WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Country singer Trace Adkins tries to do a USO tour almost every year, if possible, said his manager, JW Williams.
"All I can say is thank you" to veterans, Adkins said, adding that he continues to try to support veterans in the best way he knows how, "and hopefully bring a smile to people's faces every now and then, and sing some songs they may enjoy hearing and just let them know that they're appreciated and I'm just trying to do my tiny little part."
For his many acts of morale boosting and charity, Adkins was presented with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award at the Chief of Staff of the Army Salute during a twilight tattoo ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, Sept. 15.
MORE THAN SINGING
Williams, himself an Army veteran, said that Adkins has also been the spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project since 2008, and has also volunteered to work with Operation Homefront and other non-profit organizations.
Adkins said it was a privilege to volunteer his time to honor those who've served and sacrificed. Many of those heroes, he said, struggle with visible and invisible wounds and the Wounded Warrior Project is there to help them.
Operation Homefront provides emergency financial assistance to military families and wounded warriors. It also builds mortgage-free homes for struggling veterans.
Through his music and spokesman efforts, Adkins draws the attention of would-be donors to those worthy causes, Williams said.
"He advocates all the time," Williams said. "This isn't just an on-camera thing. He lives this. We're all tied very closely with this. We've got skin in the game."
TRYING TO PAY BACK
Adkins explained how he got interested in veterans' causes.
"I realized early on when I started working with veterans organizations and doing things with the military, that when you have an opportunity to associate with heroes and hang out with heroes, it's an incredibly rewarding experience," he said. "I just think that we as a people owe a huge debt to the men and women that serve and protect our way of life.
"So I just continue to try to pay back, to try to let them know that I really appreciate what they do and they're never forgotten and that we always remember what a fantastic job they're doing and what a hard job it is," he added.