THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rock Band OAR Asks America to Open Up Your Arms -- and Focus on What Matters

Last week, I heard a baffling statistic. More Americans followed news of the runaway balloon than coverage of the war in Afghanistan.  

With this noise clogging the media landscape, it’s hard to get the general public to pay attention to anything important, much less understand the tremendous sacrifices of the 1 percent of Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fortunately, some extremely talented musicians are working to change that.

Acclaimed rock band O.A.R. has launched a dynamic campaign for the newest generation of veterans. Best known for their hits “Love and Memories” and “Crazy Game of Poker,” O.A.R. has blazed a grassroots trail across America, selling out a multitude of venues, from NYC’s Madison Square Garden to the Florida Gators’ Stadium. The band is also no stranger to supporting the troops. They’ve been to Iraq and Kuwait with the USO, visited wounded troops at Walter Reed, and performed for vets on MTV’s concert special “A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE.” But that wasn’t enough for them.

So they launched a new interactive website, www.OpenUpYourArms.org, where Americans can pledge their support for our nation’s men and women in uniform.  With over 16,000 pledges already, we’re well on our way to a goal of 111,111 pledges by Veterans Day 2009 on November 11th. As of today, the website now also features the music video for O.A.R.’s new hit single “War Song,” inspired by the warriors they met on their USO trip in 2007.  The video has some important facts, a kick-ass tune and stars real Iraq Vet Marco Reininger. 

Watch the video for War Song right now.

"War Song" by O.A.R. from IAVA on Vimeo.

As O.A.R. lead singer Marc Roberge put it:

After meeting our injured troops at Walter Reed and visiting Iraq, we felt a very personal connection to the plight of the physically and emotionally injured warrior. We believe it’s time we opened up our doors, minds, and hearts to the men and women that need our support.

With every signature added to the pledge, a national movement that supports and honors our nation’s veterans grows. While other music videos focus on bling or popping bottles of expensive champagne in the club, this one gives every American a way to make a difference in the lives of those who’ve served. O.A.R is taking action, raising awareness and using music as an instrument of change. As we approach Veterans Day, we hope millions of Americans will stand with them and pledge their support to our nation’s newest generation of heroes.  Watch the video, sign the pledge, and open up your arms today.

Crossposted at www.IAVA.org.