Right now, the song 'Welcome Home Soldier' is number ten on the Inspirational Country Music Charts. Though the song was recorded in Nashville by singer Mike Hammock, 'Welcome Home Soldier' was actually created right here in Lubbock. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta brings us the story behind the tribute to America's heroes.
When he sat down for two hours to write a song honoring a friend returning from Iraq, Lubbock Songwriter Russ Murphy had no idea his words would ring true to so many. "It's just been amazing to me that a song written for one soldier is now touching the hearts of the people of this nation," says Russ.
He was approached with the idea by his friend Welby Smith, who wanted to pay tribute to Chad Gross, a fellow church member who was returning from his duties overseas. "I said write a song, welcome home soldier for Chad," explains Welby.
"Since I'm not a soldier I had no idea how the song was going to touch a soldier's heart," says Russ. For Welby, the song means much more. A war veteran himself, Welby wanted Chad to be welcomed with open arms. "I was in the Korean Vietnam War and we didn't get treated real well, I wanted Chad to come back to something better.
"The chorus goes, welcome home soldier, welcome home to those who love you to a place where you belong. As you fought the fight for freedom, you were not alone, welcome home," sings Russ.
Just months after writing the song, Inspirational Singer Mike Hammock recorded his version of the tribute along with Nashville's most talented musicians. 'Welcome Home Soldier' became an instant chart topper, rising to number five on the inspirational country music charts. "This song is a lot bigger than what I thought it was ever going to be," says Russ. The song has touched the hearts of many Americans, those who have served and their families.
"Wonderful men and women in the military, they're my heroes - every one of them," says Welby.
"[We] just to let them know that we're standing with them, praying for them, we are there with them in spirit, if not body and we hope they all get a chance to come home," says Russ.
You can help soldiers overseas get a copy of the song, 'Welcome Home Soldier." Just (click here) to find out how your donations can help.
|NewsChannel 11 Military Holiday Greetings 2005|