Last week, I posted that, thanks to Sears, I was given the chance to attend the benefit concert Stand Up for Heroes, which is put on by the Bob Woodruff Foundation to benefit America's Wounded Warriors. It was amazing.
There was so much to tell, so much going on, that it's very hard to review the event and still do it a good service. However, I think there's one particular way I think I can explain how this event touched me, as a military spouse with a husband who has multiple deployments under his belt. It involves Tony Bennett.
Now, I mentioned before how much I love Tony Bennett. And Tony, even though he is over 80 years old, does not disappoint in his performance! However, it was after the first song that Tony's performance really resonated.
After Tony's first song, he turned to the wounded warriors seated in the front few rows - warriors that had been introduced to everyone in the audience earlier. Tony talked about his time in the Army during World War II, and how he had used the GI Bill to learn what he needed to become a success. He wished the same success using the GI Bill to the warriors present... and then Tony launched into one of his biggest hits - The Best is Yet to Come. He sang this to the warriors in the front row as his last song of the evening, and this military wife found it rather hard not to burst into tears right then and there.
Sometimes, as military family members, we hear well wishes and thanks from people and it's hard not to shrug at them. Not because the well wishes mean nothing, but because sometimes it feels as though the words are all that is offered. Sometimes we feel as though we've been used as a popular cause du jour without any attempt to understand just why we need that support - not just in words, but in deeds.
I have no doubt that Tony Bennett meant every word that he sang to those warriors in the front rows, and he meant it as one of us.
The moment was, for me, an incredible one. It was the same feeling I had gotten when interviewing Bob Woodruff earlier in the day about his injuries in Iraq and his feelings for America's wounded - that there are absolutely people who get it, and they are working hard to do what they can to help.
The night had many other performances: Jon Stewart was funny, Jerry Seinfeld was absolutely hilarious. And, quite frankly, it's hard to find a Bruce Springsteen performance that doesn't make you want to stand up, dance, and possibly storm the stage. And the event raised over a million dollars - with $140,000 being bid for Bruce Springsteen's guitar alone!
But it was that moment - watching Tony Bennett sing that song to our wounded who had returned home, that meant the most to me.
* All photos were taken by Marcos Rivera and are property of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
*My travel, lodging, and a flip camera to record interviews were provided by Sears