Joe Walsh, the legendary guitarist from The Eagles and The James Gang, has launched a new foundation to help veterans and their families.
VetsAid will support charities that "provide complete and holistic care for veterans and their families, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually," said Walsh, a Gold Star family member whose flight-instructor dad died in a plane crash during active duty in Okinawa — when Joe was just 20 months old.
"War is hell for everyone involved. 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. And in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history continues to drag on with no end in sight ..."
Finally, Walsh said, "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. We're all in this together as Americans and seems to me lately that people are forgetting that."
Walsh, 69, said he'll help support VetAid with an annual concert, the first to be staged Sept. 20 in Fairfax, Va. at the EagleBank Arena.
The show will feature Walsh, the Zac Brown Band, Gary Clark Jr. and Keith Urban, with other guests to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.
Over the years, Walsh has been involved with veterans' causes and has regularly visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, giving guitar lessons to wounded vets. He campaigned for Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee.
The Kansas-born rocker joined the Eagles in 1975 as the group's keyboardist and guitarist after founding member Bernie Leadon's departure. His first album with the band was "Hotel California." Previously, he fronted the James Gang, and had solo hits with "Rocky Mountain Way," "Life's Been Good" and "All Night Long."
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