America Supports You: Singer Chronicles Military Spouses' Lives
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 13, 2006 Growing up in Bristol, Tenn., country singer April Taylor heard tales of her grandmother's struggles while her grandfather served in Korea, and she's hearing similar tales from her friends today.
America Supports You member and country music singer April Taylor remembers her grandmother's struggles as a military wife, and is working to support military spouses, their families and the troops. Twenty percent of the proceeds from Internet sales of her single "Hero at Home" will go to benefit military spouses. Taylor recently became a member of the America Supports You program. Photo by Samantha L. Quigley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"He was deployed to Korea for a year and left my grandmother at home alone with four small children," Taylor said. "I can remember hearing stories of the sacrifices she made,"
Taylor grew up surrounded by music and "always" sang in church, she said. Her big break came in a local radio station's "American Idol" style contest.
She won and shortly afterward submitted a demo CD to Plateau Music in Nashville, landing a contract. In her hunt for songs to record on her first album, she discovered one that seemed to sum up the stories she was hearing now from her peers.
"There's so many wives out there (now) with those same stories of things they go through and trying to be the glue to the family while their husbands are away," she said.
The story line of "Hero at Home," released in September, follows the life of a military wife, she said. She recorded it to remind those who already support the troops not to forget the families at home.
"People forget to recognize and remember the wives. So that's what my goal is for this song: to support the spouse and everything she goes through as well," Taylor said. "We just wanted to honor them and to recognize them."
The singer said she's donating 20 percent of the proceeds of all Internet sales of Hero at Home to Operation Homefront. Homefront supports military spouses in the challenges they face while their servicemembers are deployed.
With a grandfather who served 20 years in the Army and a cousin who served in Iraq this year, Taylor said she understands the importance of the Defense Department's America Supports You program. The nationwide program helps showcase Americans' support for servicemembers and their families.
Taylor said she joined the program because she "really likes what they're doing in support of the families." She added she's been wearing the America Supports You dog tags faithfully for a year and said she looks forward to more involvement in the program.
"I just really want to encourage people to be a part of the America Supports You and all that they're doing," she said. "There's so much going on in the world today ... and the families are here trying to hold (things together) at home.
"We just need to be supportive of them and not forget."
Taylor said she'll be performing June 15 at the "Night of Heroes" gala sponsored by Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation, an America Supports You member.