Last week, on November 6th, the Theater at Madison Square Garden was the scene of the 7th annual Stand Up For Heroes veterans benefit. The benefit is run by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and since beginning seven years ago has raised a total of more than $21 million, with a record-breaking $5 million raised this year, for Woodruff’s injured soldiers project. Woodruff, a reporter for ABC, established his foundation to help injured soldiers after he suffered severe brain trauma from an IED in Iraq in 2006.
The Stand Up For Heroes benefit was a night of comedy and music, with Jon Stewart, Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan, and Jerry Seinfeld doing their stand-up routines before performances by Roger Waters and Bruce Springsteen, who has performed at all seven Stand Up For Heroes benefits. The evening culminated in a fevered auction of Springsteen’s guitar, with the Boss continually offering more incentives to bid higher and higher; first, to sign it, then a personal lesson, and lastly a chance to attend a private recording session in Springsteen’s home. The guitar finally went for $250,000.
In spite of the A-list line-up, the real focus of the benefit, as ever, was the veterans. For the second year in a row, Roger Waters performed with an all veteran band, comprising of nearly two-dozen wounded soldiers, representing all branches of the military, and who are also part of the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band.
MusiCorps is a Bob Woodruff Foundation project that operates out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C. designed to help wounded soldiers recover through the emotional and physical healing powers of music. CBS’s David Martin produced a moving story on the group and their Nov. 6th performance called “Meet a Real-Life Band of Brothers,” that focuses prominently on the group’s lead singer U.S. Marine Corporal Tim Donnelly who has made Leonard Cohen’s celebrated “Hallelujah” his signature in the face of losing both his legs and the use of his right arm after an IED explosion.
The former Pink Floyd frontman let Donnelly take take charge during the band’s performance of “Hallelujah” last Wednesday and handed off the mic again during a rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” The band also played John Lennon’s “Imagine” and Pink Floyd’s own “Comfortably Numb.”
Below is the CBS story on the MusiCorps Band and their preparations to play at Madison Square Garden’s Theater, and below that, the entire two-hour Stand Up For Heroes benefit.
“Meet a Real-Life Band of Brothers”
Stand Up For Heroes
For more information on the event or the Bob Woodruff Foundation, visit the website at bobwoodrufffoundation.org.
To learn more at MusiCorps, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/musicorps.