there’s a buzz, direct your Facebook friends to http://www.facebook.com/DCoEpage to learn more.

Be sure to send to all of your “friends” and ask them to do the same. Let’s break the silence of stigma.

The DCoE also runs a resource center that provides information and resources about psychological health (PH), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI) to:

  • Service Members
  • Families and Friends
  • Military Leaders
  • Clinicians
  • Educators
  • Support Personnel
  • Clergy
  • Researchers
  • Deployed Government Civilians
  • The center can be contacted 24/7 by phone at 866-966-1020 or by e-mail at resources@dcoeoutreach.org. Calls are toll-free.

    DCoE was created in November 2007. DCoE is the open front door of the Department of Defense for warriors and their families needing help with PH and TBI issues, promoting the resilience, recovery and reintegration of warriors and their families.

    DCoE partners with the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and a national network of military and civilian agencies, community leaders, advocacy groups, clinical experts, and academic institutions to establish best practices and quality standards for the treatment of PH and TBI. Our work is carried out across these major areas: clinical care; education and training; prevention; research and patient, family and community outreach.

    In addition, DCoE is working to tear down the stigma that still deters some from seeking treatment for problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and TBI with our Real Warriors Campaign.