The names and information of the servicemen and women from the United States Armed Forces who performed on stage with some of the biggest names in country music during "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops" were announced Monday. The two-hour concert event, co-hosted by LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, stars of the hit CBS drama series "NCIS: Los Angeles," taped Monday, April 7, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be broadcast Tuesday, May 20 (9 p.m.), on the CBS Television Network.
Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Kellie Pickler, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Eli Young Band, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry all performed and paid tribute to our country's all-volunteer military force.
Many of the artists were joined on stage by service members from the Armed Forces, including Marine capts. John Ed Auer and Matt Smith (performance with Lady Antebellum); Army Sgt. Christiana Ball (performance with Lee Brice); Navy STG3 Destiny Mills Coates (performance with Keith Urban); Marine Lt. Col. Mike Corrado (performance with Toby Keith); Army Spc. Kelly A. Gregg (performance with The Band Perry); Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Katie Spira (performance with Hunter Hayes); Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Valentine (performance with Rascal Flatts); Air Force Staff Sgt. Baily Zimmerman (performance with Kellie Pickler); and Air Force Master Sgt. Harry Bounds, Navy Lt. Chelsea Brunoehler and Coast Guard ME1 Noah Reinhart, who joined the other service members on stage for a special performance with Toby Keith.
Additional information on military participants is listed below.
U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh was in attendance and thanked the ACM, the show's talented artists and all who give of themselves and their time to support the troops and their families. During a special moment, Keith was surprised onstage by USO CEO (Ret.) Brig. Gen. John Pray, who presented him with the Spirit of USO honor in recognition of his many USO tours and longtime support of the U.S. military.
The special includes moments and stories of incredible bravery and integrity in addition to appearances and presentations by Marcus Luttrell (retired U.S. Navy SEAL), Joe Mantegna ("Criminal Minds"), Craig Morgan (U.S. Army veteran/country music artist), Nancy O'Dell ("Entertainment Tonight"), and Sheryl Underwood (former staff sergeant in the Air Force Reserves/"The Talk" host). Proceeds from ticket sales for "ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops" benefitted ACM Lifting Lives.
Participants from the United States Armed Forces:
•U.S. Marine Corps Capt. John Ed Auer performed on fiddle with Lady Antebellum
Current position/duty station: silent drill platoon commander, stationed at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.
•U.S. Army Sgt. Christiana Ball performed on vocals with Lee Brice
Current position/duty station: drill sergeant for initial entry military police soldiers, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
•U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Harry Bounds participated in finale with Toby Keith
Current position/duty station: explosive ordnance disposal technician stationed at Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina
•U.S. Navy Lt. Chelsea Brunoehler participated in finale with Toby Keith
Current position/duty station: instructor pilot at Training Air Wing FIVE in Milton, Fla.
•U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Mike Corrado performed on vocals with Toby Keith
Current position/duty station: executive officer, Wounded Warrior Regiment, stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia
•U.S. Army Spc. Kelly A. Gregg performed on vocals with The Band Perry
Current position/duty station: patient administration specialist, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas
•U.S. Navy STG3 Destiny Mills-Coates performed on vocals with Keith Urban
Current position/duty station: student at the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center at Naval Base Point Loma, Calif.
•U.S. Coast Guard ME1 Noah Reinhart participated in finale with Toby Keith
Current position/duty station: maritime enforcement specialist assigned at U.S. Coast Guard Island Alameda in California.
•U.S. Marine Corps Captain Matt Smith performed on guitar with Lady Antebellum
Current position/duty station: assistant operations officer stationed at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.
•U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Katie Spira performed on vocals with Hunter Hayes
Current position/duty station: executive officer aboard the Cutter ADAK
•U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brandon Valentine performed on vocals with Rascal Flatts
Current position/duty station: radio operator stationed at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
•U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Baily Zimmerman performed on vocals with Kellie Pickler
Current position/duty station: aircrew, aerospace medical craftsman stationed at Pope Army Airfield in North Carolina
ACM Lifting Lives is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Through partnerships with artists and strong ties in the music industry, ACM Lifting Lives develops and funds music-related therapy and education programs, and serves members of the community who face unexpected hardships through its Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund. Through generous donations and the support of artists and fans, ACM Lifting Lives is able to fund everything from disaster relief and helping communities in need, to music education in schools and music camps for those with disabilities, to supporting programs that use music therapy as a means to help our veterans and wounded warriors, while providing grants to help them ease back into life. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.