Saluting Veterans Through Songwriting

In the past, we’ve received countless stories from NSAI members who have used their songwriting abilities to honor those who have served our country! In light of today’s national holiday, we’d like to highlight a few members of whom we’ve featured in our newsletters and social media. Have you written a song or contributed in a musical project for veterans? Comment below and tell us your story! 

1. “Homeless in the Home of the Brave.”- Russ Pruitt, John Roe, Marshall Thornton
This song was written after NSAI member Marshall Thornton shared his story as a wounded vet. Thornton writes songs as a method of therapy. After sharing an informational video at a workshop with his regional chapter, Pruitt, Roe and Thornton wrote “Homeless In The Home Of The Brave.” “Marshall and I got together and he came up with the story setting: to tell it through the eyes of a guy who sees a homeless vet at a Fourth of July Parade,” Pruitt says. The song reached the ears of Lt. Col. Deborah Snyder (ret.), the CEO of Operation Renewed Hope Foundation and was mentioned a on a news program.
Kevin Levine, fellow NSAI member and attorney with Nashville entertainment law firm DeSalvo & Levine PLLC, prepared a license agreement, permitting the organization to use the song for fund raising purposes. Visitors to the organization’s site, will soon be able to hear the song, donate and learn more about this problem and ways to help. Russ Pruitt and John Roe are Co-coordinators of the Portsmouth, OH/Ashland,  and KY Regional Chapters. 

2. Operation Song
Earlier this year, Bob Regan and his crew brought Operation Song to the Warrior Outreach Ranch and asked the Columbus NSAI Chapter to participate! The presentation included an interview with veteran Charlie Maupin who landed on the beaches of Normandy. He told us his story with Operation Song. Operation Song's mission is to empower veterans and active duty military to tell their stories through the process of songwriting in creative and therapeutic settings. Their vision is to become the premier songwriting organization serving the military community, expand programs stateside and overseas, and train others in our therapeutic model. Their goal is to establish Operation Song as a unique and viable treatment option, using creative and integrative therapies to help individuals recover from the stress of war and improve the quality of their lives.

3. "Courage Was The Light"- James Williams
James Williams, NSAI member from Columbus, Mississippi, wrote "Courage Was The Light," for a group of WWII vets. The song was featured at the 95th Infantry Museum Dedication in Oklahoma. It was also shown at the Military Hall of Fame banquet at the Oklahoma Museum of History on Veterans' Day 2014 and in Metz, France for the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Metz on November 14th. The song was recorded in Nashville with Biff Watson and Greenshoes Studios created the music video, produced by Williams (vocals by Matt Dame and guitar by Biff Watson). The song recorded by Liberty Heart can be found here on Itunes.

Our hearts go out to the Veteran community today and families with those who have served in the armed forces! 



NSAI Staff and Members, Check out my NSAI Member profile. I have a link to one of my original songs, "They got the Job Done". This song honors Veterans of WWII to the present and details their struggles, hardship and enduring commitment to the cause of freedom and security.

Thank YOU Veterans for your service!

David Wilder

The Wall Song was Written in 2008 with Brad Dunse as is based on a poem by Judy Gorman King entitled "The Spirit Of The Wall". Our youtube video of the song has nearly 500,000 views as of today. It has been sung at many events for Vietnam Veterans and the "Traveling Vietnam Memorial". It has been included in a documentary and recorded by 2 indie artists. it certainly has a life of it's own. You can watch the video at:
Thank you to all our veterans!!!

On the eleventh day, eleventh month, each and every year / we set aside, just one day, for the Veterans we hold dear..
Old Solders, Sailors, & Air Men, Coast Guard and our Marines..
One and all, they heard the call, they know freedom is not free...
In little towns, across this land, we honor all of them / with small parades and bands that play, 'our National Anthem.'
Hearts fill with pride, kids idolize, as the music fills the air..
Flags that wave, for the brave - we let them know we care...
So, Hug A Vet - Hug A Vet
Put your arms around him tell him, 'you will not forget.'
His sacrifice, for in his life - what he did we all owe, a never ending debt..
Don't forget, to Hug A Vet' - Hug A Vet'

Some are young, some are old, there's some in wheel chairs..
On crutches too, there's one or two, it tugs at a tear..
Reminding us, of the common trust, they shared willingly
'Took 'an oath' defend the code, protecting you and me..

Tag - Their Brothers, Sisters, Moms and Dads / Old Salts and young Cadets..
Don't Forget, To Hug A Vet ' - Hug A Vet'

Jerry E. Gilmore
NSAI Member
Cumming, Ga.

In the upstairs room of Mama's place
I found a shoebox filled up with letters
One of them must of caught the rain
It was torn, faded and weathered
Dated June 5th, 1969, FPO Saigon
No return address, just signed
With Love From Vietnam

I pulled out the page and started to hear
A voice of a man I remembered
It read "Dear Suzanne, the fighting is near
But this hell is almost over
In three days this war's behind me
I'm as good as gone
You're my heart and heaven here
With Love From Vietnam
With Love From Vietnam

Daddy made it home on a warm sunny day
The Stars and Stripes embraced him as we prayed
And the guns cracked with thunder a salute of twenty-one
For the hero called upon, who gave above and beyond
With Love From Vietnam...
With Love From Vietnam

Sometimes the world cries out loud
For the sacrificed and decorate fields
With lost and fallen soldiers
But I'm proud of him now
I was his child who climbed and rested on his shoulders
The flame of his spirit burns in me
And will carry on
I am Freedom fought me
With Love From Vietnam...
With Love From Vietnam

Words & Music By Gil Leduc
(C) Willis Gillis Music (ASCAP)

Would like to share a lyric of mine written a few years back to honor the backbone of America...our vets n soldiers. The song in posted on my reverbnation page. My humblest Thank You to all Veterans and Soldiers

I Still Bleed

Saw an old man cuttin’ thru
A screamin’ war protest line
A girl gave him a mock salute
And started wavin’ her sign
Guess she didn’t like his hat
Said American Combat Vet
He stopped and softly asked
What part don’t you get

He said I still bleed inside
From fightin’ for the right
For you to wave your sign
War is hell I agree
But when Uncle Sam
Takes it on the chin
He needs his standup friends
That’s why I still bleed
Young lady I still bleed

They stood face to face
I saw a twitchins in his eyes
She turned and walked away
Her sign not so high
He said go keep up your protest
Say what you wanna say
When free speech is spoken
It justifies my pain

[chorus repeat]

I squeezed his hand when I shook it
It felt like a catcher’s mit
They walked away thinkin’ over
What he said to her

[chorus repeat]

Len Spinelli, NSAI member