Both are U.S. military veterans
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dennis Edwards of The Temptations Review and pop oldies icon Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis and The Playboys will help headline the 2011 VA Salute to Veteran Patients, Valentines for Veterans Concert Series. Lewis, who served in the U.S. Army from 1967 through 1968, did not seek a deferment and chose not to work as a musician while serving in the military. “Elvis didn’t receive any special treatment from the Army when he served and he chose not to serve as a musician. He was a regular soldier and I figured if it was good enough for Elvis, it was good enough for me,” said Lewis. Still in touch with his Army buddies, Lewis is a strong advocate for veterans. “It’s why I became involved in the Valentines for Veterans Concerts,” added Lewis.
The Concerts are designed to show appreciation to America’s veterans while increasing community awareness of the local VA medical center’s needs while encouraging citizens to visit hospitalized veterans and consider becoming a VA volunteer. The Concerts also provide a unique way for VA to reach out to America’s veterans regarding the many programs and services it offers. Admission to the Concerts is always complimentary, as organizers believe “The price has already been paid by the sacrifices of our veterans.”
Valentines for Veterans Concerts are sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Help Hospitalized Veterans, host VA medical centers and community businesses and organizations. The Concert series originated in 2007 as Prescott, Arizona locals took initiative with an outpouring of love and community support for a severely injured Iraq combat veteran and his young wife. The initiative has grown exponentially in popularity and in 2011 will be held at 17 venues across America, in Atlanta, Baltimore, Battle Creek, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Detroit, Durham, Miami, Montgomery, Muskogee, Poplar Bluff, Prescott, Reno, Shreveport, San Diego, and St. Louis.
Other Artists in the lineup include The Platters, The Chi-Lites, The Drifters starring Bobby Hendricks, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas along with The Charlie Thomas Drifters, The Stylistics, Florence LaRue and The 5th Dimension, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Little Anthony and The Imperials, country music’s Daryle Singletary, Aaron Tippin, The Silver Screen Cowboy Show featuring The Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers, and Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame Inductee Lorrie Morgan. Rounding out the concert series lineup is Latin heartthrob Jon Secada and American Idol finalist Matt Giraud.