By Lauren Schwab Eyre
The life dedication and sacrifice a soldier makes is captured in the heartfelt song “Tin Soldier” released by Mark Addison Chandler featuring HunterGirl. Their voices combine to honor our armed forces this Veterans Day, singing of the difficult state soldiers are in after experiencing war. Written with Davis Corley and Josh Gallagher who Mark says know him best, they helped tell his story.
After two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, Mark emerged with an admirable record of military qualifications and decorations, including three Bronze Stars and two Department of State Meritorious Honor Awards. Mark has teamed up with a West Point classmate’s Veteran charity, Outdoor Association for True Heroes (OATH), Inc. to donate 100% of the proceeds for this song. “I started writing music as a way to cope,” Mark shares, “I dedicated a huge part of my life to a cause that was bigger than myself, and that’s something that only people who have served can understand. I wrote ‘Tin Soldier’ to tell those people that they aren’t alone, and OATH exemplifies that message.”
The honest lyrics serve as Mark’s pledge and call to action to leave no man behind – even for those who make it home, war is never truly over, and no soldier walks away unwounded. Having written the song years ago as a way to heal, he finally felt it was time to release it into the world. “When the events in Afghanistan went down this year, like so many I struggled with the outcome. I hadn’t planned to release this song, but I immediately had an overwhelming sense of conviction that it’s time,” said Mark in a Facebook post to fans.
Mark asked HunterGirl to sing from the female perspective in the second verse. He knew she was a perfect choice for the song given her work as an ambassador for Freedom Sings USA. While Mark illustrates the impact of a battle that most of us will never comprehend, HunterGirl captures the raw emotion of a woman hoping her soldier will come home. She then faces the reality that the person she loves will never be the same again.
The simple melody allows you to hang on their every word. Feeling the vulnerability as they sing of the hard reality for so many Veterans and their loved ones. “I still don’t feel worthy as a messenger for this song because so many have sacrificed more…. But, if this one can help someone else deal with their conflicted insides, then it’s time the world hears it,” shares Mark.
As a Nonprofit Organization, OATH is dedicated to providing our nation’s heroes with sanctuary, escapism, and healing. OATH is an outlet for those who fought and returned, as well as those called to aid in creating the best possible quality of life for our Veterans. “You never stop being a soldier, it changes you,” tells Mark, “It weighs on you and your loved ones in a way that words can’t explain. ‘Tin Soldier’ gives voice to the things a lot of us never speak about, and for those who haven’t experienced it firsthand, it’s a reminder (to) not leave our Veterans behind.” To make an additional donation and offer further support to OATH, visit www.oathinc.org.
Photo credit to @markaddisonmusic & @huntergirlmusic Instagrams