Country music star Cody McCarver will headline a performance at the VFW this Friday night to benefit Operation Troop Aid.
The benefit concert is being held in honor of Mike Beaty and Lila Walker, two soldiers with the National Guard who are about to deploy.
The music will begin at 9 p.m. with Adam Mullins and Jimmy Dormire. That will be followed by McCarver, who says he will deliver a full 75- to 90-minute concert set. Admission is $10.
Operation Troop Aid is an up-and-coming organization started by veteran Mark Wood. Its mission is to deliver care packages to soldiers and Wood says $300,000 to $600,000 worth of care packages were delivered last year.
“I got care packages from family members when I was deployed,” said Wood, a 21-year Navy veteran who served aboard five ships. “But when you get a care package from someone you don’t even know, that says even more. It tells you people are thinking about you, that they are praying for you. It really means a lot.”
Wood started Operation Troop Aid six years ago, but was still serving in the military for three-and-a-half years of that time. He says the organization has really started to gain momentum the past two years.
While Operation Troop Aid is concentrating on care packages at this point, Wood would like to add three more facets as funding increases – assistance with bills when veterans return home, assistance for the wounded, and music therapy.
Operation Troop Aid is a 501(c)3 organization that has the Combined Federal Campaign seal of approval.
McCarver is the headliner for Friday’s show. The Dunlap native may be best known for his 12 years in the band Confederate Railroad, where he performed 100 shows a year and sold over 5 million records. He left Confederate Railroad for a solo career in August.
Early indications are that career will be quite a success. McCarver has already had a video reach No. 1 on CMTV Pure called “White Trash with Money.” He also played the role of Cole Younger in the upcoming movie “Cole Younger and the Black Train” and wrote the theme song for that movie entitled “Outlaws & Trains.”
“It’s been successful, but my bank account doesn’t show it,” said McCarver of his career.
McCarver started playing piano in a small church when he was 9. After teaching himself to play multiple instruments, he was performing in honky-tonks at age 17.
McCarver says he hopes to have a capacity crowd of around 350 at the VFW this Friday night. A fervent supporter of our troops, McCarver has made a trip to Camp Shelby, Miss., where he got to shoot a 50-caliber machine gun and throw a hand grenade.
“These care packages are a way to make their life easier,” said McCarver. “If they need something, they can’t run down to Walmart and get it like we can.”
For more information, visit www.codymccarver.com, or www.operationtroopaid.org.