PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Country singer Darryl Worley will share his love of country and those who defend it with a free concert for all members of the Monterey Military Community at Ord Military Community's General Stilwell Community Center 6 p.m. Nov. 20.

Community members are encouraged to park in the Post Exchange parking lots or use the free shuttles to ride to the concert. Shuttles will be available to transport community members to the venue from the Presidio of Monterey, La Mesa Village and at various locations throughout OMC. Stops should be marked with special concert pick-up signs.

Those interested in attending the concert are encouraged to check for last-minute information at the Presidio's website, <a href=""></a>, and the Presidio's Facebook page, <a href=""></a>. Specifics about shuttle service should also be available through the website <a href=""></a>.

Earlier in the day, Worley is scheduled to make a special appearance to sign autographs and pose for photographs with Presidio service members at the Belas Dining Facility from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Worley not only has been performing free concerts but is also providing military folks a free download of "Unsung Heroes" at <a href=""></a>.

The "God & Country Tour" is a country-music tribute to military personnel and their families, and the Presidio is the sixth stop of seven U.S. military installations. Worley completes the tour Nov. 22 at Fort Lewis, Wash.

During Worley's performance Oct. 30 at Fort Carson, Colo., he intertwined songs with stories about his experiences with service members and their families throughout the two-hour performance. Worley expressed his gratitude to the audience for welcoming him with such enthusiasm and explained why the tour was so important to him.

"It's a big deal because we love and appreciate what you folks do," Worley said, adding that "we come and do these things because it's the right thing to do, and because it's our way to serve and give back to the men and women that do so much for us to keep us free and that keep our families safe."

Worley said he's seen the changes firsthand during the many trips he's made to Iraq and Afghanistan and commended the service members and their families for the sacrifices they make daily. He said those sacrifices are contributing to changing the world and will not be forgotten.

"They do an incredible job - you can't possibly imagine unless you've been and seen it yourself how they've changed the world, not just that region," he said. "But when you change that region, you change the world."

The country singer-songwriter best known for "Have You Forgotten" has journeyed eight times into the Middle East to entertain deployed troops, who urged him to support their folks back home. He originally did not get what they meant.

"Over a period of about two years, I've had tons of different military people approach me - sometimes they would be overseas and sometimes here in the States," Worley explained. "They came from all different places but they would have almost the exact same thing to say to me: 'If you're inspired to do something else for the military, and don't take this the wrong way, Mister Worley, because we're not being disrespectful, we love everything that you do. But could you please try to write something for our spouses - the people that are left behind at home waiting and wondering''

"And, you know, it's weird. The truth is it just wasn't sinking in. I'm hearing it everywhere I go and I'm thinking 'Boy, that's so cool that they think about their families.'"

Then it clicked.

"All of a sudden, a light went off in my head," Worley recalled. "So I just sat down with a buddy of mine and immediately I got that title in my head, I thought these people are "Unsung Heroes," and that's the long story short. We wrote the song, it's an incredible recording, and they're going to get it for free because they deserve to get it for free.

"I think all the military out there are going to be excited about this because they're the reason we wrote it in the first place. They spawned the whole idea."

The tour, sponsored by GM Military Discount and TriWest Healthcare Alliance, is part of Army Entertainment Division's quest to help fulfill the promise of the Army Family Covenant.

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 1, 2001, coupled with Worley's first trip to Afghanistan to perform for troops during the 2002 Christmas holiday season, inspired his biggest hit, "Have You Forgotten."

"I came back home and wrote the song just to honor the people that died, the people here on the home front that work hard to look out for us every day, and obviously the military people that really inspired the song," he said. "I just wanted to do something for all those folks and just to have a minute to ask people not to be so complacent and to remember.

"It's not just about 9-11, man, to me the song is timeless and it stands for generations. We owe a huge debt to all people who have worn the uniform all the way back to, well heck, all the way back to the Revolutionary War. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for those guys. I have family members that died just on the other side of the Tennessee River where I grew up in the Battle of Shiloh during the Civil War. It's just asking people to remember, you know, not to forget the things that brought us where we are - the people and their sacrifices."

Worley has gotten up close and personally seen the differences of today's warfare.

"This show is packed full of stuff that I think will make them smile and give them a feeling that someone is out there supporting them and uplifting them," Worley said. "In these crowds, there will be a lot of people who have just come back and a lot of people who are getting ready to go. It gives us an opportunity to show our respect and appreciation for what they do."

(Tim Hipps and Kerstin Lopez contributed to this article.)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16