The Marshall Tucker Band Loves America!
By Bill Robinson
I missed having to go to Vietnam by less than a year when the war ended. I would have gone.
I'm always grateful and thankful for those who served in Vietnam for me and my family; I always thanks them personally when I cross paths with such brave souls.
Because they went.
Doug Gray, the lead singer extraordinaire of The Marshall Tucker Band went to Vietnam in the US Army. When I heard this--right after thanking him, of course--I got to wondering: how many rock stars actually went to Vietnam? I mean, it was a very unpopular thing at the time, the war, and I couldn't imagine Neil Young, Bob Dylan or Paul Simon going to Vietnam.
Though famous musicians like Elvis (US Army who made Sergeant and "declined any special treatment"), Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, John Coltrane, Jerry Garcia (brought his guitar to the Army and went AWOL several times), Ice-T (Army Ranger), Shaggy and MC Hammer all spent some time in service to their country, I'm unaware that any of them actually saw combat.
Doug Gray saw combat.
As did Tommy Caldwell and others in the band. I was surprised to find such patriotic, typically long-haired rock stars who loved their country so much that they would risk their lives because they were asked. After all, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
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