Justin Moore Helps Boost Morale at USO Event
When Justin Moore got a call from the USO to perform for hundreds of military families with deployed love ones (representing all branches of service) on the afternoon of May 22 at Ft. Belvoir, Va., he didn't hesitate for one moment. The answer was, "yes!, yes!, yes!"
Justin, who was in Virginia to perform that evening as an opening act on Brad Paisley's H2O tour in Bristow, Va., was honored to head to Ft. Belvoir to perform for the families at their Deployed Family Fun Day event.
"We've had a couple of instances where we've had opportunities to do some USO events," Justin tells The Boot, "and they never worked out for whatever reason. That's always something that I've been interested in and wanted to do ... so we happened to be out that way, and they had that going on and asked me if I'd do it so I jumped on it."
Continuing, Justin explains how his own family played a roll in his desire to help out the servicemen and women. "I had one grandpa in the Navy and one was in the Air Force. I've got family that just got out. It's something that's really important to me. I can't say enough about the men and women who go over there and put their lives on the line so we can be over here and walk on stage and play music and make a living. It kind of blows me away to be honest with you."
Justin also feels a kinship with the families, since he often has to leave his own to tour. But the performance at the Family Fun Day provided some levity and perspective. "I was in the middle of a 14-day run where I hadn't seen my wife and my daughter, and the first person -- a lady -- in my meet 'n' greet came up with two little boys, and her husband had left a few days prior to that, and he was going to be gone for 14 months, and it just really made me go: you know what? I think I can handle 14 days! It's really amazing what the families do. Obviously the men and women who go over there and fight for us, it's the families who are left here to wonder."
"I played a few songs and then got to meet the families and the kids, and it was also men and women who were about to leave so it was a little bitter sweet. It was great to see them, but it really puts it in perspective for you, and really makes you [appreciate life]. We all have big times as artists when we're on the road or away from our families for a week or two at a time, and even though we're doing what we love, we kind of can get a little bitter about it [at times], and that really puts it in perspective and lets you know how lucky we really are.
Justin played his No. 1 smash hit 'Small Town USA,' 'Backwoods,' his new single 'How I Got to Be This Way,' "and I had to play 'Kick Your Ass,' and dedicate it to the troops!"
Deployed Family Fun Day is a biannual event, which was started by USO-Metro in 2007 to boost morale within the local military community, with a special focus on families dealing with a recent deployment. Besides Justin's performance, the event featured a BBQ lunch, a visit from the Washington Redskins cheerleaders, and countless activities for kids, including crafts, games, moon bounce, laser tag and prizes.
For more information about USO-Metro, click here.