Country music star Jason Aldean's new documentary, set to be filmed on August 19, will explore the ties between the military and country music.
If you're a military family in Virginia Beach, Jason Aldean wants to hear your story. On August 19, the country music star is coming to Virginia Beach for his High Noon Neon Tour -- but he's also here to make a documentary. And he's looking for military families to be in it. They just have to love America -- and love country music.
The documentary will explore the ties between the military and country music through a series of several interviews with Hampton Roads families. Aldean and JBM Casting want to hear how patriotism and your roots inspire your love for country music. All Hampton Roads military families, including veterans, are invited to apply.
To apply, any family member can visit the Virginia Beach Country Music Doc website via Casting Crane to upload a brief video and recent family photo. You'll then be asked about your family member and their military status (active duty or veteran) and their relationship to you. Finally, the application asks you to briefly describe your feelings about country music, patriotism, and any details you are comfortable providing about your family's military service.
If your family is selected as a finalist, JBM Casting will contact you to be interviewed for the documentary. Interviews will take place in Virginia Beach on August 19, the same day Aldean performs his High Noon Neon Tour at Veterans United Amphitheater.
The yet-to-be-titled documentary is about being proud of where you're from. Aldean and JBM Casting Director Joshua Montgomery want to explore the way patriotism is at the root of country music culture.
Courtesy of KSON Media
That's why they want to talk to military families, and they figured Hampton Roads is the place to find them.
With more than 86,000 active duty military personnel, the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads region has the largest concentration of military families in the country, with the exception of the Pentagon. The 757 is home to no less than nine major military installations, with families representing every branch in the Armed Forces.
Virginia Beach residents also love country music. Just turn on the radio and you'll hear Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, (and, of course, Jason Aldean) crooning about cold beer and broken hearts.
But in between the pictures to burn, odes to whiskey, and innuendos about industrial farming equipment, you'll hear these same voices singing about a different kind of heartbreak and a different kind of passion -- the pain of being far from your family, and the pride of fighting for something you love.
Country music has long been linked with the military. Many country music icons, from Willie Nelson to Johnny Cash to Conway Twitty, drew inspiration from their own military pasts. The whiskey-tinged ballads that ensued testify in Southern drawl to the sorrow of loss, a deep loyalty to ideals, and an enduring sense of national pride and perseverance rooted in military experience. These values became enduring themes in the genre's evolution.
So how did country music and the military become so intertwined, as Aldean's documentary hopes to explore?
It has a lot to do with the South. The military's impact on family life is something Southerners know well. According to Department of Defense data, 44.3 percent of military recruits come from the South, despite the fact that only 36 percent of the country's recruiting-aged population live in Southern states.
This might explain why the traditionally-Southern genre became so closely tied to military patriotism -- patriotism and military service directly impact Southern people.
And, as with anything else that pulls our heartstrings, we sing about it.
Do you know a country music-loving military family that might be interested in this opportunity? Share it with them by tagging them in the comments below!