Four U.S. Army veterans have come together to honor the sacrifices of American military troops and raise awareness of their needs as part of a new music group, 4Troops.
Rascal Flatts' 2005 Number One Country hit "Bless The Broken Road" is among the songs 4Troops covered on their self-titled debut album.
4Troops consists of United States combat veterans Sergeant Daniel Jens, who was a 2008 finalist on "America's Got Talent;" retired Staff Sergeant Ron Henry; Sergeant David Clemo; and Captain Meredith Melcher, the daughter of a retired three-star General. Performing music played an important role in their lives while serving in the military. The four were brought together by veteran Victor Hurtado, Production Director for the Army Soldier Show.
"It's basically entertainment by soldiers for soldiers," said Meredith Melcher, who was a cast member of the show in 2004.
"It started back in the days of Irving Berlin, so it's been going on for that long. So, that's how we met back in 2004. It's a pretty big show."
This past January, 4Troops signed with Sony Music. Their album was produced by Grammy-winner Frank Fillipetti, who has worked with Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Elton John, Billy Joel and many others. Group member Daniel Jens says the 11 tracks cover many musical genres.
"There's one original song on there, but most of them are different covers of different genres, from Country to pop to rock, inspirational and patriotic," he said. "It's really an album for everyone."
4Troops spent the past two months performing at U.S. military bases. They'll head out on a national tour later this year. David Clemo says the group hopes to bring attention to American troops.
"This project for us was about supporting service members, because no matter what military [service] you're in, you don't make the decision on where to go," he said. "Obviously, peace is what everyone strives for. But, support your service members. Support the people who protect you and have put other people's lives ahead of their own."
"Our hope and goal is to do this as long as America wants us," adds Ron Henry. "We love America. We love all the troops and all the servicemen and women. We just want to do something that will give them encouragement to keep going."
A portion of the proceeds from 4Troops' album will benefit the USO, American Legion, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America. The first single released from the album is "For Freedom."