On January 30th I had the privilege of taking a half dozen Iraq and Afghanistan of America (www.IAVA.org) veterans from Phoenix to see Jake Owen perform at the Waste Management Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament thanks to my friends at Sony Music Nashville.
Meet and greets, especially at big events like this, can be a drag for artists and can make for long days (especially since Jake was out playing at the celebrity golf tournament during the day) but he couldn’t have treated these guys with any more respect and courtesy than he did. You’d like to say “well of course he would treat vets well” but trust me that’s not always the case with musicians and celebs.
One of the funny things to me is when you see the vets all nervous to meet Jake and describing how they are such big fans and its such an honor to meet him. While that is real, the truth is, and Jake would be the first one to say it, its him and the rest of us civilians that are the ones who are honored to spend time with these men and women who raised their hands to serve our country and put their life on the lines for us. I think after spending some time with Jake these vets ended up realizing that and for that night you could really see them perk up as they were getting treated like the heroes they are.
Jake ended up playing a great show and before the show was “coined, ” or given an IAVA challenge coin, but some of the vets. To be honest its one of the best honors a vet can bestow upon a civilian. The cool thing is he kept it in his jacket all show and pulled it out to prove it afterwards. A good dude!
If you are interested in getting more involved to make sure our veterans and their families are taken care of like they should be, head to www.IAVA.org and get involved!