When it comes to taking care of American soldiers on foreign ground, it’s hard to beat Toby Keith. The country music superstar has been regularly traveling overseas to perform for military personnel in forward operating bases for nearly 15 years.
In 2014, he was recognized by the USO for his commitment to American troops with the Spirit of the USO Award. At that time, he had performed for more than 250,000 troops in 17 countries and several military ships at sea. And Toby continues to serve the military with an unparalleled ferocity.
That ferociousness was never as apparent as it was when he released his 2002 smash hit, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).” Toby wrote the song by himself following the passing of his father, H.K. Covel, in a tragic car accident. Toby’s father was a proud veteran and the country singer was not only honoring his memory and service, but he was also addressing the war in Afghanistan.
Not surprisingly, the song did attract some negative attention and became a source of controversy for the strong nature of the lyrics, specifically the line “We’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.” In fact, a feud with the Dixie Chicks was supposedly pinned, at least in part, to “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”
However, the song remains a high point of Toby’s live show that he sings no matter the season, no matter the day, inviting veterans up onstage to join him for the touching tribute.