ROCKINGHAM —The Veterans of Foreign Wars post will be rocking Saturday afternoon as four bands take the stage to pay tribute to their service.
The event, “Rockin’ for Veterans,” was organized by the post’s auxiliary.
Robin Roberts, auxiliary president, said the concert is something she’s been wanting to do for a long time.
Mother Reign will be the first band to perform when the event starts at 4 p.m.
“My family served, but I’m the only child that never served, so I feel like I need to give back to the ones that did,” said rythym guitarist Jerry Goodwin. “I’ve got to to this for the vets.”
Goodwin said his grandfather was in the U.S. Navy, his father was in the Army and he had an uncle in the Air Force.
Next up will be The Way She Goes, made up of former Hydrenaline members Jonathan and Colby Hildreth and John Baker. Hydrenaline was originally billed, but the band recently split.
“There is just no way to say thank you enough for everything they have done for us,” Baker told the Daily Journal on Tuesday. “Music is a universal symbol of peace and freedom and it’s an honor to be able to give back to those who gave so much for us.”
Philip Neal, guitarist and vocalist for Hardwired, said his father was a World War II veteran “and I really respected him for his service.”
“I know if it wasn’t for him and other brave vets like him, we wouldn’t have the country we have now,” he said. “We must respect all our vets — from the Revolutionary War through World War II, to Vietnam to the current solder — for they all fought and died for our country and our freedom. So I lend my musical abilities to honor these men and women who gave so much to me and this country.”
Neal said two of his brothers also served, as did drummer Mark McRae’s father.
“In my line of work, telecommunications, most of the guys I work with served, too,” he added. “The older guys (in) Vietnam and the younger guys (in) the Gulf wars and more recent. Some were in the front and some were I the rear, but they all served honorably.”
McRae had a prior gig scheduled and Virgil Bowler will sit in with Neal and bassist Bub Barrett.
Ponder is set to headline the show, despite the recent loss of bassist and vocalist Joe Harris.
“Robin asked us to do the event a while back,” said guitarist Tommy Adeimy. “After what happened with Joe, we are fortunate to still be able to play with a little help from some other good musicians. Bobby (Pearce) will be providing production for the whole event.”
Adeimy said his dad, brother, uncles and cousins are or were veterans.
As to who will be filling Harris’ shoes, he said, “Come out and see.”
Roberts said a $10 donation will be asked for at the door, with all money raised going to the VFW in honor of Jeff Tyler, former commander and current senior vice commander of the post.
“They are doing such a fantastic job organizing all this stuff,” he said of the auxiliary. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where we’d be.”
Tyler, an Army and National Guard veteran, said the plan is to put the money toward a monument in Richmond County Veterans Memorial Park with the names of the area servicemen who lost their lives during World War II.
“To me, I can’t think of anything better — for what they paid — to have their names on a monument,” he said.
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.