Country artists to honor 32nd 'Red Arrow' Soldiers, families at homecoming celebration Saturday

Headline artist Brian Stace perform for hometown, Wisconsin, to entertain Wisconsin Army National Guard.


More than 3,200 National Guard Soldiers and their families will gather in Steven's Point Saturday [June 19] for the Back from the Sand celebration which includes performances from Country artists Brittini Black and Wisconsin's-own Brian Stace.
Stace has spent much of his career performing for the troops, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Germany or Italy. But this Saturday he won't have to travel far from his hometown of DeForest to entertain troops from the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Stace will be the headline artist at Saturday's festivities.

"I always tell my fans, 'It doesn't matter what you think of our government, you need to support our troops,'" Stace said. Though some of his relatives served in the National Guard, Stace admitted he didn't know much about the military before performing for troops in Iraq. He said he was struck by the harsh conditions they worked in, as well as the limited avenues for entertainment.

"While they're serving our country, the least we can do is entertain them," he said. "I asked myself, 'What could I do to help that a little bit?'" Stace teamed up with Operation Troop Aid to send his country CDs to deployed troops. He has also performed at more than 37 military bases worldwide, entertaining approximately 100,000.

Black, who will also perform at Saturday's celebration, agrees with Stace's sentiments.

"The troops and all of our military men and women are amazing," she said. "There is such a great feeling of appreciation in the air from both sides. They are so thankful for us taking time to perform for them and meet them. And of course we, as entertainers, are so happy to give back to them for being true heroes, risking their lives for all of us. This is our small way of thanking them and telling them how grateful we are for them and what they have done.

"I think they really get kind of amazed that we would take the time to come out and do something for them," Black continued. "I don't know why - after all they do for us, it's the least we can do."

In addition to entertaining deployed service members, Black has performed for wounded warriors at Walter Reed Medical Center as well as military conventions such as the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Guard Association. She works with Youth Challenge, a National Guard program for at-risk young adults and is an ambassador for America's Adopt a Soldier, one of Saturday's sponsors.
"I just want people to have fun and welcome their Soldiers home," Black said. "And to never forget that there are always people fighting for us and protecting us."

In addition to the musical acts, the celebration will feature inflatable play equipment for children, and free food for Soldiers and their families.

Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson said that attendees should expect a great day of fun and entertainment.

"Stevens Point is so proud to be the host community for this event, really symbolically representing all communities of Wisconsin," he said. "This is the least that we can do to those that have sacrificed so much for all of us - our Soldiers and their families. We encourage as many folks from throughout the state to come here so these Soldiers and their families can see how much they mean to us."

Source: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs News