By Mr. Tim Hipps (FMWRC)October 12, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Darryl Worley will share his love of country and those who defend it throughout his "God & Country Tour" of five U.S. Army installations this autumn.
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, Mr. 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."
Worley plans to weave stories like that between songs while performing Oct. 29 at Fort Riley, Kan.; Oct. 30 at Fort Carson, Colo.; Nov. 18 at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Nov. 20 at Presidio of Monterey, Calif.; and Nov. 22 at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Worley not only will perform free concerts but will provide military folks a free download of "Unsung Heroes" at www.darrylworley.com. At each tour stop, he also will sign autographs and pose for photographs at the commissary or PX.
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."