Introducing 4 Troops
There are many artists I’ve featured on my site, but one in particular recently caught my attention. 4 Troops is a group of 4 young military veterans who are not only talented musicians and singers, but also heroes for our country. 4 Troops has been featured on Good Morning America and USA Today and their self titled debut album will be available on May 25th through Sony Masterworks.
4TROOPS are United States combat veterans – three young men and one woman who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. While overseas, music played a crucial and very personal role in all of their lives. They would sing at everything from large military events to more intimate settings, where they would jam in their bunk after a long day in the field and try to recall a slice of home. They also used their voices at somber occasions like memorial services, where they would sing to remember those that had been lost. 4TROOPS now come together for a singular purpose: to sing on behalf of all troops, to honor their sacrifices and to create awareness for their needs.
The members of 4TROOPS are: Former Cpt. Meredith Melcher, Sgt. Daniel Jens, Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Ron Henry and Former Sgt. David Clemo. Melcher, 29, is the daughter of a retired three-star General. She served as a platoon leader on the front lines in Iraq where she led her troops in the successful ambulance evacuations of hundreds of wounded Americans and Iraqis. Jens, 36, served in Iraq and is currently stationed at Fort Hood. He joined the army after the events of 9/11. Jens was one of the finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” Henry, 41, served in the Army for 20 years. He was a transport manager in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, and also the leader of an Army singing group “Transportation Express.” Clemo, 30, served on the front lines in Afghanistan providing communications and logistics support for the 18th Airborne Corps. He and Melcher toured together in 2004 with the Army Soldier Show.
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. Another country hit on the album is Galveston, popularized by Glen Campbell. This song made the CMT list of the ten greatest country-western songs of all time. Other tracks include Angel by Sarah McLachlan, Lonestar’s I Am Already There, and a new song written by Victor Hurtado titled Here We’ve Been. The album is produced by Frank Fillipetti (Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, George Michael, Pavarotti) who produced James Taylor’s Hourglass album which won Fillipetti a Grammy® for Best Pop Album and Best Engineered Album in 1998.
The group was brought together by veteran Victor Hurtado. He has been part of Army Entertainment for the last 25 years, first as a Soldier and Music Director, and later as the Artistic Director. He is currently the Production Director for the Army Soldier Show. This show was established during WWI in 1918 by Sgt. Israel Beilin, better known as Irving Berlin.
Sony is in the process of finalizing arrangements to donate a portion of proceeds from 4Troops projects to one or more veteran-related charities, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). IAVA is the first and largest non-partisan, non-profit for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. IAVA has more than 180,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA was founded by Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, the author of the critically acclaimed book Chasing Ghosts and a nationally-recognized authority on the war in Iraq and issues affecting our troops, military families and veterans at home.
Bob Woodruff, the ABC news anchor who was severely injured in Iraq, conducted the first TV interview with 4TROOPS which will air 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.
In February 2010, 4TROOPS will tape a concert special at a U.S. Military base for intended airing in the summer on participating PBS stations.
In March 2010, 4TROOPS will embark on an U.S. Military base tour 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.
For more information on 4TROOPS visit www.4TROOPSmusic.com.
I did not receive product or compensation for writing this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.