A heartfelt tribute to the U.S. Marines movingly performed (vocals and acoustical guitar) by Chad Van Rys, a Marine veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq . . . Chad Van Rys and Kirk W. Boland, owner of Full Metal Jacket Music, met in 2006 while at Camp Ar Ramadi, where Chad performed live for his fellow Marines and soldiers.
"As a father of a son, who is a Marine veteran and served in Iraq . . . it is really great to know a troop or veteran like Chad Van Rys and see him use his vocal and musical talents to express his love and pride of America based upon his own military experience . . . and being recognized for it . . . And Chad Van Rys' song, "Once A Marine", is very special to me for obvious reasons . . . Semper Fi Chad" David Bancroft, USA Patriotism! founder (September 2010)
Chad Van Rys' Own Words...
“When I was on Active Duty, I used to play the guitar with some of my buddies, but then it changed a little. Instead of playing with my buddies, somehow I ended up playing for my buddies, and they were making requests and asking me to learn their favorite songs.
I don't know what they would say, but as for me, the music was such a blessing out in the desert. It could have been a miserable day, but once I started playing the guitar and some of them started singing along, it almost felt like I was back home at the lake with some friends, just relaxing by a campfire. It was therapeutic.”
Chad Van Rys is also prominently featured in "Born Again American" video launched by Norman Lear and Declare Yourself. Declare Yourself is a non-profit dedicated to encouraging people to serve their country, including military service.