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Country music artist Craig Morgan continues to make honoring America’s heroes a priority.
As the nation honors fallen Americans on Memorial Day, Morgan – a 10-year veteran of the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division – encouraged all service members to “take pride” in 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.
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“But every serviceman, no matter where and when they served, should be proud.”
They should “be proud”, he added, “of what they have done and the privilege they have served”.
The singer performed at the recent Grand Ole Opry Salute the Troops event, which Morgan said was a “very humbling” experience for him.
Morgan underscored the importance of country music to our nation as the Opry honored American heroes, past and present, at its annual event.
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“There is a sense of gratitude to God, family and country in this group of people that they feel privileged to be able to share, discuss and be part of,” he said.
Morgan said he sympathized with the attendees when he performed at military events such as Salute the Troops because he felt like he was “always that soldier”.
“I’m not a full-time soldier anymore, but that’s still who I am,” he said.
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“Going overseas and doing a show…it’s a bit difficult because I always feel like I want to be the guy there protecting the guy on stage.”
Morgan was first inducted into the Opry in 2008 at a special concert for American 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 siblings through entertainment venues and other outlets.
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Even though it has 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.
Philanthropy provides and improves homes for veterans, first responders and their families.
“There are a lot of great organizations that do this stuff,” Morgan said of the charity, speaking on “Fox & Friends” a few years ago.
“What I love about Operation Finally Homecoming that they’re doing differently is that they really, really involve the community. They get the community to donate time, effort, resources What this does is create a relationship between the recipient and the community.”
During last Tuesday night’s Salute the Troops show, Morgan presented Operation Finally Home with a check for $100,000 in a surprise onstage.
The donation included Morgan’s total earnings of $70,000 from the CBS survival show “Beyond the Edge,” plus an additional $30,000 from Monster Energy Cares.
Morgan’s next book, “God, Family and Country: A Memoir,” will be released in September.
Morgan — a beloved country music star — is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has listed 25 songs on Billboard, according to her website.
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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 Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.
His next book, “God, Family and Country: A Memoir,” will be released in September by Blackstone Publishing.
The book will share Morgan’s work and life values - including his background as an “enthusiast outdoorsman, former sheriff’s deputy who is still a member of the auxiliary and still husband and father first”, as its website notes.
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Craig Morgan and his wife, Karen, have five children: two daughters and three sons. Their son, Jerry, tragically died in 2016 at the age of 19.
The loss of their son in a drowning accident led Morgan to write the hit single “The Father, My Son and the Holy Spirit”.
One of the lyrics reads, “I know my boy ain’t here, but he ain’t gone.” Yet another reads: “And minute by minute, day by day / My God, He gave me hope.
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Michelle Pollino of Fox News Radio contributed to this report.