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Orange County Native Helping Those Wounded In Action
Updated May 5, 2013 1:12 AM
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(NORTH BETHESDA MD) - Helping military service heroes meet some of life's challenges is the motivation behind a project that Orange County native Tom Roach has undertaken with country singer Nathan Osmond.

Roger Moon of the Times-Mail reports that the two are organizing a concert called Homeward Bound Heroes. Although the event is planned in North Bethesda, Md. on May 22), the concept is one that's likely to become far-reaching.

"There is already a meeting in the works with Donald Trump to take the show to New York City," Tom said, "and plans are in the works to take it to Atlanta and Los Angeles later this year with plans of several cities in 2014. There are veterans all across the country, young and old, who need our help. Eventually, I envision a concert a month to help veterans, all across the country."

The close association that Tom has with celebrity types, including several members of the popular Osmond family, became so intriguing to me that a couple of years ago, I had to know more. He filled me in on how a guy who came from French Lick and has worked at Jasper Rubber as his "day job" for more than 30 years had come to have his own promotions and productions company. As it turns out, a chance encounter with one of the singing Osmond brothers in the late 1990s became the springboard that has led to Tom working exclusively with Nathan Osmond, promoting his recordings.

Tom and Nathan, each happen to have a deep appreciation for veterans. That has led to the Homeward Bound Heroes concert. Nathan had recorded a patriotic song called "Stars and Stripes," and Tom was looking for a sponsor for the song's related video. He figured a flag maker would be the logical choice, and Annin Flags not only bought into the idea, but pointed Tom and Nathan to the Wounded in Action Family Foundation.

One thing led to another and before it was over, WIAFF's chief executive officer Warren Elliott was proposing a concert to assist wounded veterans, and Nathan ended up as executive producer and Tom as the associate producer for the event that's planned for May.

The two producers must be persuasive.

They have lined up a list of show performers that includes Lonestar, Sarah Darling and Laura Bryna. They also took such stars as Robby Benson, B.J. Thomas, Collin Raye and Lee Greenwood into a temporary studio, where they videotaped messages for veterans who will be in the audience.

Then, there's the master of ceremonies, CNN's Larry King. Tom said, "Nathan Osmond and I ran into Larry at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. ... Coming from the 'Greatest Generation,' Larry just seemed like the perfect emcee. Nathan contacted Larry and he graciously accepted."

Tom and Nathan,each talked about their own military heroes.

"My biggest hero of all time is my father, Leon Roach, from French Lick, who served in the Korean War," Tom wrote. "When Nathan Osmond visited my parents last year, he thanked my father for his military service. When I saw the tears build up in my father's eyes, I saw an amazing love and pride for America."

Nathan, meanwhile, wrote, "Coming from a military family, I appreciate the many sacrifices that are made daily on our behalf. My father, Alan Osmond, trained for Vietnam back in the 60s. My grandfather, George Osmond, served as an Army sergeant in World War II. ... I feel it is my duty to do something to express the deep gratitude I feel for our troops and their families."

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