Platinum-selling country band Lonestar will headline the Operation Cherrybend: A Hero’s Concert at 7 p.m. this Saturday presented by the Flight Deck Veterans Group and Cherrybend Pheasant Farm in partnership with R+L Carriers.
The annual event at The Murphy Theatre in Wilmington — founded by Nashville recording artist and U.S. Navy veteran Jared Ashley and Cherrybend’s Ellis Family — is meant to thank wounded veterans and spread awareness for veterans issues. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at themurphytheatre.org or operationcherrybend.org.
After a successful 2015 event featuring country star John Michael Montgomery, organizers say the annual veterans hunt and concert “is back and bigger than ever.”
“R+L Carriers is inspired by the work of the Flight Deck Veterans Group, and Operation Cherrybend which provide professional support, the opportunity to build and strengthen personal relationships, and the tools to explore and learn new skills or hobbies,” said Greg Bronner, VP of Marketing for R+L. “We are truly inspired by this. We want to help spread the importance of supporting those who have served us, in an effort to reflect our gratitude for the sacrifices these men and women have made to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Jared Ashley added, “What started out as a simple grass-roots retreat with my fellow singer/songwriters to honor a few combat wounded veterans, has turned into an amazing event on a much larger scale impacting a vast audience, I’m so thankful to the Ellis family, R+L Carriers, the city of Wilmington, Ohio and surrounding area businesses and residents for their support in honoring these veterans.
“Approximately 22 veterans take their lives every day. We need to increase awareness of veterans issues so they feel the honor and pride that we have for them every day.”
Hillsboro businessman Scott Lewis, a member of the Operation Cherrybend board, said Thursday the concert is the culmination of several events over the weekend that honor wounded veterans, including a dinner and party.
Lewis said that the Nick Erdy Foundation has donated 100 tickets to Saturday’s concert to military and veteran heroes. There is a two-ticket limit, and anyone who qualifies and is interested in obtaining the tickets can email [email protected] or call 513-292-5551. Lance Corporal Nicholas Erdy was killed in Iraq in May 2005 in the Al Anbar Province when his Armored Assault Vehicle was hit by an I.E.D. Five other Marines were also killed in the attack.
Saturday’s concert will feature Lonestar and Ashley, who will take the stage after a Songwriters Round from Nashville featuring 2015 CCMA Songwriter of the Year Buddy Owens, Grammy-winning songwriter Ray Stephenson (who has written for Willie Nelson, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and more) and U.S.Marine Corps veterans Daniel Dean and Sal Gonzalez.
About Operation Cherrybend
The mission of Operation Cherrybend is to thank veterans for their courage, selflessness and sacrifice to our country.
“The more we educate the general public about the trials and ongoing challenges of wounded veterans, and veterans in general, the better understanding the public will have in order to meet their needs,” said Beth Ellis, co-owner of Cherrybend Pheasant Farm.
About the Flight Deck Veterans Group
The objective of the Flight Deck Veterans Group is to promote camaraderie between veterans of US Military Flight Deck Service. In doing so the goal is to support one another and pass on the history and legacy of our veterans and flight deck operations to each other and the public.
The Flight Deck Veterans Group is a veterans-based volunteer driven, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Donations to Operation Cherrybend are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. To find out more about the Flight Deck Veterans Group please visit www.fdvg.org.