MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Music enthusiasts braved freezing temperatures to secure their spot in line for the 6th Annual Guitar Pull here at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Nov. 19.
The Two Rivers Theater filled to capacity as more than 1,800 Cherry Point patrons anxiously awaited the start of the free concert featuring RaeLynn, Joey Hyde, Austin Webb, Josh Thompson and Easton Corbin.
“Even though I love performing in general, this is by far my favorite kind of show to perform,” said RaeLynn, American country music vocalist and songwriter. “It’s so much fun to give back to the men and women who are doing the real work behind closed doors. These are the real heroes. This type of show really hits home for me and I am truly honored to come here and entertain these service members to get their minds off things for a while.”
The artists performed for the Marines and Sailors stationed at Cherry Point as well as members of surrounding community.
“This is an awesome way to bring the community and military together to enjoy something we all love – music,” said RaeLynn, a 20-year-old native of Baytown, Texas. “It is such a lighthearted concert; everyone comes together with their loved ones. It’s fun having everyone singing, dancing and just celebrating.”
According to Tommy Garret, radio personality on WRNS and six-time Guitar Pull host, the best part of the Guitar Pull is seeing people come together and experiencing the excitement of the crowd when the music begins.
“Giving back to the community and our troops is an amazing experience,” said Garret, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “We can never say thank you enough to those who have and those who are currently serving, along with their families for the sacrifices they give for our freedom. This is just a small way of us giving back and saying thanks.”
The event was sponsored by local country music radio station WRNS and other area businesses who raffled off a guitar signed by all the performers to promote the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
Several Marines with the Single Marine Program here volunteered to collect toys during the event.
“Volunteering to collect items for Toys for Tots and getting to see the joy on people’s faces as they donate makes it worth it,” said Lance Cpl. Sebastian Alli, an administrative maintenance specialist with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14.
According to Alli, getting to see the show and hear the music is a perk, but seeing the enormous response to the Toys for Tots collection was the highlight.
“It is amazing how many Marines, families and community members are coming together to see a great concert and show support for a good cause,” said Alli, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y. “I am looking forward to the event next year and seeing how many more people we can bring out to enjoy the good time.”