Country singer and U.S. Navy veteran Jared Ashley performs before a packed Murphy Theatre Friday night at Operation Cherrybend: A Hero’s Concert to benefit wounded veterans. The event was presented by R+L Carriers, Cherrybend Pheasant Farm, the U.S. Navy Flight Deck Veterans Group — which was founded by Ashley — and many other local sponsors including the News Journal. The Nick Erdy Foundation, named for the soldier who lost his life in Iraq in 2005, also donated 100 tickets for veterans and military personnel.
Wounded warriors Josh Sams, left, and Larry Draughn along with young Garon Draughn enjoyed the festivities, which included dancing and a sing-along to “Hang On Sloopy.” Several Nashville-based singers-songwriters also performed during the evening, and over the weekend they teamed up for some hunting with veterans at Cherrybend Pheasant Farm in Clinton County.
Country music star John Michael Montgomery was the headliner for the concert. He sang many of his number-one and top-1o hits from the 1990s and beyond, including “I Swear” and “Life’s A Dance”, concluding with a rousing rendition of “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident).”
Jared Ashley sings at the benefit concert at the Murphy Theatre.
Many couples danced to the love songs of John Michael Montgomery.
Veterans Josh Sams and Larry Draughn join in with other attendees for a dance.
Among the couples at the concert were Beth and Terry Habermehl.