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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mark is "The Rock Patriot"


Mark Visitng the Vietnam Wall
photo: Lesia Farner

Mark Farner, "The Rock Patriot"
by Donna Teresa, Homefront Journal

Sunset Beach sits 16 miles south of Santa Cruz. In the 1970s, it was a popular site for families, surfers and for anyone who just loved going to the beach. You knew it was going to be a great beach day when you could hear Grand Funk Railroad playing on the radio.

With songs like "We're an American Band "or "Some Kind of Wonderful," their concerts were legendary. Grand Funk's lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, Mark Farner, has been doing his part to appreciate America's veterans and troops for many years, by tirelessly giving his time and music to appreciate and celebrate our veterans. It's no secret that his inspiration to lend a hand to veteran causes is true and deeply heartfelt.

"My father was a World War II veteran, a tank driver in the Seventh Armored Division. My mother was the first woman to weld on Sherman Tanks at General Motors Fisher Body plant in Flint Michigan. Some of my friends from school didn't make it back from Vietnam and I miss them" Farner said.

Farner has been entertaining troops since the 70s. "The first 'Guitar Army' show put on by and for Vietnam Vets at Harpo's was in Detroit. It was a theater turned into a huge night club and it rocked! Other veteran benefits and shows where we were able to entertain and speak to those who are personally responsible for the preservation of freedom. It's an honor to be with brave people."

Farner also enjoys sharing the story about doing a Grand Funk Railroad show for the troops in Schweinfurt, Germany. There were 10,000 troops and they also sold tickets to civilians.

"The stage was made up of two flatbed trailers backed up to each other. The spotlights for the stage were target lights on the barrels of three tanks setting out in the field in front of us, pointing directly at you know who," Farner said. "Every time I would make a move the turrets would turn and three highly skilled tank drivers would follow me closely!"

While entertaining the troops, Farner has had opportunities to meet many veterans.

"There aren't many vets whom I have spoken with personally who were all that willing to share personal stories about their military involvement. I would never pry or even ask specific questions," Farner said. "I will only wait for my turn to speak and do it respectfully as we could only imagine the emotional trauma these beautiful people may have had to contend with.

"We don't see much being done for our troops on the Federal level for personal recognition. It would show a lot of love if there was more national exposure of the lives of the soldiers, their sacrifices and their level of commitment, it would certainly help. This could only build troop morale that must sometimes be far away from love of family and friends because of their loyalty to their commitment. To know the nation they served was watching a special program about them would be nice," Farner said.

If you would like to read more about Mark's work with veterans, and his music go to http://www.markfarner.com/. It is full of terrific information about Mark past and present and his highly anticipated new record. Mark has a special message to all the veterans out there, "I love these people without end. God bless our men and women of the U.S. military."

Thank you Mark Farner for your great and generous kind heart and for making our troops feel appreciated and giving them the welcome home they deserve. You have truly helped make them feel closer to home.

Donna Teresa can be reached at donnateresa@sbcglobal.net. Donna writes for the Homefront Journal at http://www.montereyherald.com/.
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1 comments:

Billy Warhol Feb 17, 2009, 7:11:00 PM  

BillyWarhol said:
No frigging Way!! U F-ers Rock Mr F!! ;)) just had yas on da JukeBox at the Local Yokel Cadillac Hotel last week!! Rock On Dude!! ;)) Peace*

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