Madison Rising

Since 2011, the heavy hitting patriotic band Madison Rising has stapled patriotism in music venues across the country. The band is led and founded by Air Force veteran Rio Hiett. They have opened for legends in rock and country artists such as Aerosmith and Toby Keith.


Hailing from outside New York City, the band claimed it’s name from a street in Hoboken, NJ and appreciated the connection to the former president. The band’s origins revolved around the resentment of the infamous Occupy Wall street protests of NYC. Some time later, the band found attention in their “The Star Spangled Banner” cover, which has garnered over 500,000 streams on Spotify and 8 million views on YouTube. The band has recorded three albums, with the rereleased version of “Battered Not Broken” released earlier this year.


Madison Rising is also known for their other covers. They have released singles of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”, Irvin Berlin’s “God Bless America”, and Samual A. Ward’s “America The Beautiful”.


Madison Rising has collaborated with over 250+ organizations in giving back to the community since their formationAdditionally, the band performed at the inaugural Vets Rock expo at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut and the infamous Sturgis event in South Dakota. 


*Find out when Madison Rising is coming to a venue near you here*

Operation Song- “He Took My Place”

Veteran Gary Lima recently released “He Took My Place”, his personal lyrical diary of living with survivor’s guilt. Lima is a Marine Corps and Army veteran with a combined service of over 20 years between the too. He drew inspiration from an incident that occurred when deployed to the Cyprus Conflict in 1974.


Lima was deployed with a marine helicopter unit aiding in rescuing Americans trapped on the island. One particular flight, he was relieved for R&R while a much younger corporal took his position. Sadly, that flight crew never returned to base that day.


Gary sheds light on the guilt he felt for years to come. He struggled with symptoms of PTSD and found it hard to develop the motivation to live. Since, Lima has found purpose and new meaning working with the Operation Song program. He wishes to share his knowledge and experience with other veterans.


Lima wants to inspire veterans to ask themselves questions like, “Why carry a ton of guilt, when that’s not yours to carry? Why not live?”


A link to listen to “He Took My Place” on Youtube can be found here.

Here is an additional link to Operation Songs Soundcloud Page


Operation Song is a 501c non profit network of volunteers that pairs veterans with experts in songwriting and music production. Established in Nashville, the organization frequently releases music inspired by veterans. To date, Operation Song has released over 600 songs written by veterans of all generations and military backgrounds. Feel free to learn more about the organization with the link below.


You can learn more about the Operation Song Organization here!

Creative Forces-National Endowment For The Arts Partnership

The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) has partnered with VA medical facilities around the country for the Creative Forces initiative. First organized in 2012, the program serves veterans at about a dozen bases and medical facilities such as Walter Reed Medical Center.


The national network of creative resources works to combat the epidemic of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Additionally, Using established clinics at facilities across the country, the NEA works to build the creative community in the military. Helping those affected by hidden illnesses, and creating communities within base environments…Creative Forces truly works to expand the capacity of the creatives.


According to the NEA, over 500,000 current veterans live in dealing with PTSD or TBI symptoms. It is estimated that about 10-20% of all deploying service members are likely to show symptoms of both. Unfortunately, many of these cases do go undiagnosed. That is why the work of organizations like the NEA are crucial to the military community. The goal of Creative Forces is beyond the clinical work itself,  but to establish environments that creatives in the arts thrive. These environments culminate inspiration and outlets for those in clinical care…and those undiagnosed.


You can learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Creative Forces program at their website here.

2019 and Beyond

Hello Everyone,

The Veteran Sound Project will continue publishing articles about the amazing musical stories coming from the veteran community. Personally, I plan to expand the coverage and services the website will offer next year. I know we still have another month of 2018 left, but I wanted to take the time to inform everyone of the things coming.

The project will be attending more events, writing more articles and serving veterans more than this year. I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store. In the meantime, make sure you are subscribed to the weekly articles. Also, feel free to reach out to me with recommendations. I always enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions.

Thank you all!


Shane Axten


Oblivion Her Majesty Releases new Single “Hopeless Masterminds”

Dynamic Art-Rock band Oblivion Her Majesty recently released their title track off an upcoming debut album coming in 2019. The single, “Hopeless Masterminds” is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and Youtube.

The band has been busy over 2018. They performed at Southern California’s KAABOO Delmar Music Festival. Additionally, they have shared the stage with bands such as Smile Empty Soul, In the Presence of Wolves, EchoBlack, and Moonfalls.

Below is their youtube video for the title track “Hopeless Masterminds”


Veterans Day 2018

Later this week we will celebrate two events that will keep many dive bars across the nation packed till 2am. First, the most infamous military birthday, the Marine Corps Birthday falls on this saturday Nov. 10th. This birthday is easily the most celebrated of any entity of the Department of Defense….and probably the whole government. The origin story goes all the way back to Tun’s Tavern of Philadelphia in 1775 (unfortunately it is no longer there today).

The following day brings the centennial celebration of Armistice day, which later transitioned in the United States to Veterans Day. The origins of Armistice day are rooted in the final agreement between the Allies and the Axis powers in formal cease fire ending WW1. On November 11th, 1918, the cessation of combat began the celebration around the world as “the war to end all wars” formally concluded. This year, special celebrations are being prepared across Europe.

President Woodrow Wilson established the first Armistice day the following year in 1919. Years later, the day would come to include the idea of representing all veterans of the United States. Eventually, the day was given designation as a federal holiday, and hence we celebrate the day off annually.

Every year we are reminded to thank veterans for their service, and ceremonies that recognize veterans at public sporting events across the nation. Although all of these events and gratitude is greatly appreciated and honored, I have a little different of a perspective of honoring veterans day this year.

With the centennial celebration of the original armistice day, it is sad to say that most of events of WW1 are no longer memories. Sadly, because of time, the events of this major event in American and World history has transformed from a recollection to a reflection. Unfortunately, this is a fact that indefinitely can not be change. People witness or participate in events, people get older and pass…and their individual experience gets passed on through documentation. This is the current situation with WW1 and the armistice day that we will all commemorate this sunday.

As sad as that is, I mention this perspective for a reason…we have lost that connection with this event in history. Fortunately, we have veterans of WW2 that are living among us and can personally reflect on that experience. When I first moved to the neighborhood I lived in through middle school and high school, my neighbor across the street from me was a member of the merchant marines during WW2. He would tell me stories of the times they narrowly avoided german U-boat detection while crossing the Atlantic. Sadly, he passed a number of years ago and his wife was forced to move in with the little family they had left.

This veterans day, make sure to think about the few veterans that we have left from the “Greatest Generation”. If you have the ability, sit and talk with some of the veterans and non-veterans that lived through such a time of global turmoil. We are convinced that the world is a horrible place now, but nothing today even closely compares to the carnage seen globally from 1939-1945.

This veterans day, simply think of some of the veterans that we may not have for much longer. For once they are gone, American society can longer recollect of this time…but simply reflect on it.

Thank You

For more articles about veterans, veterans in music, and music that influences the veteran community follow the veteran sound project!