Chris Stapleton is hardly a man with not enough to do, but for the cause of veterans, the acclaimed and hard-working singer-songwriter can work in a few more hours. Chris Stapleton is the latest confirmed artist to join the roster of performers with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh for the 2018 VetsAid Festival in Tacoma, Washington on November 11. He will share the stage with another artist known for his unforgettable flair with words and chords, James Taylor. Not to leave the ladies out, folk sister group Haim will lend their voices, too. Joe Walsh’s effort will also have some help from his current bandmate, Don Henley, for the evening, starting at 6PM on the Sunday of November 11, Veterans Day.

Deserved and necessary

While prospective costs for the current chief executive’s military parade in Washington DC are estimated at $12 million, for a spectacle truly aimed at an audience of one, the needs of US veterans grow daily, and often go unmet. It is estimated that 22 veterans a day are lost to suicide, and a majority of those losses are tied to PTSD and other mental health issues/medical trauma. It is hard to fathom how many lives could be saved if that ostentatious expenditure were directed elsewhere.

Joe Walsh does not have to imagine what dollars can do in the way of direct help to veterans. The inaugural launch of VetsAid last September 20 in Fairfax, Virginia allowed $400,000 in grants to be dispersed to veterans’ services and organizations on national and local levels.

That first VetsAid concert pulled in musical heavy-hitters by the power of Joe Walsh’s personal history and conviction, in music and the military. The Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, and Gary Clark Jr. filled the bill with Joe Walsh for that impressive launch, and with the talents of Chris Stapleton and James Taylor fueling the night of music for fans and military members and families, this second year is shooting for the stars in terms of aiding veterans coast-to-coast.

July 23 features in Rolling Stone and other music news outlets have also covered this.

A very personal story

Joe Walsh puts his own powerful family story behind every intervention he puts forth with veterans or their families. Joe Walsh is a Gold Star son, losing his father when he was just 20 months old. His dad was a flight instructor for the first US operational jet-powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star.

He died while on active duty in Okinawa. Joe never got to fly with his father, but it is certain that his father was watching down, with wings spread wide, while his son became a blazing, shooting star in music, with riffs that will live on forever.

Walsh has devoted years to veterans’ causes, visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center countless times, offering songs and even free guitar lessons. He has also been the musical entertainment for his good friend, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Funds from this year's VetsAid Festival will be appropriated through grants coordinated through the National Association of Veterans Serving Organization (NAVSO). Tickets are available at the Tacoma Dome box office and Ticketmaster, with prices ranging from $25-$155, and with significant discounts for military members, retired military, and families.

Military identification is required for discounts to apply.

Chris Stapleton is currently going as All-American as possible, in the middle of his All-American Road Show tour, which will conclude just a week before the VetsAid event. Appropriately, the next concert date for Chris Stapleton is July 28 at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington. He might be able to work in a quick visit home to visit with his twin boys. Hopefully, the week of resting up will give Stapleton and the other headliners at the VetsAid Festival an added head of steam for the show.

Correction (27th July 2018): A previous version of this article stated Don Harley as a former band mate of Joe Walsh when in fact Don Henley is a current band mate. Sorry.