Marines and country music - Only in America
| 12th Marine Corps District | August 22, 2003
RECRUITING STATION SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
Perhaps the biggest duo in country music, Brooks and Dunn, is currently illustrating to thousands of dedicated fans their love for the United States Marine Corps while on the road with their traveling neon circus.
The country musicians loved having the Marines during their first tour, so they decided to bring them back for another round. All four Marines from Recruiting Substation North Las Vegas presented themselves on stage May 25 at the Orleans Hotel and Casino's brand new arena.
After the release of their patriotic song, "Only in America," Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn wanted to incorporate the American flag in their show. The main stage carpenter, Edwin Skinner, introduced the idea of using Marines to do a flag-folding ceremony. Being a former Marine, Skinner knew that there was nobody better to do the job.
With the bands' second touring season underway, the award-winning musicians are keeping that tradition alive by still incorporating Marines in their show. The flag-folding ceremony has been replaced with a ceremonial march to the main stage and a salute to the supportive crowd. The impact is still as great as the first time.
"When the Marines come on stage, it's the best response from the crowd all night," said Dunn. "We are so proud of the Marines sharing the stage with us. It's just amazing."
Country music fans have a reputation for being very supportive of their armed services and country. The reputation proved true when thousands of dedicated Americans jumped out of their seats cheering at the top of their lungs as the four Marines in dress blues marched on stage.
Staff Sgt. Steven W. Barnes, RSS North Las Vegas noncommissioned officer-in-charge, led three of his Marine recruiters into the ear piercing and prolonged applause.
"I can't think of a better opportunity for the Marine Corps to showcase itself," said Barnes. "What a great relationship the Corps has built. It's events like these that keep the American people wanting and believing in a Marine Corps."
Staff Sgt. Brian Swift, RSS North Las Vegas canvassing recruiter, says that opportunities like this go hand-in-hand with recruiting.
"It's like any type of advertising. You have to familiarize the public with your product, and it will make them more apt to find out more information. Overall, it makes you more approachable," said Swift.
During last year's tour, the band opened up with their song, "Only in America." This year they use the song as their encore performance. This leaves the crowd with a memory to last a lifetime.
"I'm the biggest Brooks and Dunn fan, and to see the Marines out there makes me love my country that much more," said 23-year-old Jessica Randle, a Las Vegas native.
To show his pride for the Marine Corps, Dunn came out for the encore performance wearing a black Marines baseball cap. He will wear the hat throughout the rest of the band's tour this season.
While Brooks, doesn't wear any hats whatsoever, he does wear the love for his countries finest fighting force in his heart.
"Only the Marines can get the job done right anytime and every time," said Brooks.