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)

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


    Dr. Laura the radio talk show host is also the mother of an Army Soldier. On her web site today, (11 May 2010) she talks about attending a function for hundreds of new enlistees, some of these future veterans told her, their parents not only would not support their joining the military, but will now, not even speak to their own children-soldiers.
    I sent the following to her web site after working the Wounded Warrior Games today.
    Dr. Laura
    I am retired Air Force and am now a Colorado Mounted Ranger. This week in (10-14 May 2010) Colorado Springs, Colorado at the US Olympic Training Center they are holding the first Wounded Warrior Games. There are over 200 injured and wounded veterans, men and women competing in these games. As a Colorado Ranger I assisted in the Opening Ceremony on Monday the 10th and it brought many a tear to many a veteran and active duty person in the crowd. Today 12 May 2010, I was in the first Medals Presentation Ceremony for these wounded warrior athletes. I was standing at attention on stage as the winning athletes received their medals. As the crowd went wild with cheers I was supposed to continue standing at attention, when what I wanted to do was cheer and clap for these heroes, my new personal heroes. Monday night when I got home from the Opening Ceremony I called my active duty wife who was out of town on Air Force business to tell her about these wonderful veterans. I was sort of complaining about my back and feet hurting from standing most of the day then I stopped. I told her I had never been around so many injured veterans in one location and compared to their struggles I was not hurting anymore. I just saw your Army Mom video. Thank you for supporting our country’s men and women in the Armed Services. And thank you for backing your soldier-son when he made that very important choice to serve his Nation.
    Major Van Harl USAF Ret, currently, Ranger Van Harl #348, Colorado Mounted Rangers.
    I have no idea if Dr. Laura ever saw the e-mail. I was the Ranger in charge of this support operation to the Wounded Warrior Games and after sending the e-mail I had to get back to working the schedule for the rest of the week. The Rangers were asked to escort the athletes onto the stage and be there during the Medals Presentation Ceremonies, but there was down time in between the numerous presentations at each of the events. This gave the Rangers time to speak and interact with the athletes. We were supposed to be non partial during the games, but I am retired Air Force so I had to make sure that my team knew I was quietly supporting them. Most of the Rangers are veterans and I know for a fact they were rooting for their service branch team. There was team spirit, but what you saw was, no athlete regardless of his / her branch of service was going to let a fellow wounded veteran down. There were a number of events where an athlete lost his / her chance to win because they stopped to help a fellow athlete who was struggling to finish. There is a great photo where two cyclists from two different services blew their opportunity for a medal in order to help a third athlete, from a third service, who was fighting to finish in the cold and snow at the US Air Force Academy. It was not meant to be a photo moment, but that picture will be on the internet for years. I am a disabled veteran. I get a small check from the VA every month for my past minor injuries received on active duty, but they were all peace time training related incidents. There is a saying that the difference between scars and tattoos is–scars are tattoos with a much more important story to go along with them. Compared to the wounded warriors who competed so well, I have slight imperfections, they have scars. Their important stories are, they were defending our country in combat. Their scars mean they were injured, they were wounded, they were damaged, but they were never defeated. Even when my shift was over during the Games I would call the Colonel and tell her I did not want to come home. I wanted to stay with these wonderful wounded veterans. As I helped these wounded veteran-athletes onto the buses after the closing ceremony at the Air Force Academy, I knew I will attend the games next year.

    Major Van Harl USAF Ret

  2. Two of my friends shared the stage with John Rich but I can’t seem to locate a video anywhere online, does anyone know where I can see this video, please? Thanks!

    • You should try YouTubing it, can you specify what date this occurred on so that we can provide you with further help if necessary?

      Thank You for Your Support!

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