Mark Wills Receives Patriot Award

Written by SLN Staff Writer
Mark Wills Receives Patriot Award

L to R: Mark Wills, young country recording artist Easton Hamlin (an honorary board member of OTA), and Mark Woods (Founder & CEO of Operation Troop Aid)

Mark Wills was recognized with the Patriot Award during his performance at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe’ on Monday. Presented by Operation Troop Aid, the award is given to an artist/entertainer who goes above and beyond to demonstrate his/her support of our troops via visits abroad or at U.S. bases and facilities, performing before them, being actively involved in fundraising initiatives to support charities, organizations and causes that directly benefit the military men and women and their families.

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The son of a Vietnam veteran, Wills has made more than seven trips to Iraq and Afghanistan over the course of his career entertaining our troops to become personally acquainted with the faces of our servicemen and women. In just the past few months, he’s visited Ft. Hood and has performed before troops at various Army Bases and PX’s across the U.S. (including Ft. Campbell/Kentucky, Ft. Benning/Columbus, GA, Ft. Sam/Houston, TX, Fort Bliss/El Paso TX), at the two Air Force bases in San Antonio (Lakeland AFB and Randolph AFB) as well as the wounded warrior facilities located at Fort Sam Houston and Fort Bliss as part of his quest to demonstrate his sentiment of support.

In alliance with USA Cares (a non-profit national military assistance charity founded to assist post-9/11 military families in emotional health and recovery, and bearing the burdens of service with financial and advocacy support), Mark introduced the Warrior Treatment Today “Crazy Being Home” project in April 2011. Wills is the official spokesperson for the campaign and the “voice” for USA Cares. His recording entitled “Crazy Being Home” is the USA Cares theme song. The initiative: to introduce the Warrior Treatment Today “Crazy Being Home” national awareness campaign surrounding the severity of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Mark has launched a campaign of his own via–a community outreach to encourage and support America’s post-9/11 veterans, assist in raising funds for the PTSD and TBI programs, and to serve as an outlet for those who suffer to share their mutual stories The corresponding single, “Crazy Being Home,” is scheduled to be released to radio in the coming weeks.

Introduced in 2006, previous recipients of the Operation Troop Aid Patriot Award include: Toby Keith (2006), Darryl Worley (2007), Aaron Tippin (2008), Gary Sinise (2009) and Charlie Daniels (2010).