Joe Walsh has announced the formation of VetsAid, a non-profit organization that will fund a variety of veterans-based charities nationwide that provide physical, mental and emotional care to soldiers and their families.
A Gold Star family member, Walsh lost his father when he was 20-months old. His dad was a flight instructor who died while stationed and on active duty on Okinawa, Japan. Walsh has assisted various veterans charities over the years, including visiting Walter Reed Medical Center where he offered free guitar lessons to wounded veterans.
"War is hell for everyone involved," Walsh said in a statement. "I lost my father when I was a baby, before I could even make a memory of him. I stopped counting the number of friends I lost in the Vietnam War or that came home forever scarred mentally or physically or both.
"We've only just begun to appreciate the long-term impacts on our troops home from Iraq," he continued. "And in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history continues to drag on with no end in sight and just last month this administration committed to send thousands more of our young men and women into the conflict with no defined goal or strategy."
The musician has also announced his first annual concert to support VetsAid. Zac Brown Band, Gary Clark Jr. and Keith Urban are slated to perform along with Walsh on September 20th at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA. More performers will be announced at a later date and the set will feature a finale jam session with a surprise guest. Tickets go on sale on Friday.
"I had to do something and seeing as though rock and roll seems to be what I do best, it's also the least I could do for those who have served and continue to serve our country," Walsh said of the upcoming concert. "We're all in this together as Americans and seems to me lately that people are forgetting that. I asked my buddies Zac, Gary and Keith to step up and I'm so grateful that they did. Let's put on a show, raise some money and celebrate our vets… and let's do it every year!"