Morgan Wallen paid tribute to the United States military and a fallen solider from his Alma Mater in Tennessee.
Earlier this week on Wednesday (Sept. 8) in Nashville, Tennessee, during Wallen’s first headlining concert in quite some time, which raised over $725,000 for Humphreys County flood relief, the country superstar paid tribute to a fallen soldier in addition to honoring the United States armed forces.
During his concert, Wallen took a moment to recognize all those that serve our country as well as the fallen soldiers who were killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan earlier this month. He also share a heartfelt story about one of the fallen soldiers, who actually attended the same high school as him.
“God Bless America, I just wanted to say that I love this country so much,” Wallen told the capacity crowd, which prompted a massive U-S-A chant. “And I just wanted y’all to know that I support anyone who’s a soldier in this country, anybody who’s a police officer, firefighter, [etc..] You guys mean the damn world to me, thank you for giving us a country like this. I just wanted to let y’all know how I feel about that.”
After a lengthy U-S-A chant from the sold-out crowd in Marathon Music Works, Wallen honored Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, 23 of Corryton, Tenn., a service member that was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, who went to the same High School as Wallen.
“I’m originally from East Tennessee as y’all know, and one of those 13 soldiers that was killed in Afghanistan went to the same High School that I went to,” Wallen said. “The young man that died, his name was Ryan Knauss, and I just wanted to let his family know if you’re watching or you get word of this, that I was thinking about y’all”
Wallen continued, “It breaks my heart to see what happened.”
Knauss lost his life in the line of duty, following an attack on Thursday, August 26, at an airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed 12 others and wounded at least 18 others. The tragic day now marks one of the deadliest days for American Troops in 10 years.
Wallen and his closest friends including Dierks Bentley, HARDY, Ernest, Cole Swindell, Ben Burgess, Jared Mullins, Josh Thompson, Lainey Wilson, Lathan Warlick, and Theo Von raised over $725,000 during his Morgan Wallen & Friends benefit concert for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, to immediately assist victims of the recent severe storms and flooding in Humphreys County and other parts of Middle Tennessee.
“This is the most money raised so far for our fund, and it’s going to make a big difference,” shared Fair with the capacity crowd. “And when we give the money to the organizations, we’re going to let them know how many of you care about them and that’s going to mean the most.”
Fair continued, “So I just want to tell you, we’ve already made grants out to 11 organizations and many of them as you can expect in a small community like Waverly have been the churches, who’ve come together and that have cared for people as well as some other local non-profits who are providing direct financial assistance. We gave money early, but we want everybody in Waverly and Humphreys County that we’re here for the long haul, just like you have been for our tornado relief, bombing relief. We’ve learned a lot, so besides the money we’re going to let them know what we’ve learned and be here for the long haul and be here for the people of Waverly. Thank y’all.”
“Well first of all, thank you guys so much for being here,” Wallen responded. “Most of you probably know that I’m a Tennessee boy. I was born and raised in Tennessee and I’m proud of it. The people here mean so much to me and I was watching the news and reading some articles and I read some stories that really touched my heart and made me feel like it could’ve been my hometown. I wanted to do something about it… Just seeing people hurtin’ man, nobody likes to see that and we’re going to try to do something about it tonight.”
To make a direct donation to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, click here.