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Vermont native and Nashville-based musician’s Nov. 9 Plumley Armory concert will support The Veterans’ Place Inc. of Northfield

Vermont native and Nashville-based country musician Jamie Lee Thurston, a passionate backer of military causes, will play a benefit concert at Norwich University during Veterans’ Day weekend to support Northfield’s The Veterans’ Place Inc.

The concert, at 8 p.m. Nov. 9 in Plumley Armory,  is organized by The Veterans’ Place Inc., a community-based, nonprofit, 26-bed, substance-free, transitional housing program and the Norwich University student group that conducts the Annual Legacy March to support it. Both the Legacy March fundraiser and The Veterans’ Place Inc. are celebrating 10th anniversaries this year, in Norwich’s bicentennial year.

Net proceeds from the benefit concert go to The Veterans’ Place.

“To be any part of helping our vets in an incredible honor to me. ... They are, after all, why we are free.”
— Jamie Lee Thurston, country music star

Thurston, who supports both the Legacy March and The Veterans’ Place Inc., grew up in Barre and as a boy performed with his father and his band, Jimmy T. and Boogie Beast. Thurston keeps close ties to Vermont, where his father, now 78, still lives.

“As a kid, there were always guitars lying around the house,” Thurston told Janesville, Wisconsin, country music radio station WJVL in September 2017, adding that he started performing with his father at age 3. “I used to strap one on, turn the stereo up really loud and just bang on the thing. My dad’s guitar players spent some time showing me chords and riffs and I just kind of moved on from there.”

On Nov. 1, a week before the Norwich concert, Thurston will play an acoustic show at The Room at 14th Star Brewing Co. in St. Albans, Vermont, to benefit Veterans Count Vermont. Easter Seals runs the organization, which raises money for programs to benefit current and past armed forces members. All money raised in Vermont remains in Vermont.

“To me, the real-life heroes of our country, are in our military,” Thurston said of military personnel. “Whether they are deployed or not, they sign that contract, and put their life on the line if needed. That’s an incredible, and brave thing in my eyes. War is not a pretty thing. As one vet told me: ‘When you see people reduced to stains on the ground, it kinda sticks with you.’ As he said that, you could see in his eyes, that he was reliving that moment again. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with that. 

Stellar performance, stellar company

Thurston has recorded nine studio albums and tours regularly. He 2003 album “I Just Want to Do My Thing,” got Thurston’s star rising; it included the song “It Can All Be Gone,” which reached No. 59 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

His talent has taken him through the Nashville, Tennesee, music industry and label machine at Warner Brothers, where he turned out singles for Montgomery Gentry, Rodney Atkins and Trace Adkins, including Rodney’s chart-topping fan favorite, ‘15 Minutes.’ And he’s shared stages with country music’s biggest acts, such as the Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, the Dixie Chicks, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Billy Currington and Charlie Daniels.

Thurston said he is proud to play for Veterans’ Place.

“What Karen Boyce at The Veterans’ Place does to help those vets with PTSD and (traumatic brain injuries) try and get their life back, is a lesson in something truly amazing,” Thurston said. “To me, she is a real-life earth angel, and is one of the most giving people I have ever met. Both of her sons are veterans, so she knows all about the sacrifice and the challenges they face.

“To be any part of helping our vets in an incredible honor to me,” Thurston added. “And for the rest of the country, as Americans, we owe it to them to give them as much support as we can. They are, after all, why we are free.”

Advance tickets for the concert can be purchased for $25 at https://alumni.norwich.edu/legacymarchconcert until Nov. 3 or at the door for $30 the night of the concert.

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Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.