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Country music artist Craig Morgan continues to make honoring America’s heroes a priority.
As the nation honors America’s fallen on Memorial Day, Morgan — a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division — encouraged all military personnel to “be proud” of their service.
“Be proud,” he said in an interview. “Simple.”
“As military personnel, we’re not always in a place of positive energy or positive light,” he also told Fox News Radio and Fox News Digital.
“But every service member, regardless of where or when they served, they should be proud.”
They should “be proud,” he added, “of what they have done and the privilege that they have served.”
The singer performed at the recent Grand Ole Opry’s Salute the Troops event, which, Morgan said, was a “very humbling” experience for him.
Morgan emphasized how important country music is to our nation as the Opry honored America’s heroes, past and present, at its annual event.
“There’s a sense of gratitude for God, family and country in that group of people that they feel privileged to be able to share and discuss and be a part of,” he said.
Country music star Craig Morgan (center) snaps a selfie with veterans and their families at the Grand Ole Opry’s Salute the Troops event, in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 24, 2022. (Grand Ole Opry/Rachael Black)
Morgan said he empathizes with attendees when he’s performing at military events such as Salute the Troops, since he feels like he’s “still that soldier.”
“I’m not a full-time soldier anymore, but that is still very much who I am,” he said.
“Going overseas and doing a show … it’s a little difficult because I still feel like I want to be the guy over there protecting the guy on the stage.”
Morgan was first inducted into the Opry in 2008 during a special concert for U.S. troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he was stationed from 1990 to 1992.
The artist expressed his gratitude for being able to maintain a relationship with his military brothers and sisters through entertainment venues and other outlets.
Even though it’s been several decades since he was on active duty, Morgan still gives back to his military family by serving as an ambassador for Operation Finally Home.
The philanthropy provides and improves homes for veterans, first responders and their families.
“There’s a lot of great organizations out there that do this sort of thing,” Morgan said about this charity, speaking on “Fox & Friends” about it a few years ago.
“What I love about Operation Finally Home that they do differently is that they really, really involve the community. They get the community to donate time, effort, resources. What it does is create a relationship between the recipient and the community.”
During the Salute the Troops show this past Tuesday evening, Morgan presented Operation Finally Home with a check for $100,000 during an onstage surprise.
The donation included Morgan’s total of $70,000 in winnings from the CBS survival show “Beyond the Edge,” plus a $30,000 addition from Monster Energy Cares.
Morgan’s forthcoming book, “God, Family and Country: A Memoir,” will be out this September.
Morgan — a much-loved country music star — is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has charted 25 songs on Billboard, according to his website.
He spent 17 years serving in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, and is a recipient of the USO Merit Award and the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.
His forthcoming book, “God, Family and Country: A Memoir,” will be out this September from Blackstone Publishing.
The book will share Morgan’s life work and values — including his background as “an avid outdoorsman, a former sheriff’s deputy who’s still a member of the auxiliary and always a husband and father first,” as his website notes.
Craig Morgan and his wife, Karen, have five children: two daughters and three sons. Their son, Jerry, tragically passed away in 2016 at age 19.
The loss of their son in a drowning accident led Morgan to write the hit single, “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
One of the lyrics reads: “I know my boy ain’t here but he ain’t gone.” Still another reads: “And minute by minute, day by day / My God, He gave me hope.”
Fox News Radio’s Michelle Pollino contributed to this report.