This week, I had the great honor of spending a few days working as a producer and writer on The USO Presents VH1 Divas Salute The Troops that airs tonight on VH1 at 9PM and internationally on the Armed Forces Network. The show itself is a real blast in a decidedly non-military sense that's hosted hilariously by Kathy Griffin, and featuring winning musical performances by Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland, Keri Hilson, Paramore, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, as well as appearances by literally everyone from our First Lady Michelle Obama to "Snooki" and "The Situation" from Jersey Shore, including comedian Jeffrey Ross, MC Lyte and Brandy, who I think we all can agree is technically a better dancer than Bristol Palin.
Speaking of agreement, there is so little in America right now, but this playlist is dedicated to the thought that we should all agree to be respectful and thankful to our service people. Spending a few days at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar was an education for me, and a pretty inspiring one. I grew up the son of a father of former Naval Officer, and frequently during my childhood, my Dad would joke that he was going to send me off to military school, but that he didn't want to have to drive right back to whatever academy would have me when they threw me right out for insubordination.
Instead, my parents sent me off to Loomis Chaffee, a fancy New England prep school. So rather than become an officer or a gentlemen, I turned out to be a sloppy rock critic, a wiseass TV writer and, in my free time, a degenerate Huffington Post blogger. But whatever your politics are -- and mine are perhaps best described as "Neo-Con Pinko" -- I think we should all salute our troops for their service to this country that we are all free to love in our own ways. Please know this: I met a diverse mix of young Americans at Miramar, men and women, black and white, and, no doubt, straight and gay too, and I can honestly say that I felt overwhelmingly proud to have America represented by each and every one of them. So in so much as I'm allowed to do so as the bum son of a late great veteran who was buried with military honors, I wholeheartedly salute our troops tonight. Thank you for your extraordinary service.
FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (WE SALUTE YOU) - AC/DC
BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY - The Andrews Sisters
KEEP ON ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD - Neil Young
BORN FREE - Kid Rock
THE MARINES' HYMN - The United States Marine Band
ONLY IN AMERICA - Brooks & Dunn
BORN IN THE USA - Bruce Springsteen
BROTHERS IN ARMS - Dire Straits
AMERICA - Neil Diamond
COMING HOME - John Legend
THANK YOU - Led Zeppelin
HOLIDAY - Green Day
DRESSED UP TO WIN - Irving Berlin
THE HOUSE I LIVE IN - Frank Sinatra
GOD BLESS THIS MESS - Sheryl Crow
ARMY DREAMERS - Kate Bush
AMERICAN GIRL - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
LIVING IN AMERICA - James Brown
I THANK YOU - Sam & Dave
ARLINGTON - Trace Adkins
GALVESTON - Glen Campbell
DEAR UNCLE SAM - Loretta Lynn
FORTUNATE SON - Creedence Clearwater Revival
WHEN I GET WHERE I'M GOING - Brad Paisley
SOLDIER'S LAST LETTER - Merle Haggard
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER - Donovan
AMERICAN SOLDIER - Toby Keith
TRAVELIN' SOLDIER - Dixie Chicks
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND - Woody Guthrie
What songs will you add to this salute?