By Ms. Adriana Salas (ATEC)March 25, 2011
A free concert was held at White Sands Missile Range to kickoff the 22nd annual Bataan Memorial Death March weekend. Ricky Lee, an up and coming country singer performed for a crowd of WSMR residents and Bataan Memorial Death March participants March 25 at the WSMR football field. Lee, who is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said he could not pass up the opportunity to come once he heard what the event was all about. "We came to help celebrate and to honor the survivors that are going to be here," Lee said. Spouses of deployed Soldiers took the opportunity to raise funds for the battalion by selling hamburgers and bratwurst at the event. The spouses said they enjoyed the entertainment and are grateful for special events like these, held on post. "It\'s awesome, we feel very proud that he would come and honor us like this and to come out and dance with the people is really something else," said Shilah De Luna, an Army spouse. During the two hour concert Lee would frequently come off stage to mingle with the crowd and have them sing verses of his songs. The concert consisted of songs from his newly released 12 song albums, nine of which Lee wrote himself. Lee's concerts and tours are focused on performing for Soldiers and veterans around the world. Recently Lee raised $30,000 within just 30 concerts that went directly to military assistance. Lee said he is planning to return to WSMR this upcoming June to welcome the troops of the 2nd Engineer Battalion home from their deployment to Afghanistan. "There is special place in our hearts for our Soldiers who are currently serving, we try to make it a point of honoring them in every one of our shows," Lee said. Lee will also perform on Saturday for the Bataan survivors during the traditional pasta dinner and sing the national anthem during the opening ceremonies on Sunday.