Amy Grant and Vince Gill to Sing for Soldiers
Amy Grant and Vince Gill are on a mission to help wounded warriors.
The country couple will be hosting a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on June 8 to help launch Challenge America, a national initiative to support and connect existing programs for disabled veterans.
“It’s going to be a very relaxed, comfortable evening,” Grant, who will be joined onstage by her husband as well as singers including Melinda Doolittle, Darius Rucker, Michael McDonald, and Alison Krauss, tells PEOPLE.
The concert, she explains, will be performed “family style”: “We’re going to sit in a semi-circle and go around the circle taking turns doing songs. It’ll feel like sitting in a living room. You don’t have any idea where the evening is going to go.”
Challenge America is an outgrowth of Challenge Aspen, which Grant and Gill have supported for nearly a decade. Challenge Aspen provides recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, and Grant has witnessed first-hand how sports can help a wounded soldier’s recovery.
“What they want is to return to normalcy, and that involves three things: a job, a home, and an ability to recreate with your family,” she explains. “There’s nothing about a job that goes, ‘Woohoo!’ But you get a young man who comes home totally different, and you give him some kind of freedom through sports and he goes, ‘I can find myself again. It’s different, but I can rebuild a life.’ ”
Grant hopes the concert will inspire others to help wounded vets get back on track. “I always think, ‘What if I were that person who had served and things had turned out differently for me than I expected?’ ” she says. “I would be looking at my fellow citizens going, ‘Aren’t we all in this together?'”
• 2000: Inside Amy & Vince’s Nashville nuptials!