By Kelly MacConomy
On September 20 at Eagle Bank Arena on the George Mason University campus in Fairfax, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and multi GRAMMY award recipient Joe Walsh inaugurated the first VetAid Concert.
Created to provide support for organizations dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of the nation’s military wounded, debilitated, or suffering from mental health challenges and fatigue, Joe Walsh wanted to expand upon his investment in various veterans’ charities.
Walsh is himself a Gold Star survivor; his father died in Okinawa, Japan when he was only 20 months old. Walsh explained in a press pre-show interview, “We’re all in this together as Americans and seems to me lately that people are forgetting that.” Joe has been a regular visitor to Walter Reed Medical Center where he gave free guitar lessons to patients.
Imagine being a wounded warrior and getting a tutorial from the legendary Joe Walsh on how to wail and really shred.
Joe was introduced by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, herself a wheelchair-bound wounded veteran; her Blackhawk helicopter crashed, leaving her without both legs. Joe Walsh is a longtime friend and supporter.
The inaugural charitable partners from VetAid 2017 are Operation Mend, Hire Heroes USA, Warrior Canine Connection, TAPS, Semper Fi Fund, Children of the Fallen Patriots Foundation, Stop Soldier Suicide, and Swords to Plowshares.
The concert featured full-hour sets from Gary Clark, Jr., Keith Urban, the Zac Brown Band as well as Joe Walsh, ending the incredible evening with a most righteous performance of “Down By the River” in a grand finale with all the headliners.
If you consider country music a lesser caliber of musicianship you only have to witness these incredibly gifted, generous-of-heart, soulful guitarists to agree that they not only are great guys- they rock!