Florida Georgia Line (FGL) along with The Independence Fund will be presenting catastrophically wounded Veterans all-terrain tracked wheelchairs onstage across the nation during their 2019 CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY TOUR.
The relationship between the Veteran nonprofit and FGL began in 2016 when gifts of these life-changing devices took place at private meet-and-greets backstage.
During kickoff weekend of the CAN’T SAY I AIN’T COUNTRY TOUR, FGL teamed up with Veteran nonprofit The Independence Fund, for the first of 12 all-terrain tracked wheelchair presentations on June 14 in Dallas, TX. Wounded Army Veteran Greg Dotson, who lost his leg to an IED in Iraq in 2007, was greeted by a standing ovation from the more than 20K concert-goers when he arrived onstage in his brand new all-terrain chair. Following the presentation, Dotson remained onstage with FGL, even helping them sing the chorus to their #1 song, “Dirt.”
“The guys (FGL) have a tremendous heart for our nation’s warfighters,” says Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund. “It was a special feeling to see the look on Greg’s face when the crowd cheered for him. We are beyond grateful for the support they have shown our organization and more specifically heroes like Greg. It’s a very exciting year for our relationship with FGL, to be able to honor the Veteran by having them join Brian (Kelley) and Tyler (Hubbard) onstage for the presentation really showcases the respect they have for our wounded Veterans, who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
For FGL, the onstage presentation flowed naturally into the set, as at each show Hubbard and Kelley pause for a moment during their performance of “Dirt” to thank first responders, military, and Veterans for their service.
The Independence Fund, a national nonprofit organization assisting the country’s wounded, ill, and injured Veterans and their Caregivers, has provided more than 2,300 of these all-terrain chairs through its mobility program since its 2007 inception. The chairs provide wounded Veterans the ability to regain independence lost through their injuries. The relationship between FGL and The Independence Fund began in 2016, on the heels of the duo’s DIG YOUR ROOTS TOUR.
At the shows, FGL will be joined by members of The Independence Fund’s board of directors to present a life-changing wheelchair to a wounded Veteran. The Independence Fund representatives include Verardo, retired Army Brigadier General Rich Gross, and former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.