Charlie Daniels Band Rocks New River

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2007 - The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but Charlie Daniels stopped off at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., to show his appreciation to the servicemembers stationed there May 16.

The country music star and his band entertained about 5,500 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., and New River, as well as their guests. Saying the musician got a warm welcome may be a bit understated, Paul Quinn, director of Marine Corps Community Services at New River, said.

"We've had a lot of shows here, and this one was a high-spirited one," he said. "It started off with the 'Tennessee Waltz,' and ended up with 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia.'"

In the midst of the entertainment, Daniels expressed his appreciation for what the servicemembers have done for the country. Before that, however, he had focused his attention on 70 Marines recovering from injuries suffered in Iraq, and their guests.

The wounded warriors, part of a unit stationed at Camp Lejeune, were special guests at the concert.

"Before the show itself started, we gave them a prime rib dinner at the officers' club," Quinn said. "Then he sat down for an hour and a half, and everyone got a personal talking-to and autographs. It was great."

The Spirit of America Tour, which provides headline entertainment to America's stateside military installations, arranged for Daniels and his band to perform for the Marines. Robert M. Rosenthal, the organization's founder and president, said his only expectation for the concert was what he expects from each of the shows he arranges.

"I hope they bring a moment of relaxation to the Marine, the soldier, the airman and their families," Robert M. Rosenthal, the organization's founder and president, said. "I just hope they bring a little morale boost to them and let them know there are people out there in America who respect them, and who want to do something for them."

The concert at New River surely lived up to expectations. "It was one of the most enthusiastic audiences we've ever had," Rosenthal said.

The Spirit of America Tour is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

It was the organization's 82nd concert since its creation in 2002, and like each of the previous shows, it was free to anyone with a Defense Department identification card.

Country music singer Danielle Peck is the next artist who will work with The Spirit of America Tour to show her appreciation to servicemembers. She will perform May 31 at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.
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