While country artists have often paid tribute to the men and women who serve in the various branches of the military, Craig Morgan's 17 years of service (10 on active duty in the U.S. Army and seven in the reserves), have given him a unique perspective. Morgan has been on both sides of USO tours as well, from watching in the crowd as artists performed for service members overseas, to taking the stage himself to entertain with hits like "Redneck Yacht Club" and "That's What I Love About Sunday."
Morgan's latest studio album, A Whole Lot More to Me, which was released earlier this month, kicks off with a love song that takes on special meaning for Morgan and anyone who has served their country far from home. The married father of four performed the sweeping, romantic "I'll Be Home Soon," written by Justin Ebach, Steven Dale Jones and John King, on NBC's Today show Monday, while video footage of poignant reunions played in the background.
Morgan will be featured in an upcoming documentary about the USO, in honor of the organization's 75th anniversary. With seven USO tours to his credit – including one earlier this year that spanned seven countries in eight days – Morgan marvels at the preparation, not to mention the danger, that is involved in making those events happen.
"It's absolutely flabbergasting how much effort goes into bringing entertainment to the men and women who are serving overseas, even in areas that aren't considered hostile but more so when we went into Kuwait and in particular Iraq," Morgan tells Rolling Stone Country. "The tension in Iraq was worse than I've ever seen it. I think that's due to the fact that ISIS is deploying up north right now."
The USO documentary will air on PBS this fall. Morgan is currently on tour and will be in Michigan this weekend, with upcoming shows in Alaska, Texas and Colorado.