"America" was written by retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and he joins the band Downrange to perform the special tune.

By Rebecca Angel Baer
May 15, 2020
Advertisement
US Army Band Downrange
Credit: U.S. Army released

When our nation is in crisis, the U.S. Army has always lead the way in serving and protecting us. The coronavirus pandemic poses a very unique threat and as such we have seen a different kind of hero step up to be frontline warriors: doctors, nurses, and hospital workers. But the Army is still answering the call of duty in many different capacities. One way they are doing this is through the work of the U.S. Army Band.

Earlier this week, the Army’s pop/rock band Downrange released a new song, “America” and an accompanying music video all shot while the members of the band were in different places observing social distancing. A familiar face appears in the Brady Bunch style squares in the video as lead vocalist. Retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, whom also previously served as the chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote the lyrics and performs virtually alongside the members of Downrange. In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, the retired four-star general said he wanted to remind his fellow countrymen and women of "who we are in the toughest times." He also said that the purpose of military bands is to inspire and encourage the country in times of hardship. Throughout the video we also see scenes of the brave men and women fighting to save lives in hospitals across the nation. This song is both to comfort us and to honor these heroes for their service. Watch the video below to hear the inspiring song for yourself.

Dempsey’s lyrics “are set to the Scottish folk song "Caledonia" by Dougie MacLean with a new musical arrangement by Army Master Sgt. Dan Roberts,” as ABC News reports.

This beautiful, patriotic tune issues a sense of calm and reassurance to the American people, and that echoes the purpose military bands have served in this country dating back to 1922, when The United States Army Band, Pershing’s Own was formed. Perishing’s Own was established to boost the morale of the troops and to serve as an ambassador of sorts between the military and the American people. The early years saw the Band perform regularly on radio broadcast and even overseas on the battlefields of WWII.

Downrange was formed in 2002,  when “Sergeant Major of the Army Jack L. Tilley asked The United States Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own’ for volunteers to join a contingent of USO performers for an exceptional opportunity: to travel with his ‘Hope and Freedom Tour’ to entertain deployed Troops throughout Southwest Asia during the holiday season,” as stated on the U.S. Army Band’s website.  That marked the first return of the Band to a combat zone since WWII. The members of Downrange perform popular songs and relatable music spanning all genres from R&B to country.

WATCH: Watch the City of Atlanta Cheer for Healthcare Workers Battling the Coronavirus

We are so glad they have chosen to use their melodic voices to give us all a message of unity and hope and we are deeply grateful for their continued service.