The Irish don't keep all the luck to themselves, which is exactly why tenor Anthony Kearns, of the famous Irish Tenors, is teaming up with fellow Irishman Bono's ONE organization to raise money for the USO and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on October 20 at the Embassy of New Zealand in D.C.
Kearns first lent his perfectly-pitched voice to the American military last year when he sang for the USO's wounded Warrior Program at the New Zealand Embassy. [Read column by Michelle Obama about putting veterans back to work.]
"I'm honored to participate once again in this fantastic event hosted by Ambassador Moore and the ONE Campaign. Last year's event was truly inspirational – and I appreciate what New Zealand did to make it happen. I take pleasure singing at events where my music can help soothe wounds and be an inspiration and uniting force for peace throughout the world," he said.
In next week's invitation-only event, he is likely to also join with actor Robert DeNiro, a spokesman for for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. [Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available as an iPad app.]
Kearns, who fancies himself a historian, says he feels indebted to the U.S. military for keeping peace in the world. Over the past year, he performed at the National Memorial Day parade during the Moment of Remembrance, at events to raise money for educational scholarships for military families and at the Kennedy Center's choral tribute to military families. [See photos of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. ]
He's even thrown himself into American politics, flying from Dublinto sing the famous ballad, "Danny Boy," for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's inauguration party.
The USO is known for hosting great entertainers and Jan Scruggs, the founder and president of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, says Kearns fits the bill for his joint fundraiser.
"Events during Vietnam brought us Ann Margret, Sammy Davis Jr., Nancy Sinatra and the greatest wartime entertainer of all, Bob Hope. Anthony Kearns fits that tradition well—and we're honored that he's performing," says Scruggs.
Kearns isn't the first Irishman to help an American soldier out. There is a long history of the Irish lending their clover mojo to Americans in combat, dating back to the Civil war when Abraham Lincoln credited the 69th Irish brigade with helping to win the war for the Union, And today there are Irish soldiers deployed in Iraq patrolling the "Irish Route" — one of the most dangerous roads in Baghdad.