National Vietnam War Veterans Day has been celebrated annually on March 29 since 2017, and today, Nashville-based nonprofit CreatiVets and Lewis Brice aim to shine a light on the lesser-known holiday and those who served our nation more than 50 years ago through the release of the thought-provoking tune “Just As Red” — available now (via Big Machine Records) across all major streaming platforms.
Written by Vietnam veteran Dick Nash alongside his mentor Chris Bickel and songwriters Lewis Brice and Dave Turnbull, “Just As Red” is a prime example of the poignant tunes that are created through CreatiVets’ lauded songwriting programs, which pair combat veterans with songwriters in Nashville to help them learn to use music as a form of therapy. This moving track not only serves as a first-hand account of Nash’s time in service as an Infantry Platoon leader for the 222nd (Triple Deuce) Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army in Vietnam, but it also details the aftereffects that have continued to plague those who served during this harrowing war for more than half a century —
singing, “the blood we shed was just as red.”
“The process of writing a song had never been on my to do list, but it now is one of my most pleasant memories,” Nash explains. “If you put forth the effort needed during this process, it truly is a ‘tonic for the soul,’ as the first line of my song says. I have told a large number of vets about CreatiVets and this experience and highly recommend the program to anyone who will listen.”
To listen to “Just As Red,” click HERE.
Given the time, it wasn’t unusual for these veterans to be injured in combat and never see their fellow service members again — not knowing whether or not each other survived the devastating realities of war. In an effort to reunite those affected by the Vietnam War, Nash and the other men of the Triple Deuce founded the organization VN222.
“The backstory of ‘Just As Red’ stems from the fact that I’ve found the best possible therapy for Vietnam veterans is reuniting with those they served alongside more than 50 years ago,” Nash continues. “Several of my ‘Brothers’ in Triple Deuce found me online in 1998, inviting me and my wife to attend a reunion in Dallas. That trip changed my life in many ways, and two years later I became the president of the VN222 organization, which connects Vietnam veterans with their former squad members, leaders and even strangers who share their memories and passions for facing the devils of combat memories. I could not describe accurately the amount of good we have done for this special group of special people through those reunions – and when it’s all said and done, I guess that is the main message of ‘Just As Red.’”
Since its founding in 2013, CreatiVets has helped more than 1,000 combat veterans —with more than 400 veterans participating in its songwriting programs to date. The organization’s utmost goal is to end veteran suicide by offering alternative ways to cope with trauma, using the arts as a therapeutic cornerstone in the road to recovery. Serving as a connector for opportunities that magnify CreatiVets within the entertainment space, Big Machine Label Group continues to contribute to CreatiVets’ operational initiatives through Scott and Sandi Borchetta’s Music Has Value Fund and through Big Machine Music, which serves as the co-publisher for CreatiVets.
CreatiVets’ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide wounded veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury with opportunities to use art, music, and creative writing to heal their unseen wounds of war. Their goal is to empower veterans with tools they can use for the rest of their lives and enable them to see their own capacity for success in an arena outside the battlefield. Learn more at creativets.org.
About Big Machine Label Group:
Led by CEO and Chairman Scott Borchetta, HYBE America’s Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Big Machine/John Varvatos Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio. BMLG artists include superstars Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, Brantley Gilbert and Lady A; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Brett Young, Midland, Carly Pearce, Riley Green, Aaron Lewis, Badflower and Ayron Jones; renowned industry icons Wanda Jackson and Ray Wylie Hubbard, plus rising artists Danielle Bradbery, Tyler Rich, Laci Kaye Booth, Heath Sanders, Callista Clark, Jackson Dean, Brock Gonyea, Conner Smith, Tiera Kennedy, Abbey Cone and Kidd G in partnership with Rebel Music / Geffen Records. Big Machine Records recently released the multi-genre film soundtrack for Netflix’s The Ice Road, featuring songs from Jason Isbell, Miranda Lambert, The Cadillac Three, L.A. Rats, John Carter Cash, Gary LeVox and more. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights. Big Machine Label Group created the Music Has Value Fund to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations that make music, aspire to make music, and access and appreciate music. Visit BigMachineLabelGroup.com for more information.
About Lewis Brice:
Lewis’s debut self-titled EP, produced by himself and his brother Lee Brice, was released via Pump House Music on July 14th, 2017 to glowing reviews, landing at No. 11 on the US iTunes Country chart. Since then, Lewis has been named one of Rolling Stone Country’s “New Country Artists You Need to Know” and Billboard’s “Country Artists to Watch in 2018”. Tracks from the EP were featured on SiriusXM The Highway, CMT Music, and Spotify’s New Boots & Wild Country playlists, and its lead single ‘Best Ex Ever’ reached the Top 40 of MusicRow’s Country Breakout radio chart. The next chapter of Lewis’ music was unveiled with “Blessed” as the first single from his forthcoming second collection of songs and was introduced to the world by a special Thanksgiving acoustic performance premiere with his brother Lee Brice. The single was also recognized internationally when Brice received a British Country Music Award for International Song of the Year. Followed by “It’s You,” a huge streaming success, amassing more than 18 million streams since its release and placement on key playlists including Spotify’s Global Viral, Hot Country, US Viral, Breakout Country and New Boots, Apple Music’s Breaking Country, Pure Country Radio, Pandora’s New Country Radio playlists and many more. Brice’s streaming continues to flourish as his music garners nearly 33 million overall streams. With more new music on the horizon, 2022 promises to be the best year yet for Lewis Brice!