Trace Adkins serves troops.jpg

Serving wounded warriors and the military runs as deep in Trace Adkins’ blood as country music.

“People ask me why I do so much stuff with the military and my answer is very simple — if you have an opportunity to associate with heroes, you should do that,” Adkins said. “It’s good for you.”

Relaxing in between takes in an Airstream, a stack of trucker hats waiting to be autographed, the country music singer took a break from filming commercials for Rocket RV to talk about his support for wounded heroes and the military during his visit to the Tennessee Valley Jan. 9. The Louisiana native, who now lives outside of Nashville, is a recipient of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the third highest public service honor for civilians, and has been a supporter of the military and wounded warriors since early on in his singing career.

That support includes 12 United Service Organizations tours since 2002 to military installations in places such as Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, for a whopping 65,000-plus service members visited, according to the USO. He also paid a visit to Huntsville in 2013 to perform in a benefit concert for local nonprofit Still Serving Veterans. But Adkins, whose grandfather served in the Army, is perhaps best known for his work with the Wounded Warrior Project. Much of the outreach Adkins does for the organization happens on short notice, as he is “always available to them.”

“It was just a no-brainer,” Adkins said of his decision to get involved with the nonprofit that serves individuals with physical or mental injuries, illnesses and wounds as a result of their military service on or since Sept. 11, 2001. “It’s a great organization and the work that they do is inspirational. I was on board immediately.”

The more time Adkins has spent with wounded warriors over the years, the more time he has carved out in his schedule for them.

“After I had worked with those folks for a little while, it was an endeavor that just was so noble, and worthy of my time, I just began to devote more time to it,” he said. “Every show we have wounded warriors come and come backstage.”

It’s a commitment to serve those who served their country, and in a sense Adkins himself, that will likely continue long into the future.

“I’ve always got your back,” he said. “They’ve always had mine, and I’ll always have theirs. We just love our wounded warriors and appreciate them.”

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