"I had to do something..."
“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 Afghanistan.
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. So I decided to put on a show, raise some money, bring people back together and celebrate our vets… and let’s do it every year!”
— Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and multi GRAMMY award winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Joe Walsh
Veterans and their wellbeing have always been important to Joe Walsh, a Gold Star family member himself. His father was a flight instructor for the first US operational jet powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, and died while stationed, and on active duty on Okinawa when Joe was just 20 months old.
Joe has been involved with veterans’ related causes for years, supporting various charities, visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and offering free guitar lessons to the wounded veterans there. He has campaigned for his good friend, (now) Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, an Iraq War veteran.
It was for this reason that in 2017, Joe founded VetsAid, a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization and benefit music festival to raise and disperse sorely needed funds to veterans groups across the country that are serving the men and women who served our country with the dignity, compassion and honor they deserve.
Joe aims to use this platform to raise funds and awareness for the still urgent and significant needs of our returning soldiers. Through the establishment of VetsAid and its annual benefit concert, he wants to give back to those who have given so much in sacrifice for our country.
VetsAid plans to directly support a variety of established and tested veterans-based charities, namely those with a proven track-record that take care to provide complete and holistic care for veterans and their families, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.