Aaron Lewis is an enormous troop supporter and does more for them than you can imagine.

Aaron Lewis was the lead singer and guitarist for Staind, which had a slew of hits beginning in the early ’90s. His songs covered an extensive range of topics, including depression, relationships, death, addiction, finding oneself, betrayal, and Lewis’s thoughts about becoming a father.

It was announced in mid-2012 that Staind would be taking a hiatus. Nevertheless, during their interview with Billboard, Aaron Lewis stated that “We’re not breaking up. We’re not gonna stop making music. We’re just going to take a little hiatus that really hasn’t ever been taken in our career. We put out seven records in 14 years. We’ve been pretty busy.

Author’s Personal Collection

Since 2012 Aaron Lewis Has Been Making it Solo and Has Come Out With Several Albums

As a disabled veteran, I was invited by Grady Davis, president of Weekends with Warriors, to go backstage with him and one other veteran at Lewis’s concert in Myrtle Beach.

I couldn’t say no! 

Excitedly, I packed for the trip, and off I went to meet Grady at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. Grady has a personality that you can’t help but love. He a joking light-hearted personality that attracts everyone and always wears a smile.

Grady Davis, President of Weekends with Warriors, with Aaron Lewis. (Photo: Grady Davis)

Grady’s life mission is to help veterans. He is the man who gives everything he has and more to help. You could call at 4 a.m. with a pistol in your mouth, and he will answer and talk you down. As Weekend With Warriors’ website says, “Our mission is to save lives by being different than other veteran foundations. We started from the ground up with a simple mission in mind, ‘Brothers helping Brothers.'”

And On the Rock’n’roll Bus We Hop!

Walking up, Aaron Lewis’s tour bus was waiting out front. It looked like a grayish-green wagon with a Trump and “Don’t Tread on Me” flag flying out front. His driver was a muscular bulldog ready to pounce on a moment’s notice.

Stepping inside I see a tour bus of nothing less than straight baller status. Everything was brand new. White barn style looks with extreme class mixed into one.

Aaron Lewis wearing a Special Forces Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. (Photo: Grady Davis)

We were handed out backstage all-access passes. The team was super friendly and we got to go anywhere and meet everyone. They all were extremely nice and thanked me for my service. Aaron Lewis was still sleeping and wouldn’t be available until after the show. The House of Blues began to fill with more and more people making their way in.

A couple of hundreds packed their way into the small venue. The House of Blues resembled a stadium and had wood finish everywhere. The women were dressed to the nines in cowgirl boots and sundresses. At $250 per ticket and no riff-raff insight, Aaron was going to make sure they got their money’s worth.

Hanging Out by the Stage

I hung out with Pete Ricci and Cody Foote, his two main men, for several hours. Little did I know just how big of a deal Pete Ricci was. Pete is a small 145lb man with a fantastic personality that has worked with some huge bands, a very affable person.

Cody Foote is a fantastic musician that works his butt off to make sure everything is perfect. He kept asking us if we needed anything. Humbled, I kept asking if HE needed anything. Spectacular people, and there’s no doubt why Aaron employs them.

Then Aaron Lewis got on stage. He didn’t say much, but his stage presence was enormous and the crowd went nuts. He was wearing a black t-shirt, jeans, camo vans, and a trucker hat and smoking next to a cup of Jack Daniels.

Lewis sang for several hours. Some of the songs he played included Am I the Only One?,  I Lost It All, and my personal favorite Country Boy. Between songs, he told stories of his family, who have all served in the military.

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You Can Feel His Love for the Men and Women in Uniform

Although Aaron never personally served, you can tell he loves the military more than most. In his show, he repeatedly thanked the military for their service. Cody, off stage, had a massive bottle of Jack Daniels. Aaron walked off stage a few times for a quick break during the multi-hour show, and Cody was always ready with a fresh drink for him.

Backstage it’s quiet and professional. Everyone has a job and a place and is making sure everything is perfect for Aaron. After the show, everyone hustled to get their jobs done. The bus had to roll within an hour or so and get to the next show.

I half expected a large group of hot groupies to be lined up waiting at their shot for him, but sadly nope, there was no woman in sight.

Aaron Lewis, House of Blues Myrtle Beach 2021. (Photo: Grady Davis)

Aaron Lewis! I Meet Aaron Lewis From Staind! 

Grady grabs me to go meet Aaron. I’m super excited as I was a massive fan of Staind.

Aaron is on his tour bus with a select few. We introduce ourselves, he invites us to sit down for a moment, and immediately thanks us for our service. Knowing he has a million things to do, we keep it short.

In person, Aaron is humble and happy. You can see that he’s just doing what he loves and trying to be the best at it. He asked me where I was from and about my career. I explained where I had deployed, that I was Special Forces, and had recently retired. Again, he thanked me when really I was just happy to be there, meet him, and to have been at such a great show.

Finally, I gifted him the Special Forces shirt I had been carrying with me all night, for which he was very happy.

After a few minutes, we decide to leave Aaron to get to work. Before I left, his crew gave me some guitar picks and the backstage pass to Staind’s 20-year-show of 2019. The crew also gave me a personal invite to their upcoming show, which I just may try to make. 

Aaron Lewis clearly loves the troops and left an everlasting impression on me.