October 15, 2010 in Features

4Troops finds entertaining way to serve the country

Isamu Jordan Correspondent
 
If you go

4Troops

When, where: Today, 7:30 p.m. at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum, Washington State University, Pullman; and Saturday, 8 p.m. at the Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Road, Coeur d’Alene.

Cost/call: Pullman, $29/adults, $24/students, $15/military, through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT, www.ticketswest.com);

Coeur d’Alene, $29, at the Kroc Center front desk or by calling (208) 667-1865.

• A portion of the proceeds benefits the USO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and American Legion.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Ron Henry never thought the military would lead him to music. But the 20-plus-year career military man is now a career musician with a record deal on Sony and a new album, DVD and a book.

Henry tours the country, entertaining soldiers and civilians alike as a member of the 4Troops quartet of U.S. combat veterans, along with former Sgt. Daniel Jens, former Cpt. Meredith Melcher and former Sgt. David Clemo.

A former standout on “Military Idol,” Henry and the rest of 4Troops have made appearances on “Larry King Live,” “The View” and “Good Morning America.” In a recent interview he talked about serving his country through song.

Q. How did the album come together?

A. We sat down and put together songs for the album that would bring to life what we’ve been through as a group and as individuals – like when we were deployed – so other soldiers can identify with what we’re singing about.

There’s a song called “Bless the Broken Road” where it paints a picture of someone being separated from their family for a long period of time. That’s a hard road to travel to be gone for a long time, and some didn’t make it back home. We wanted to honor that sacrifice.

America doesn’t always know how to approach men and women in the military. But it could be as simple as walking up and saying, “Thank you for serving our country and keeping us safe.”

Q. What is it like for you to be making so many television and other major public appearances?

A. All of us have had experience singing in front of a large capacity of people. I was more excited and humbled because of the reason we were doing it.

It is so wonderful to be on national TV and see your friends and family’s Facebook messages or e-mails. What better way to continue serving your country.

Q. What genre does your music fall under?

A. It’s almost every genre except opera and polka. We do country, R&B, pop, rock. We wanted to cover every genre so everybody can listen to it and appreciate their favorite genre and other genres.

The theme is sticking together. That’s what helps us make it home and encourage each other, whether it’s music or anything else. It’s like, “We have six months to go. Be safe out there.”

Q. As a veteran, how does it feel to be performing for military men and women and their families?

A. It’s very overwhelming when I’m looking into the audience and seeing that people have got tears in their eyes. It’s hard for me to stay focused. Tears are coming out my eyes while I’m singing and it’s hard to continue the song when you see someone crying, daughters grasping on to mothers because they’ve lost fathers or husbands.

That makes the whole worth thing it. I’ll do this for the rest of my life knowing I can help someone make it to the next day.

Q. How was singing competitively on “Military Idol” different from singing in an Army group to boost morale?

A. I almost didn’t sign up for it. It was the last day of auditions, I found out about it through some friends who made me go down and try out.

I was nervous. There are a lot of good singers out there. But when I grab that mic I want people to see my heart, my battles, my accomplishments and failures.

We can all learn from one another’s mistakes and that’s my agenda when I’m singing. You’re seeing all of me. I’m there to help you see a better outlook on any day.

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