Popular Rock Band Gives Exclusive Concert for Troops

Matthew Quinn
Matthew Quinn
Benjamin Channels
Benjamin Channels
John Ondrasik
John Ondrasik

By Mari-Ela David

WAHIAWA (KHNL) -- Hawaii soldiers got a special "Welcome Home" treat: a live performance by the singer and songwriter behind the rock band Five for Fighting.

With the recent losses troops suffered while fighting overseas, the concert comes at a time when soldiers could use a little comfort to lift their spirits.

If music has the power to heal, then this could be the perfect remedy: an up-close and personal concert starring John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting, put together exclusively for soldiers at Schofield Barracks, many who just came back home.

"It's calming, just to take away from the everyday thing you do," said Air Force Staff Sergeant Matthew Quinn.

Ondrasik said it is a luxury to be able to say thank you to troops in person.

"They don't think they're doing anything special that's the thing that gets me," he said.  "They're like, 'We're just doing our job,' and I'm like, 'Are you kidding me? Look at what you've done! Look what your families go through! Look what you do for us,'" he said.

Hawaii is the Grammy-nominated star's first pit-stop in his United Service Organizations tour, a voluntary tour designed to help boost soldiers' morale.

"It's good to see the entertainers that are here for the troops and really care about what's going on," said Captain Benjamin Channels of the 25th Aviation Brigade.

Ondrasik said this is the least he can do to show his support for troops.

"I can't pick up an M-16 and go to Afghanistan but I can write a song and I can come out and do this and say thank you," he said.

As part of Ondrasik's USO tour, he'll be giving out a compilation CD, free for all military members.

It includes Five for Fighting's hit "100 Years" and features songs from artists like Billy Joel, Goo Goo Dolls, and Jewel.

After Hawaii, Ondrasik will head to Guam then Japan.