MULTI-PLATINUM singer and songwriter Toby Keith along with The Independence Fund will be presenting catastrophically wounded Veterans $16,000 all-terrain tracked wheelchairs onstage across the nation during select 2019 THAT’S COUNTRY BRO! TOUR concerts. The relationship between the Veteran nonprofit and Toby Keith began in the summer of 2019 when gifts of these life-changing devices took place on stage.
During the THAT’S COUNTRY BRO! TOUR, Toby Keith teamed up with Veteran nonprofit The Independence Fund, for the first of 4 all-terrain tracked wheelchair presentations on August 16 in Highland Heights, KY. Wounded U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Christian “Chris” Fleming, who lost both his legs to an IED in Afghanistan in 2009, was greeted by a standing ovation from the more than 10K concert-goers when he arrived onstage and was presented his brand new all-terrain chair. Fleming was able to meet with Toby Keith prior to the show and a representative from The Independence Fund was able to discuss its mission and highlight the text-to-give campaign while on stage. During the September 27 performance in Pittsburgh, PA, an all-terrain chair was presented to wounded U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Brandon Rumbaugh, who lost both of his legs to an IED, while also carrying a fellow Marine to safety, in Afghanistan in 2012. Over 5K members of the audience were able to thank him for his service and Toby Keith again spent time in advance with the Veteran. The Charleston, SC crowd welcomed U.S. Air Force Veteran Dustin Baker, who suffered paralysis after three consecutive deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Everyone knows Toby Keith’s love of this country and his support of our troops,” says Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund. “Seeing how moved Toby was after the first presentation and his continued interest in supporting our wounded Veterans is thrilling. We are beyond grateful for the support he has shown our organization and more specifically heroes like Chris, Brandon and Dustin. It’s a very exciting time to cultivate our relationship with Toby. To be able to honor the Veteran by having them join him onstage for the presentation really highlights the respect he has for both our current military members and our wounded Veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
The Independence Fund, a national nonprofit organization assisting the country’s wounded, ill, and injured Veterans and their Caregivers, has provided more than 2,400 of these all-terrain chairs through its mobility program since its 2007 inception. The chairs provide wounded Veterans the ability to regain independence lost through their injuries.
At the shows, Toby Keith will continue to be joined by members of The Independence Fund’s team to present life-changing wheelchairs to wounded Veterans.
Scheduled Chair Presentations
- 8/16 Highland Heights, KY
- 9/27 Pittsburgh, PA
- 10/5 Charleston, SC
- 11/9 Laughlin, NV