News: This is for you: Country stars take backseat to air show, hold free concert
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — More than 1,200 air show patrons relaxed and enjoyed a free country music concert in the midst of the 2012 Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show, May 5.
The concert featured upcoming country star David Kroll, long time fan of MCAS Cherry Point Bill Gentry and Darryl Worley.
“Today isn’t about us country stars,” said concert headliner Darryl Worley. “I am happy to be here and glad for once we aren’t the ‘main eventers,’ we are here to show our appreciation to the men and women of the armed forces. This weekend is about the heritage of the Marine Corps and its aviation community. I had a great opportunity to see an amazing show with the Blue Angles and other military aircraft flying through the skies of Cherry Point.”
As the bands kicked-off their show, the people in attendance began, ‘’Feeling the love from these cowboys,” as one Marine put it.
“It means a lot and shows a lot of respect to us military knowing these three country stars came here knowing we aren’t all showing up just for their concert,” said Sgt. Tanner J. Craig, a non-commissioned officer in charge with Marine Electronic Warfare Squadron 4. “We are here celebrating our proud heritage. This concert is just a bonus.”
The country stars themed their performance around the trials and tribulations of military life, playing hit singles like “19” by Gentry and “The Little Soldier” by Kroll.
“I love ‘19’ by Bill,” said Craig. “I played football all through high school and enlisted in the Marines instead of playing in college. I can relate to the songs these guys sing and it means a lot.”
Worley said he returned, May 1, from Afghanistan, where he went to small posts and performed for groups of special forces military members.
“We enjoy visiting the troops,” said Worley. “I love doing what I do and wouldn’t be able to if not for these amazing people who defend our freedoms.”
Kroll is the youngest of the performers in both age and experience, but brought a story he holds close to his heart. A story told to him from a military friend, and he used to help write one of his songs.
“A lot of country stars have at least one song about the military,” said Kroll. “My song ‘The Little Soldier’ is about the ones serving at home, the wives and children of these great men and women. A spouse volunteers to enlist when they say ‘I do,’ and with each deployment runs the risk of losing their loved one. I just hope that my music can bring both these military members and their families some sense of hope and happiness.”
The country stars performed their tracks and then signed some autographs after the show. Hundreds of fans sang and danced the night away with, what seemed like, pride in their hearts and smiles on their faces.
“The air show takes away from the mundane routine of our life and throwing in a free country concert in there makes it all the better,” said Craig.