RW Hampton Feels Loss With Recent Suicide of Marine

11/11/2013

U.S. Marine’s Suicide Magnifies Veterans Needs,

Says Acclaimed Cowboy Singer R.W. Hampton

 

 The recent suicide of former U.S. Marine Justin Eldridge at his home in Waterford, CT last week hit acclaimed Cowboy Singer R.W. Hampton especially hard.

 

“When I read about this, it just broke my heart. It just illustrates why it’s important to try to understand the difficulties these men and women face when they return after serving our country,” said Hampton. “A Marine or soldier brings a lot of baggage home.  They may come home, but there is a part of them still over there.  From what I understand, Justin lived through some tough battles in Afghanistan.  I didn't know him, but this is an all too common battle our men and women in the military face with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

 

Hampton, whose son is now serving his third tour of duty as a Marine Sergeant, recently released a new single, “Hell In A Helmet,” named so for the 2nd Battalion 9th Marines deployed to the Marjah District of Helmand Province between July 2010 and Feb. 2011. “I wanted to do something to thank those men and all of the others, and acknowledge that some of us understand what they are going through. I also wanted a way to help,” Hampton acknowledges.  He decided that proceeds from the single will go to the group Horses for Heroes- New Mexico, which provides therapy to Veterans with physical and mental distress as well as offering training for those interested in real life cowboy skills and helping them find jobs on New Mexico ranches.

 

“My wife, Lisa, and I wrote 'Hell in a Helmet' based on our own son's personal experiences - especially for the guys of the 2/9 & their families,” Hampton said.  “But, our hope is that it helps to raise awareness of what these combat veterans (& the ones before them) are going through as they come back. The battle isn't over when they get on that plane to come home. The struggle is real.”

 

According to the Middletown Patch, Eldridge’s hometown newspaper, Eldridge had worked with fundraisers to benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation while at the same time suffering from PTSD.  Having served in the Marines for more than eight years, he was medically retired in 2008 and then began the fight to obtain benefits and the specialized treatment he needed.  Three days before Halloween, Eldridge posted on his Facebook Page “there’s only so much bashing someone can take before they react....”

 

Eldridge's wife, Joanne, had contacted the police that evening, fearing he would harm himself. When they arrived, they found Eldridge dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

“This is such a sad situation and it just magnifies the need,” Hampton said.  “We have got to support our military so that when they finish fighting for us, we are standing ready to fight for them.”

 

"Hell in a Helmet", the second single from his forthcoming new album, This Cowboy, My Country, was recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Gary Bright, who along with Joe Diblasi created Hampton's album Austin to Boston. Once again capitalizing on the LA connections, Hampton was able to work with some of the finest studio musicians available today, including noted drummer John F. Robinson whose resume includes so many top artists that he is considered "the most recorded drummer in history". Other players contributing on this track are steel player extraordinaire Jay Dee Maness and guitar virtuoso Cary Park, along with Gabe Witcher on fiddle.

 

R.W. Hampton is one of the leading Western Entertainers in America today. His fans come from all walks of life.  He’s loved by cowboys, cowgirls, ranch hands and rodeo stars, but also by people who have never seen a cow up close — or cared to.  A singer, songwriter, actor and entertainer, R.W. is known for his patriotism, his family values and Christian beliefs.

 

In the current issue of American Cowboy magazine, Hampton is named among the top 50 Greatest Country and Western Singers (named between Riders in the Sky and Charlie Daniels).  Blessed with a wonderfully rich baritone voice, his songs and genuineness resonate with audiences worldwide.  R.W. has lived what he sings about, and the world of early mornings, hard work, rough horses, maverick cattle and new ranges fits him.  After twenty-two years in the entertainment business and over 15 national awards from his peers, R.W. is still pure cowboy; singing about what he loves best.  He is today’s voice of Cowboy Music.


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