19 March 2009
TOBY KEITH TO RECEIVE JOHNNY "MIKE" SPANN HONOR
<(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Toby Keith"s newest single, "Lost You Anyway," is climbing the charts while his recent No. 1 single "God Love Her" powered to the top position on both the Billboard/R&R and Country Aircheck/Mediabase/USA Today country charts making it his 25th No. 1 single of his career, but the acclaimed Oklahoman continues to keep the rewards of his prolific career balanced with the understanding of what"s really important in life. And the honor Keith will receive on March 26 will be yet another reminder of the military men and women to whom he has dedicated so much of his energy. >
On that date, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation will present Toby with the Johnny "Mike" Spann Memorial Semper Fidelis Award at its 14th Annual New York City Gala. Named for the Marine Corps captain-turned CIA paramilitary professional who was the first casualty in the war on terror (Nov. 28, 2001 in Afghanistan), the award recognizes Keith as "always faithful" (Semper Fidelis) in his loyalty to and support of America's troops. Senator Joseph Lieberman was the award's 2008 recipient.
"Spending time with our soldiers around the world is something I've always regarded as a privilege and honor," Keith says. "I'm certainly happy to accept this award, but I won't forget for a second who's really doing the heavy lifting to keep this country safe. And that's why I'll keep going back and spending time with those good folks every chance I get."
Keith completed his seventh USO Tour in 2008, visiting multiple sites including Forward Operating Bases on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been an ardent support of America's fighting men and women both in his music ("American Soldier," for one) and in urging fellow artists to join him in visiting and performing for troops around the globe.
The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charity that has distributed more than $38 million to the left-behind children of America's fallen heroes. It's stated mission is: "To encourage the spiritual, moral, intellectual and physical development of children through education. This Foundation was formed in February of 1995 by former Marines and federal law enforcement personnel who strongly believe that our nation's most precious resource is its youth."