Magazine article VFW Magazine

Performers Bring 'Awareness about Our Troops'

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Performers Bring 'Awareness about Our Troops'

Article excerpt

A quartet of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans sings to raise consciousness and money for veterans.

"Every troop, no matter where they've been or what they've done, has a story to tell " former Army Capt. Meredith Melcher told Good Morning America ( GMA). "It can be a story of courage or loss or brotherhood. And I think that for us, this opportunity is so unique because we get to tell our stories and share our experiences through music."

Melcher's story includes a deployment to Iraq and a CD due out this month. She performs with Sgt. Daniel Jens, retired Staff Sgt. Ron Henry and former Sgt. David Clemo as 4Troops, a quartet of veterans singing and touring on behalf of other vets.

"Bringing more awareness about our troops and their sacrifices is what we're all about," Melcher told USA Today.

Melcher served as a platoon leader in Iraq, where she led her troops in the successful ambulance evacuations of hundreds of wounded Americans and Iraqis.

"I went Feb. 14, 2003," Melcher told GMA. "We made it all the way up through Baghdad to Balad. We established the first true medical clinic there. And we evacuated hundreds of American and Iraqi casualties while we were there."

While Melcher says she failed at an American Idolttyout a few years ago, the group's artistic director Victor Hurtado told USA Today, "When Meredith opens her mouth, glory comes out. And sometimes, a little bit of Aretha [Franklin] ."

Sony executives had asked Hurtado to create an ensemble that would sing, tour and raise money for veterans groups.

"It's bigger than just us as a group," Jens told GMA. "There are families of soldiers that are gone. I really look at us - this group - not about us making it, but about us standing in the gap between the veterans, the soldiers that are deployed, the families of those soldiers. Just inspire a spirit of America."

Jens - once a finalist on Americas Got Talent - joined the Army after Sept. …

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