Defense Officials Recognize Mannheim Steamroller for Troop Support
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2008 For years, musical group Mannheim Steamroller has supported U.S. troops by giving away its Christmas CDs and concert tickets. Today, defense officials paused to thank the group’s founder.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England presents the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service to Louis “Chip” Davis at the Pentagon, Dec. 10, 2008. Davis, the founder of musical group Manheim Steamroller, announced the group will donate 1 million CDs to the troops this holiday season. DoD photo by Cherie A. Cullen
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“I represent all the men and women who serve in uniform and [department] civilians, and it’s an opportunity for us to say thank you,” Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said just before presenting Louis “Chip” Davis Jr. with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service award.
Through Mannheim Steamroller, which plays what Davis refers to as “18th Century Classical Rock,” Davis has played for military crowds and donated millions of CDs to troops and their families. And this year is no different.
For its 2008 support effort, dubbed “A Million Reasons to be Thankful,” the group is providing 1 million Mannheim Steamroller CDs to troops and their families at home and abroad.
“When somebody like yourself does that, you represent the American people to [the troops],” England said. “So it’s a way of the American people saying thanks to them when people like you step forward and do this.”
Davis has no plans of lessening his support any time soon, he said.
“You can plan on us continuing,” he said. “It’s something we love to do.”
And it’s from the heart, he said.
“I was thinking about … the men and women over there at Christmastime and not being able to necessarily be with their families,” he said. “I wanted to just simply give. I think a lot of times, it’s highly underestimated what happens out there in the big world and all of the things that the soldiers do for us to protect and keep our country free.”
Davis and Mannheim Steamroller have a long history of troop-support efforts through the United Service Organizations and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.