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)