Join 4Troops for a Live, Online Concert this Friday!

The group 4Troops consists of United States combat veterans Sergeant Daniel Jens; retired Staff Sergeant Ron Henry; Sergeant David Clemo; and Captain Meredith Melcher.

4TROOPS, the hot new vocal group comprised of U.S. combat veterans, will perform a 30-minute USO concert LIVE from New York City on July 2, 2010, at 2:00 pm EST.  The concert is being streamed with the help of Stickam, an industry leader in online multimedia communications services.

Click here to bookmark the concert page!

Each member of the group served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is on a mission to give back to troops. Their self-titled debut album was released May 11, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the USO and other organizations that support U.S. soldiers, veterans and their families. Most recently, the quartet has made appearances on “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “CNN,” “Nightline” and “Larry King Live,” among other prominent news programs. Their PBS special “4TROOPS: Live From the Intrepid” is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide and this fall the group will embark on a 50-city national tour.

During the concert, 4TROOPS will answer questions from fans, share their thoughts on what it means to serve our nation and reflect on their USO experiences. Fans will be able to view the concert live and submit advance questions for the group online via http://www.uso.org.  Leave your question for the group in the comments section below! We’ll take submissions through 12pm EST on Thursday and two lucky winners will receive 4Troops prize packs!  (Sorry, USO employees and their families are not eligible.)

And be sure to follow 4Troops on Facebook and Twitter!

4Troops Special Presale Offer

The group 4TROOPS performed the National Anthem at NASCAR's Food City 500 on March 21 in Bristol TN.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and what better gift than the new CD from 4Troops?  Okay, so since it’s only available for pre-sale on Amazon right now she might not get it in time for the actual holiday…but we have a special coupon code that will save you $2 off the retail price!

4Troops is a singing group comprised of 4 US Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, who sing uplifting songs on behalf of troops everywhere.  You may have seen them on Good Morning America and Fox & Friends…and our blog!

Starting today – Tuesday, April 27 – and running until the day before in-store sales begin on Monday, May 10, simply type in the coupon code uso4troo when you pre-order the CD and get this special discount.  We’ll also remind you that Sony Music will donate 50 cents from each sale of the 4TROOPS album in the United States to charity. The donation benefits the IAVA, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and – our favorite! – the USO.

We’re honored by 4Troops’ support and hope you enjoy the video below, when the group performed with Lee Greenwood at Bristol before the NASCAR race…

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4Troops on QVC Today! At Noon!

Your new favorite band – 4Troops – will be performing LIVE on QVC fromm noon – 1pm (ET) on the show Q Check.  They’ll be singing their first single, “For Freedom,” as well as other selections.  Senior Vice President of Communications John Hansen first visited the group a few weeks ago.  Some thoughts below…

4TROOPS vocalists Daniel Jens, David Clemo, Meredith Melcher and Ron Henry perform aboard the USS Intrepid in New York City during the Monday night taping of a PBS television special to be aired in June. The former Soldiers honed their craft in Army Entertainment Division programs run by the Army Family, Morale and Recreation Command. 4TROOPS self-entitled debut album is scheduled to be released April 28. (Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs)

The 4Troops adventure began for real tonight on the USS Intrepid in New York City.  The four singers who comprise 4Troops are veterans of the war in Iraq.

Before we go further, some full disclosure.  Some of the proceeds from the sale of the group’s new CD will benefit the USO, the Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  It was a very generous offer made by the group’s management.  But, there are other reasons to support 4Troops, and the USO (and I imagine the other beneficiaries as well) would have been on board with 4Troops without any incentive other than supporting the efforts of these four veterans.

DON’T REPEAT OUR PAST MISTAKES

As a Vietnam veteran, I don’t think anyone would blame me for wondering when the other shoe would drop when it comes to troop support.  It hasn’t happened, which is gratifying as a veteran and an employee of an organization that relies on the public’s ongoing generosity.  If it were not for the continued support the USO receives from individuals and our great corporate partners. (By the way, welcome to our great friends at Frito-Lay, our newest strategic corporate partner.  The Tostidos Bowl was great fun)

The public is smarter than it was a little more than a generation ago.  Our donors span political ideology – sometimes it seems like we’re the last of the red-hot non-partisans.  Maybe it’s because the military is completely voluntary.  Even though 18-year-old males have to register with the Selective Service, there’s no chance of a draft in the foreseeable future.  Everyone I talk to think this has made the military better.  The fact that it, too, is smarter than the military of the past is one thing.  What’s great to see is troops completely committed to their mission.  They’re working at a job they ASKED for, and that makes a difference.

IS PAST REALLY PROLOGUE?

There are somewhere between 1 million and 2 million active duty, National Guard and reserve troops in uniform.  At best, that means that less than 1 percent of our fellow Americans are toting the load for the rest of us.  (The IAVA effectively reminds of that fact all the time, and bless them for that)

Upside – we have a great military, dedicated to their mission and focused on their goals.  They’ll make great employees for someone someday.

Downside – Many Americans say they support the military, but they appear to be doing it without thinking about the service and sacrifice of members of the military and their families.  Out of sight out of mind?  Maybe, probably not.  Americans are good and generous people.  We all have a zillion things on our minds (groceries, yard work, who walked the dog last?), so if something isn’t in our face or on our growing list of  “must do’s,’ we can’t be bothered.

SOMETIMES ONE ANWER SOLVES TWO QUESTIONS

Or, we can blame the fact that there’s no draft.

Inside this issue are many things to worry about.  One is that the lack of a universal commitment to do something (join the Marines, work for the Peace Corps, volunteer for a cause) disconnects us.  Many of us really are bowling alone.

Sadly, what we hear beneath the near universal support for troops is something more fundamentally disturbing.  “Look, this isn’t MY war.”  “This is something the government started and will have to end.  It’s just a money pit, and I can’t do anything about it.”  “Sure, I support them, but they volunteered.  They aren’t my problem.”

Okay, there’s an implicit and explicit contract Americans enter with every man and woman who volunteers to defend us.  Most of the time, our military is no closer to conflict than live fire training sessions in a desert somewhere.  But, when the nation calls on them, it’s really calling on all of us.

No, the military doesn’t call on fat old men like me.  I’d need help stepping out of a Blackhawk, and you can forget about any “jumping out with weapons and pack” foolishness.  That’s how it has been, and will always be … Healthy young people step forward generation after generation to take care of the rest of us.

I’ve lived long enough to give up my fantasies of future heroic service.  But, I have not given up hope that my fellow citizens know who saves their bacon every day in places most of can’t spell.  That’s what’s important.

I DID HAVE A POINT WHEN I STARTED

And, that’s why the USO supports 4Troops. Wherever they go to perform, they will remind people that they have returned from a war.  Just as they were among our best ambassadors around the world, their new mission is to represent their brothers and sisters who face harm and uncertainty and separation from families every day.

With each passing day, the current conflicts become remote notions for new people in our country.

I just figured out that 20-year-olds were farther from my war than I was removed from World War I when I was born.

The difference is that our parents faced and survived a depression and a world war in their own ways.  And THEIR parents faced and survived the first real world war.  Each generation came back to build a prosperous country, expanding opportunities for their fellow citizens. – sometimes far too late, but the wheel turned and more of us shared in the dream of this country.

This generation of troops is colorblind.  We can only hope it is as gender neutral as we would all want, and as blind to every prejudice that creeps in from time to time.

The beauty of focus on a mission is that the mission is what’s important; not the self-important ramblings of talking nitwits on TV.  Or me.

So, hats off to 4Troops.  See them when they’re in your town.  By their CD and teach your children that service does matter.

Exclusive Interview with 4Troops – and a Twitter Contest for #MilitaryMon

4Troops

Can’t get enough of 4Troops?  Neither can we!

Fresh off appearances on Fox and Friends Friday and Good Morning America, the group is poised to make a big splash with their self-titled debut album, available everywhere April 20.  Our favorite part?  A portion of proceeds will benefit the USO and other charities that support Troops and veterans.

In honor of #MilitaryMon on Twitter, they’ve put together a contest just for their fans!  From Monday March 22 – Monday March 29, Twitter users can follow @4troops on Twitter and retweet this message: “#militarymon @4troops performing on QVC 3-29-10 from 12-1pm – Tune In! Make Music to Support…the Troops!”  Five users will be chosen at random to win a 4Troops CD & t-shirt set.

No Twitter?  No problem!  The members of 4Troops – Daniel Jens, Meredith Melcher, David Clemo, and Ron Henry (L to R in photo at right) – recently sat down with USO Radio to talk music, the military, and how their group came to be.  Take a moment to learn more about their inspiring story…

4Troops Make Music to Support…the Troops!

4TROOPS are United States combat veterans – three young men and one woman who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Former Cpt. Meredith Melcher, Former Sgt. Daniel Jens, Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Ron Henry and Former Sgt. David Clemo have come together for a singular purpose: to sing on behalf of all troops, to honor their sacrifices and to create awareness for their needs.

And here’s the exciting part: their debut self-titled CD will be available on April 20th with a portion of the proceeds from the sales to benefit veteran-related charities, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and the USO!  The album consists of well-known positive pop and country songs and some new songs.  All of the songs take on a special meaning in the context that they are performed by these four combat heroes.  The first song is For Freedom, an inspirational patriotic tune written by Matt Moran for his grandfather, a WWII vet.  Country star Toby Keith gives his blessing for a new version of his popular and controversial post 9/11 hit Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue to be included on the album with lyrics revised to reflect a 2010 outlook.

Bob Woodruff, the ABC news anchor who was severely injured in Iraq, conducted the first TV interview with 4TROOPS which aired on Good Morning America (ABC) on Tuesday January 26th.  Woodruff is personally invested in creating a better environment for injured troops who return from war. Through The Bob Woodruff Foundation and ReMIND.org, Woodruff’s goal is to provide resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities, in addition to educate the public about the needs of the injured troops and empower people everywhere to take action.

4TROOPS is embarking on an U.S. Military base tour at the end of March followed by a National tour in the fall.  Upon hearing of the 4TROOPS, the Motel 6 hotel chain immediately wanted to be involved as a promotional partner and as a first step has generously donated lodging for the group throughout their U.S. Military base tour.

Check out their latest video below and be sure to visit their website to learn more!

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