KIRKUK, Iraq -- The Zac Brown Band, was nominated for the entertainer of the year, top vocal group of the year, album of the year and single record of the year; however, the band skipped the awards ceremony for a nine-day United Service Organization/Armed Forces Entertainment sponsored tour across Kuwait and Iraq.
It is no coincidence that the Zac Brown Band was performing for servicemembers during one of the biggest country music ceremonies, according to the members of the band; Zac Brown, Coy Bowles, Clay Cook, Jimmy De Martini, Chris Fryar and John Hopkins.
"We decided to come at this time because we want to remind people that you are still over here sleeping in sandstorms, sipping on near-beer and giving up months of your lives to fight for freedom," Brown said to a crowd of cheering troops. Brown is the lead vocalist and guitarist in the Zac Brown Band.
Even though the band is on the other side of the world, those who watch the ACM Awards will be able to see the band perform for the troops.
During the two-hour long concert, on FOB Warrior, the band played hit songs Highway 20 Ride, Whatever It Is and a crowd favorite Chicken Fried, that had troops in the crowd holding their hands high with their near-beer.
The band also preformed one of their newest songs, Free and dedicated it to the service members.
According to band members, the song Free will also serve as a reminder of the concert to the troops since footage shot during the performances will be used in a music video.
Following the concert the band took pictures and signed autographs for the troops.
The USO/Armed Forces Entertainment sponsored concert was aimed to boost the morale of troops and get their mind off of their jobs for a bit and according to troops that is exactly what happened.
"Words can't even describe how unbelievable this concert was," said Sgt. Dennis Diver, a native of Brockton, Mass., and a non-commissioned officer with Bravo Company, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas.
This work, Zac Brown Band performs for troops during ACM Awards, by SPC Jessica Luhrs-Stabile, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.