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Country Singer Thanks Troops For Preserving Freedom

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2004 – Though many big-name stars in country music have come out to support troops fighting the war on terror, so too have some lesser- known stars.

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Christian Country artist Jason Parchert wears an "America Supports You" dog tag to show his support for members of the U.S. armed forces. DoD photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Jason Parchert may not be center-stage at the Grande Ole Opry, but during a recent layover at a Nashville airport he expressed his appreciation to troops fighting to preserve freedom here at home.

It is for that reason, he said, that the country must support its troops.

"What they are doing is for our freedom," he explained. "We can live and work here because of what they are doing. If we don't support them, it would be like we were saying 'We don't appreciate our own freedom.'"

Parchert, a born-again Christian and country music singer, has spent the last two years writing songs and performing mainly at clubs and cafes in the Nashville area.

The Reynolds, Ill., native moved to Nashville in January 1997 and later released his debut album, "Love Stained Heart," in 1999. A single from the album, titled "You Were," made the Christian Country music charts.

He recently released his second album, a project containing six original songs and six hymns. Three of those songs have already made it into the Christian Country charts.

According to his Web site, his music is inspired by real-life stories. He said one story that affected his life involved a soldier he met at an airport.

The soldier, a 19-year Army veteran, had just returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq. Parchert said the soldier told him he didn't know what to expect on his return to the United States.

"He thought people would spit on him like they did in Vietnam when he got home," the singer said. However, Parchert replied, "That's not at all the case. We love our soldiers, and I thanked him for his service." Parchert said the soldier just smiled back at him and said, "I'm just doing my job."

Now, Parchert said, he believes it's his job and that of all Americans to show their support of the military.

He said he will do anything he can to support the troops and to become part of a growing Defense Department campaign called "America Supports You" that highlights the efforts of those supporting the military.

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