Country music star John Rich said Saturday on Newsmax TV that he often gets attacked for his pro-country message, but it doesn't "change the truth" that it took the sacrifices of the military to keep the United States free and strong.
"The truth of the matter is if it weren't for men and women willing to fight to keep this country free, this country would have gone down a long time ago," Rich said on Newsmax TV's "Saturday Report." "All the countries that have tried to take America out because we threaten them with our level of freedom and our level of ingenuity...I have a high school diploma. I grew up in a double-wide trailer in Texas. I'm nothing fancy, but I have the American dream in my back pocket, thanks to all those military and women who have kept it safe for guys like me to enjoy.
He added that there are many country singers who don't take the stance he does "because they don't want to take the heat; they don't want to take the fallout."
But Rich said he looks at it from the other side, and from the point that freedom of speech is "more valuable than having the approval of a liberal entertainment industry...one of these things is permanent and one of those things is not...I think if you've got an able body, you should be out there working and exhausting your potential. Like the Declaration of Independence says, you have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
He added that he does think that country music is grounded in "a lot of really stable things, like family, country, and hard work," and he's made it his credo to play hard and work hard because that's the way he was raised.
"My granny Rich passed away last summer, 88 and a half years old, and was still running her own business 40 hours a week," said rich. "If you asked Granny, why you still working, she would pull up a Marlboro cigarette, take a long draw, she'd say, 'because I can' and that's what you're supposed to do when you live in this country. That's the way Americans are supposed to operate. You're supposed to bring something to the table, being an asset to other people. Push yourself and exhaust your potential. We're the only country in the world that allows its people the right to pursue happiness, and I think that people that don't understand how special that is, are people that have never gone without it."
Meanwhile, Rich and his Redneck Riviera brand will participate in this week's Folds of Honor Practice Day event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and he said he thinks the organization is "second to none in this country."
"They subsidize the education for kids and for spouses who lost someone in their family, giving the ultimate sacrifice for this country or 100% disabled from serving in our military," he said. "So you know, I've been behind them since the day I launched Redneck Riviera brands, which is whiskey and barbecue sauce and Red Gold Tomatoes is now a partner. They're gonna be there, so it's really a convergence of a lot of people, business people, that all share the same passion for our military and show great honor and respect and gratefulness for their service. And this is a way that we get to honor them out in front of a lot of people raise a lot of awareness about folds of honor and keep doing this good work."
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