Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Ron Henry is proud to be an American. He has always wanted to find a way to bring cohesiveness between soldiers and civilian Americans.

Now, as one of members of 4 Troops, a group of singing former Iraqi and Afghan­istan veterans, Henry is able to do just that.

4 TROOPS—Sergeant Ron Henry, back center.

“We want this music to heal and encourage people. We have to continue to heal America,” said Henry, 42.

4 Troops released its self-titled debut last May to critical acclaim. The album struck a chord with audiences and quickly made 4 Troops a household name.

“It’s been a rocket ride ever since. I never thought I’d reach the national level that I am at right now through the Army. I still have to pinch myself to see if this is real.”

Henry enlisted in the Army in 1986 after enduring a year of college.

“I wasn’t disciplined enough to go through college I wasn’t really trying. I joined the service to get some guidance and discipline. I am grateful for that because it made me the man that I am today,” Henry said.

The Williamsburg, Va., resident spent 25 years in the Army. His first 13 years of military service was spent as an Infantryman. In 2003 Henry was deployed to Iraq and spent 13 months there. His last seven years were spent traveling unprotected roads in Iraq as a Transporter and Transportation Manager.

In 2005 Henry entered the first season of Military Idol, the military version of American Idol where he became one of the top five finalists. Although he didn’t win the competition, Henry started a singing group called Transportation Express. The group was given a special assignment to travel to Alaska to lift the morale of families whose parents had deployments back to back.

Major Henry got the call to join 4 Troops in 2009. He jumped at the chance to serve his country through his love of music on a national level.

4 Troops was to bring its unique message to the Byham Theater in November but the concert was canceled. A portion of the CDs and concert sales is donated to veterans related organizations.

“When we do our concerts, we do a little story about the songs and how they fit into the American tapestry,” Henry said. “We also have an acoustic session of some wonderful songs that people are familiar with. We want to shake hands with people and thank them for coming out and supporting us.”

Some songs Henry and the troops perform include “Bless The Broken Road,” Rascal Flats’ “I’m Already There,” and Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.”

In September, 4 Troops took time out of its busy music schedule to write “4 Troops: The Mission is Music.” The book details the childhood and military stories of the 4 Troops members.

“Being able to write this book was another blessing that fell out of the sky. First we were musical stars and now we are authors. This is amazing,” Henry said. “I love how the book tells the story of us and how we are proud to be Americans.”

When Henry isn’t traveling all over the world performing for soldiers and civilians alike, he enjoys spending time with his wife Tabitha.

The possibility of a 4 Troops Christmas album is in the works for next year. They are also considering releasing another mainstream album.

“It’s all up to the people and soldiers of America. If they want to hear more from 4 Troops then we’ll put out another album,” Henry said.

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