Since 1814 the anthem that gives us courage, faith, hope, motivation, remembrance and pride has touched the hearts of many. As it's played before each major American event, we stand up tall, remove our hats and place our hands over our hearts. The Star Spangled Banner is a reminder to us of where our country has been and that no matter what happens, we as a people can make it through anything, and at the end of what ever may come our way, our flag will still be there waving high standing for everything this country was founded upon and is proud of those still fighting to keep those foundations a part of our everyday lives. This song, in all of its beauty paved the way for many patriotic songs we hear today.

From the classic "God Bless America" by Lee Greenwood to "Stars and Stripes" by Aaron Tippin, music has a way of touching our minds and our hearts. This country has been through so many trials and tribulations and we've always come out with our dignity in tact, our wounds healed and with pride for all we've accomplished. It's difficult though to truly understand the feelings and mindset of our armed forces personnel unless you've been in their combat boots. Music though, can give us a little insight as to what it's like, for example "American Soldier" by Toby Keith. Many artists have found it an honor to grace us with lyrics that will help us get through any situation. There are songs that make us proud, songs to make us remember those that have passed away ("Arlington" by Trace Adkins), songs to remind us that we may get knocked down, but we'll rise again as one people, American People ("Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" by Toby Keith).

Music is the ultimate morale booster for everyone. Being personnel, family of or a friend of the military, there are defiantly things you go through that most just wouldn't understand or be able to relate to. No matter what genre you prefer, there is a patriotic song for you. If country is your choice, Toby Keith, Aaron Tippin and Hank Williams Jr. are just a few artists for you to listen to. If you prefer the heavier stuff, give a listen to "Critical Acclaim" by Avenged Sevenfold. For the rockers, 3 Doors Down has a song called "Citizen Soldier". If you are military personnel and just need some motivation to go into the war zone, listen to "Walk" by Pantera or "Bodies" by Drowning Pool. Being stationed overseas though, it's almost impossible to make it to a concert. Thank goodness for the USO (United Service Organizations).

Since 1941, the USO has boosted the morale of tens of thousands of service members with celebrity entertainment. To view the USO's 2008 schedule of entertainment, you can easily visit their website any time. Donations are accepted on the site as well. It is important that we keep our military's morale boosted. It's difficult enough for them be so far from home, and by donating to the USO, you are helping our heroes to have a little fun and relaxation from the difficult way of military life overseas.

Sometimes we can't always express in our own words how we feel or what we're thinking, but music is an outlet used by many. If you're missing someone, feeling proud or just want to say "I support you", you can use lyrics to the many songs dedicated to our country and its overall support and pride of and for our military.

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Always Home: 50 Years of the USO--The Official Photographic History
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