America Supports You: Intrepid Hosts Salute to Servicemembers
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
NEW YORK, May 29, 2005 The Defense Department's "America Supports You" team made sure Marines, sailors and their guests knew just how much they are appreciated with a musical salute May 28 at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum here.
Chely Wright sings to a crowd of mostly sailors and a few Marines while wearing a sailor's "cover" that was thrown onto the stage. Her performance was part of an America Supports You salute to men and women in the military, part of Fleet Week 2005 in New York City. Photo by Samantha L. Quigley
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
America Supports You is a DoD effort to highlight what Americans are doing to support the military.
The concert at the Intrepid museum was scheduled as part of Fleet Week 2005 activities. It featured country singer Chely Wright and the duo of Montgomery Gentry.
Before the concert, which included Wright's hit "The Bumper of My S.U.V." - a tribute to her Marine brother -- she said that she and her band were thrilled to be in New York to thank servicemembers during Fleet Week.
"It's a big deal for us to be here in New York City during Fleet Week," Wright said. "I hope (the servicemembers) get out of our performance ... that we care."
Wright, a long-time ASY team member, said the organization is needed and that it has grown since she joined the team in its "baby stages."
"I think America Supports You is a very necessary organization," she said. "It's not just a Web site. It's a whole new movement. America Supports You is the most comprehensive way to support the troops."
Judy Seale, president and CEO of "Stars for Stripes," an organization that provides celebrity entertainment for troops overseas, agrees. "America wants to help out," she said, "but they don't know how."
Stars for Stripes frequently arranges for celebrity tours of military bases in overseas locations. "We all do it because we're supporting the troops," she said. "It's from the heart (and) the most rewarding thing in my life."
Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry -- who make up Montgomery Gentry -- said they are thrilled to be part of America Supports You and to perform at a concert supporting the troops.
"It's a great honor just to be here," Montgomery said. "We can't thank our heroes, past and present, (enough)."
Sailors clapped and stomped along with the energetic duo for more than half an hour.
Before the festivities started on the flight deck of the Intrepid, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Leslie Pope said she couldn't wait for Montgomery Gentry to begin playing. She added that she was looking forward to Wright's "The Bumper of My S.U.V." as well.
The Pentagon Channel's Marine Cpl. Brian Buckwalter introduced both Wright and Montgomery Gentry. The salute also included performances by singers Yummi and Lana Phillips and an appearance by the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.