Performers S.T.A.N.D. for Troops

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2006 - Entertainers in Branson, Mo., are taking a stand to support servicemembers fighting in the global war on terrorism.

"It just seems like there wasn't enough coverage on the men and women who are fighting the war," Nita Tate, who watches television news every night, said. "We all know how (Vietnam veterans) were treated when they returned home, and it's like, 'We can't have another Vietnam here.'"

Tate and her husband, who own the musical show "#1 Hits of the 60's," co-founded "S.T.A.N.D. for the Troops" with Brian Zerbe, a musician in their show. S.T.A.N.D. is an organization created to rally America to support troops through various musical projects and special events. The group's name is an acronym for "Sixties Then and Now Delegation."

S.T.A.N.D. held a news conference and rally in Branson on Sept. 20 to announce its first fundraiser, a two-song CD for which the S.T.A.N.D. entertainers recorded "God Bless America" and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," for the CD. The latter, a song that rallied servicemembers fighting in Vietnam in the 1960s, was seen as a song that could rally Americans to support their troops today, Tate said.

The CD is available for $5 plus shipping through the organization's Web site. Tate also said the group is talking with Wal-Mart about carrying the discs.

One hundred percent of the profits from the sale of the CDs will benefit four nonprofit troop- or veteran-support organizations. Those organizations are: Armed Forces Relief Trust, Operation Helmet, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Branson Veterans Task Force.

"So far, all of the expenses have been donated for everything we've done," Tate said. A local studio donated studio time for recording the CD and S.T.A.N.D. received a donation to produce the first 1,000 copies.

In between fundraising projects, the organization is available for performances, she said. Requests can be placed through the Web site, but the entertainers also have a goal of performing for the troops themselves.

"We would love to do a (United Service Organizations) tour," Tate said. "In fact, we have applied and it's being considered."

The organization, which has applied for official nonprofit status, already is looking ahead at future projects, she said. While the founders are keeping pretty quiet about the details of the next project, Tate said it would include a song written by John Ashcroft, the former U.S. attorney general.

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