It was a tough emotional radio show today.  Thirteen American service personnel were killed, others wounded and scores of Afghanis died yesterday in Kabul.  Such a tragic loss of life that didn't have to happen.

I'm not here to say there isn't the ever-present chance of injury or death in Afghanistan but there were certainly a number of other ways to have planned and executed the American evacuation.  This isn't about that but it is fueled by the frustration of that.

So today on the show we decided to play some of the music that honors our servicemen and women and tries to capture some of the sense of loss, frustration, anger, and futility the families of the fallen experience.

Instead of our usual opening song that we play coming out of all six newscasts during the three-hour broadcast we turned to country music to find the unashamed, patriotic, heartfelt love of county kinda music that tells stories and captures emotions so well.

First up was "Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus.  Don't let the cheesy mullet fool you, he's a Red, White & Blue kinda guy.

“I Drive Your Truck” – Lee Brice 

This song is a gut-punch of loss and anger and a desperate attempt to keep connected with someone who is gone.  The write says heard an interview on the radio of a dad who lost his son in Afghanistan who wanted to drive his son’s old truck all day in order to remember him.

 

Arlington” – Trace Adkins

The deep rich baritone of Trace Akins tells the story of a soldier's ultimate sacrifice which earns him a place in the hallowed ground of Arlington National Cemetery.  Now, thirteen more have now paid the price to be there as well.

“For You” – Keith Urban

Country Music Superstar Keith Urban is originally from Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand.  He's a great songwriter and knows the human heart so the concept of willing sacrifice is something he understands. As the song portrays "To lay down your life for the sake of so many others deserves the utmost respect and honor". For You appears on the Act of Valor soundtrack .

“If You’re Reading This” – Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw has a knack for tugging on our heartstrings as he has demonstrated so many times in his extremely successful music career.  This on more than tugs as he sings about a soldier's death on the battlefield.

Meet Me At Arlington - Jimmy Fortune

I have to admit that I hadn't heard this song before.  One of the great KIT listeners recommended it and I'm so very glad he did. Thanks Peter!  A father's loss prompts an invite to come to Arlington cemetery and see what the cost of freedom is really is.  It's amazing..

Finally, we didn't get to play it today but it belongs on every list of Americana and Patriotism.  It's the gold standard that finally achieved Gold. The anthem, reached No. 7 on the Hot Country Songs chart upon its original release in 1984.

But in on July 14th of last year Billboard online posted an article that said: "Lee Greenwood's signature hit "God Bless the USA" leads Billboard's Digital Song Sales chart for the first time, blasting from No. 50 to No. 1 on the July 18-dated ranking with a 366% surge ."   Well played America.