By Staff 

Major Dan Rooney from Tulsa, OK, is a member of the United States Air Force Reserve, as a fighter pilot; he is stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. “I enlisted at 25,” he tells

Maj. Rooney is also the founder of Folds of Honor, a generational foundation dedicated to giving back to the families of our nation’s heroes. Learn more about Folds of Honor here.

“When I think of the word ‘Freedom,'” Maj. Rooney says, “Immediately [the phrase] ‘Freedom isn’t free’ hits my heart. And that’s what Folds of Honor is about: the less than 1% of America that puts on the United States uniform to defend the freedoms for all of us.”

“Stars and Strings embodies that concept,” he notes referring to the benefit concert being put on by CBS Radio at the Chicago Theater on November 9.

“We gather to celebrate the men and women who defend us and to honor the sacrifices that were made by taking care of their families with scholarships.”

“I think for all soldiers, the thing that we hold on to when we deploy is our music, because nothing else stays the same. Friends, family, holidays, birthdays are left behind. As an 5-16 pilot, I’ve been deployed to Iraq on three different occasions. And the only thing that remains the same is the music that comes through your iPod.”

His favorite genre of music is country, which he’s been listening to since he was a kid. “I listened to it before every mission I flew over Iraq, I listened to it at night when I was laying in my bed and missing my wife and my kids and my friends. And it helped me hold on to everything that was so importantback here in the States.”

Stars and Strings will feature a number of country stars performing alone and in combinations, including Jason Aldean, Big & Rich, Brantley Gilbert, Chase Rice, Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts and Tyler Farr.

You can donate to Folds of Honor here.


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