Charlie Daniels Is On A Mission To Help Military Veterans
Charlie Daniels, legendary Country & Gospel singer, is on a mission to spend his twilight years helping military veterans through his Journey Home Project.
Charlie Daniels is one of the longest-lived Country & Gospel singers alive today. Daniels’ career in the music scene started in the 1950s and is still going strong. Today, the 82-year-old spends his twilight years focusing on not just music but also serving military veterans through his Journey Home Project.
Charlie Daniels’ Journey Home Project
“My manager, myself and some other people started this Journey Home Project to help,” the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer explained.
“We’ve come to find out there is a great need for assistance by veterans who are returning from their service. Most of the people that we deal with haven’t gotten that,” Daniels revealed.
And the foundation is helping in any way they can.
“We’ve done things as mundane as buying a bicycle for a guy to ride to work. We’ve helped people get medical care, we’ve helped people get educated and try to help people get jobs. Just whatever we can do to help ease the burden on our veterans when they come back from [service],” Daniels said.
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Recently, the foundation held its second Patriot Award Dinner where guests of honor included military officers Eddie Gallagher, Michael Flynn, and Mark “Oz” Geist.
All the proceeds from the Patriot Award Dinner help fund The Journey Home Project’s important work.
Military veterans coming home
Charlie Daniels was a staunch defender of Pres. George W. Bush and the War on Terror. Supporting and understanding veterans who fought for America through Daniels’ foundation was, thus, a natural next step.
“You know, you go into service for 20 years, and especially the people who were once in combat, you go into service and come back and you’re walking into a different world,” he explained.
“You’re walking from a regimented world where everybody gets involved in the same situation into a place where you’re dealing with a bunch of civilians who don’t know anything at all about what it’s like to put on your battle rattle and walk out into where there are IEDs and people shooting at you.”
“It’s a whole other world that they have not been living in but they — of course, it’s an individual thing — some people need more than others need. Some people come back with bad cases of PTSD and they desperately need help, but it may be years after the fact until they discover this,” he added.
Military veterans and suicide
Unfortunately, some veterans aren’t able to get the help they need before it’s too late. As Daniels discovered, the veteran suicide rate is shockingly high and thus quite dismaying.
“We’re just trying to be there for them — for all of our veterans. One of our things now is the veterans suicide rate; 22 veterans die by suicide every day,” Daniels lamented.
Raising awareness using Twitter
“When I found it out, I put it on my Twitter account — I now do that every day. I want people to know the stat. I want people to understand that. A lot of people are still just discovering it.”
22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE EVERY DAY!!
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) September 10, 2019
“I had no idea how pandemic this thing was,” he admitted.
“At one time, it was the second leading cause of death in teenagers and he started this foundation to try to educate teachers insofar as the major sites were concerned to educate peers and parents to be alerted to what kids who are in jeopardy or what their actions at all were.”
Help for veterans
And that’s where Charlie Daniels sees hope in what private organizations like The Journey Home Project are doing.
“…What we’ve come to find out is a lot of this can also be applied to veterans. Not everything, because there are age differences, but a lot of this can be applied to veterans and that they’re making strides that way.”
“Because we’re a small foundation, we don’t deal in millions and millions of dollars but we find needs that our budget will fit,” he said.
“Or we help other organizations that are involved in doing the same thing and we combine our money with theirs,” he explained, “and they’re able to do a lot of good with it, you know?”
“We find individual cases and people that are within our means to do something about it and we try to fill in.”
It’s encouraging to know that there are increasingly more options available to those who in need of help. And people, like Charlie Daniels, who choose use their famous voices to get the word out.