John Fogerty, a rock icon made famous by his anti-war songs during the Vietnam era, is devoting his time and resources to helping veterans in Las Vegas.
Fogerty, a member of the 1960s and 70s band Creedence Clearwater Revival, recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a new crisis intervention center and memorial at Veterans Village, a community in downtown Las Vegas that gives former service members affordable housing, medical care, mental health counseling and offers career planning.
“We didn’t take very good care of our guys and gals coming back then [from Vietnam] and I’d say it’s still pretty lacking. Some of us don’t really know what to do. Since the plight of veterans is near and dear to my heart, whenever I see that there’s something I can help with, I perk up,” said Fogerty on why he wanted to become involved in this project.
He performed his famous song, “Fortunate Son” during the ceremony and also sang a new one called, “Love and War,” which he wrote with country music star Brad Paisley.
“If you’ve followed my music or career over 45 and 50 years, you know that I’m always questioning what the government does [on] our behalf…the least we can do as a country, as a population, is to support those men and women that are defending our way of life,” Fogerty said.
Fogerty – who served in the Army National Guard though never served overseas – is known for its anti-war lyrics, especially during the height of the conflict in Vietnam.
He said he was trying to help veterans at the grassroots level, rather than through a national effort, because local communities have more staying power.
“I’m a lot older person now. I’m disappointed that our politicians spend so much time yelling at each other, rather than calming it down and having a dialogue,” he said.
Fogerty donated money to the building of the center, which will be completed on Veterans Day.
According to Veterans Village, there are around 7,000 homeless veterans in Clark County, including Las Vegas. Fogerty said he hopes he could make a difference in the lives of those who served the country.
“We all have a pretty great life here in America, best place in the world,” he said, “so just becoming aware and then taking that first step to do something would be a great leap forward.”