For many Americans, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend that kicks off the summer season with BBQs and parties — and it should be. Gathering with friends and loved ones is a special privilege we are fortunate enough to enjoy.
For many service members, veterans, and Gold Star Families, however, the weekend can carry some sadness. Memorial Day is, after all, a day to remember the fallen men and women who gave their lives in military service.
We all honor those we've lost in our own way. For U.S. Marine JP Guhns, it's through music.
[facebook https://www.facebook.com/JGuhns/videos/452386265518269/?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARAOPogGzd3bgq6XuLu6V9Fjr98QUgTttPbBFEBKX7C-0azfNOE7n1BKwclFUJh5x9CPgy503Ib-pxFD1gfAGqDu5nU-oQZ4KT3frN4MjE3tRgLZY0Usj33pAzNhBljo3yGem8Hh50H8VtApd14NGLZPaTAnftbrgFvXA-ZhdkZMcV7BbGWgAdLi4kyE_jEW-l7R-A0WJYz4wzobjOfaah4n8Wa8N0zvcXO_5ApT7LDMqCXwy5e9CjLqykKwvCVDkGjDdhD-BeL97I1FpRfiWCFV6YV4C014nE5ws-HQTjU7CplGwaOtXO0LTgLTNv9SWvopNsGGy3tBMtAbKczapshmMhLkDH7LNM8PtQ&__tn__=-R expand=1]JP Guhns
Watch the music video:
JP is no stranger to We Are The Mighty. He first landed on our radar as a finalist in our Mission: Music talent search. He also has four combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan under his belt, which significantly impacted his music.
"I've been a victim to suicide, said the Lord's Prayer as we carried one of my Marine brothers to aid, been heartbroken by life, and prayed to pay the bills. I've fought the hard battles. I've cried through the nights of memories. Thank God I had friends and family to bring me through," he shared on the Facebook launch of Good Friends and Whiskey (see video above).
JP isn't the only veteran who shares military experiences through the arts — and he's definitely not the only one who has been impacted by the loss of service members' lives, home or overseas. This Memorial Day, as you enjoy some downtime and celebrate, maybe also take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the military, contribute to a veteran non-profit, or support troops like JP by checking out their art and hearing their stories.
Get to know U.S. Marine JP Guhns
In 2017, USAA invited five talented military musicians to Nashville to record at the legendary Ocean Way Studios. JP was one of those artists — and he really made the most of the opportunity. His latest song is both a tribute to the people who have been there for him as well as a message to anyone else out there who needs to know that they are not alone.
"To all my brothers and sisters in arms, rejoice the memories of our fallen, and let's get back to living again."