Jun 07, 2006
Division Parade Field
Fort Campbell, KY
Welcome Home Screaming Eagles
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by Megan Smith, Courier staff
Despite the pouring down rain and flashes of lightning, more than 7,000 eager fans gathered at Fort Campbell's division parade field cheering in anticipation for country music sensation Montgomery Gentry to hit the stage.
The multi-platinum country duo held a free concert for Soldiers, family members and the community Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
The duo, both Kentucky natives, said they wanted to perform at Fort Campbell to show their ongoing support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"It's American, baby," said an excited Eddie Montgomery. "All of our American heroes are overseas right now, and we do not want to forget them. This is the least we can do for our freedom, and this is how we show our support and appreciation for what the Soldiers are doing for us."
"Fort Campbell is just right down the street, and we wanted to come home and show our support and love," added Troy Gentry. "It's totally awesome to be here, and we want to thank the Soldiers and their families very much."
Montgomery Gentry just returned home from a two- week concert tour in Iraq.
"Iraq was an awesome experience; it is something I will never forget," Gentry said.
The concert was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but rain delays postponed the music.
"No one left the concert because of the rain," said Morale, Welfare and Recreation special events coordinator Alex Krohn. "We had some die-hard fans out here."
Once the rain let up, opening act, Grammy-nominated country music singer and song writer Keith Anderson, got the crowd to their feet by singing his hit songs Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll and Pickin' Wildflowers.
When the energetic, honky tonk duo took the stage, they rocked the house singing their southern rock hits Didn't I, Something to be Proud of' and My Town.
During the show, post leaders presented Keith Anderson with a 101st Airborne Division wooden plaque and presented a large Screaming Eagle statue to a teary-eyed Montgomery Gentry.
In exchange, Montgomery Gentry gave Fort Campbell a Montgomery Gentry guitar presented to Garrison Commander Col. Larry Ruggley.
Ruggley said to the duo he will proudly hang the guitar in the headquarters building.
During the presentation the crowd let out chants of 'USA' and Col. Ruggley led the audience in a variety of "hooahs" and "air assaults" in honor of the singers.
Before the concert, Montgomery Gentry met with four Soldiers wounded in OIF who are currently undergoing treatment at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
"This is what it is all about," Montgomery told Great American Country during his meeting with the wounded Soldiers.
Montgomery said it was an honor to be able to perform for the troops doing what he loves.
"It has nothing to do with money for us," Montgomery said. "It comes from the heart because our brothers and sisters are fighting for us, and we want to make damn sure we stand behind them 100 percent. You don't have to like the war, but when our heroes go over there and fight for us, you better be backing their ass."
The concert was filmed by Great American Country and will broadcast June 18.