Rock Star Prepares for Deployment as Army Reservist
By Jamie Findlater
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 28, 2008 A rock star is putting a successful music career on hold as he prepares to deploy overseas as a member of the Army Reserve.
“I think it’s the pinnacle of life to be able to say, when my country needed me, … I heeded the call,” Sgt. Frank Cavanagh said in an “America Supports You Live” BlogTalkRadio.com interview a week before deploying for training and eventually to Iraq.
Cavanagh was the bass player for the band Filter, and he recently participated in a reunion tour in Kuwait with Operation MySpace. Cavanagh left a successful eight-year music career behind to put his energy into serving his country in the Army Reserve. Now, as the excitement of the reunion tour has died down, he is focusing his excitement on a different type of tour in the U.S. military.
Reflecting on his reception during the March 10 Operation MySpace concert in Kuwait, Cavanagh said that “across the board, all the soldiers and sailors and Marines I talked to wher blown away by my decision (to serve my country).”
But, he added, he always has looked up to other servicemembers, just as they look up to him.
“In your situation, you may look up to someone on stage that’s a ‘rock star’ and think that’s what you want to attain. … Me, I’m looking at what you’re doing, and that’s what I want to attain. … I can always go back to music, … but serving is something that I can only do now.”
For Cavanagh, being part of the military is a long-standing family tradition and a matter of pride.
“My father, my grandfather, my brother, my uncle, and my cousin have all served in the military, … and growing up I was always going to bases,” he explained. Later in life, “whenever we were on tour, there would be military recruiters there.” He and Filter’s lead guitarist Richard Patrick are both big military history buffs, he added.
When the age limit for entering the military was fast approaching, Cavanagh said, he knew he had to take action. “At the time when I joined, the age limit was 35 and I was 34. … I thought, ‘I really want to do something with the military before I can’t anymore; I never want to look back and regret it.’”
Cavanagh said it’s important for servicemembers to understand what their sacrifice means to America.
“Political or not, if you live in America, it’s a country that allows you to express yourself politically,” he said. “And the whole reason behind that is the people in the military have made sacrifices so that our country can be what it is.”
(Jamie Findlater works in the New Media Branch at American Forces Information Service.)