MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
As Lt. Col. Michael Corrado adds years to his resume by serving as a Marine Corps operations officer for the Wounded Warriors Regiment at Marine Corps Base Quantico, he also adds more responsibility which can take time away from other activities. One thing he doesn’t neglect, however, his life as a musician.
Corrado visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to kick off an opening performance for the Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band concert, Sept. 17 at the Goettge Memorial Field House.
Corrado, who is most notable for his widely popular single “Stand” which was picked up by Country Music Television and Great American Country Television, has opened and closed for bands and artists such as John Rich, Black Eyed Peas and Bon Jovi all across the country.
This time, he came back to perform in a more, familiar residence.
“This is where I served my first five years in the Marine Corps,” said Corrado. “In addition to having a sense of home, these are the folks that I went down range with and this is my family.”
Corrado’s life journey and passion for music are woven together, and the melodic stories he sings have touched the hearts of many listeners. There are many ways to tell the Marine Corps story and music is Corrado’s way of doing so.
Corrado said knowing that there are Marines and families out there, performing under their watchful eye is nerve racking.
“I want to tell these stories from my perspective, but also from their perspective as well,” said Corrado. “So it’s just one of those situations where you got to get it right.”
One of the songs Corrado played was “Still in the Fight,” which was recorded in Greenville, S.C. which was inspired by the stories of the wounded warriors he got to know.
“There are guys that are still in the fight,” said Corrado. “Although they may be far from the battlefield, they are still in the fight – the fight to recovery. You write what you know, and not all my songs have to do with the military. But, I have experienced a lot of things and I have gotten to meet some amazing people, and I think that their stories need to be told, so I’m trying to do that.”
Balancing his life in the Corps with being a musician can be demanding at times, but he continues to write and perform every chance he gets. After completing his first five years of active duty, Corrado grabbed his guitar and hit the road for a four-year tour across the country, performing at more than 200 concerts and events.
Corrado returned to active duty after the events of 9/11, and deployed with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2¬nd Marine Division to Afghanistan. But, he said he’s happy to be back in the fight.
“I was living out of a van,” said Corrado. “Now, it’s a little different, because the longer you’re in the Marine Corps, typically the more responsibility you get, and therefore the more time you put in is required.”
As he progressed throughout the Marine Corps he got to meet new people and experience new things and it has added to the repertoire that made Corrado the artist he is today. Corrado said a portion of the proceeds from his music go to the USO and Wounded Warriors Family Centers, which are centers that are not only meant for service members to heal, but their families to heal right along with them. He continues to keep himself busy, but still finds the time to help others.
“The feedback I get from the music is pretty powerful,” said Corrado. “I’ve gotten emails from people that said they used my songs at ceremonies or funerals for the sons (and daughters). One father that lost his son said ‘I understand why my son wanted to serve, and your songs have helped us with the healing process.’ That’s powerful – that’s therapy. This is something I just enjoyed doing and I never thought I’d be where I am today (musically).”