DALLAS (Army News Service, Dec. 4, 2007) - Recognizing that music has always been integral to morale, more than a dozen of the biggest names in country, rock, pop and R&B are teaming up with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service and America Supports You to deliver a special gift to troops this holiday season - a free compilation of songs produced exclusively for Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines.
"Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling singer/songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting approached us about this project a few months back after learning of AAFES' extensive presence in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom," said Lt. Col. Dean Thurmond, AAFES' chief of communications. "While initial conversations focused on delivering a physical CD to PXs and BXs in the contingency theater, we quickly came to the conclusion that offering the songs through AAFES' secure website was probably the best way to ensure everyone in uniform had an opportunity to receive this special gift."
After examining all available delivery options, Mr. Ondrasik, America Supports You and AAFES decided to offer the songs from "CD for the Troops" to active-duty military members and veterans with military IDs through www.aafes.com for free beginning Nov. 17.
"The timing couldn't be better," said Brig. Gen. Keith Thurgood, AAFES' commander. "While aafes.com is heavily trafficked throughout the year, the number of troops logging on goes way up in November and December. I'm excited about the prospect of a Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine going to the site to get a present for someone else and finding this terrific gift that has been created just for them. This project also represents how much the nation, and specifically these artists, appreciates the service of their military."
The complete track list of free songs available at www.aafes.com as part of the "CD For the Troops" project are as follows:
* Billy Joel - Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
* Brooks & Dunn - Keep on Swingin'
* Five for Fighting - 100 Years
* The Fray - How to Save a Life (acoustic)
* Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band - Sweet Home Chicago
* Goo Goo Dolls - Feel the Silence (remix)
* Jewel - Hands
* Josh Groban - February Song
* Los Lonely Boys - Heaven
* Melissa Etheridge - Come to my Window
* Montgomery Gentry - My Town
* The Neville Brothers - Brothers
* Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong
"Ever since I played the concert for New York City in 2001, I've continued to build relationships with our servicemen and women," said Mr. Ondrasik. "These experiences have left me humbled by the integrity, humility and courage of the men and women in uniform. Furthermore, their families, who are without loved ones for years at a time, have dignity that is only eclipsed by their sacrifice.
"I'd like to thank the artists, labels and publishers who have joined me in this gesture. Music can be a powerful aid to the morale and mental well being of our military and their loved ones," he added. "It is, in my opinion, the least we can do. There would be no songs of consequence without Soldiers whose sacrifice secures our freedom."