O.A.R. has long supported our men and women in the military. It’s a bit of a twist for a band wildly popular with the carefree college party crowd both literally and figuratively distant from the armed forces. The contrast in lifestyles and socioeconomic backgrounds, speaking generally, could not be starker.
So give the former Ohio State students some credit for stepping away from their comfort zone and making time for a USO tour, a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, “An MTV Concert for the BRAVE,” and a performance for troops at Fort Hood, Texas.
Today O.A.R. released a video for “War Song,” which the band wrote upon its return from a 2007 USO visit to Iraq and Kuwait, all of which was inspired by the band’s partnership with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to create Open Up Your Arms. The campaign aims to engage and mobilize Americans by asking them to pledge support to our nation’s men and women in uniform. The campaign’s original goal of 11,111 supporters was met in only a couple of days. The new goal is 111,111 signatures by Veteran’s Day, November 11.
“After meeting our injured troops at Walter Reed and later in Iraq we felt a very personal connection to the plight of the physically and emotionally injured warrior,” said O.A.R. lead singer Marc Roberge. “We believe it’s time we opened up our doors, minds, and hearts to the men and women who need our support.”
You can sign the pledge and send messages of support through the interactive Open Up Your Arms website. You can also view video clips about the band and campaign, learn about issues facing our troops, veterans, and their families, and find out how to become involved with IAVA.
“This is just the beginning of an initiative that could literally transform our country,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “We’re taking action, raising awareness, and using music as an instrument of change. We hope millions of Americans will stand with IAVA and O.A.R. and pledge to support our nation’s newest generation of heroes.”