Craig Morgan has a unique—and respected—perspective when it comes to his brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. Craig spent 10.5 years on active duty in the U.S. Army in the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and 6.5 years in the Army Reserves. As a country star, Craig has been part of 11 USO Tours.
When Craig speaks about about the military, we listen. That’s why we asked him to share a message in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
“This is what I know—this ain’t just what I think,” says Craig to NCD. “If it were not for our military, and the men and women who serve in our military, and their families serving them, and ensuring that the home front is held up, and the rest of this country doing what it can for our men and women, we would not celebrate the freedoms that we celebrate. And a testament to that is what just happened. [The military] just took out another major bad guy [Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi]. And every time we cut off the head of the snake, it takes that much longer for that head to grow and it gives us that much greater opportunity to destroy the snake.
“So we absolutely must continue doing what we’re doing, in order to keep the ugly people out of our country, because they want to come here and do what they did on September 11th again. They want to do that, and the world, this country, the people in this country need to know that. There are ugly people who do not care about us, and our faith, and our lifestyle, and our freedoms. They want to take that away from us. So thank God we have a military full of people willing to put themselves in harm’s way.”
Craig recently completed his 11th USO Tour, which spanned seven days and five countries, including Germany, Afghanistan, Qatar, Iraq and Italy. Between his first USO Tour in 2002 and his 11th in 2019, Craig has visited 15 countries, entertaining more than 45,000 service members.
“I have a great appreciation, obviously having served with them, but having done what I do now for so long, I can tell you 20 years later, I still feel very odd being this guy, because I was that guy for so long that when I go overseas, I feel super out of place,” says Craig. “I feel like I should have a weapon, be in uniform, protecting the guy, doing what I’m doing. So it’s always an out of body experience when I’m over there . . . But I say what most people in this country say, ‘Thank you. Thank you, for your service.’”
In 2018, Craig was awarded the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal in recognition of his dedication to entertaining troops and their families around the world. The Outstanding Civilian Service Medal is one of the highest awards that the Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian. The Army recognized Craig for his significant dedication to supporting military members who have served their country, often in harm’s way.
photo by NCD