Chattanooga-Created Memorial Day Radio Special Airing Internationally On American Forces Network

Tuesday, May 24, 2016
WUTC 88.1 FM, the NPR affiliate in Chattanooga, has created a military-themed radio program to air Memorial Day weekend on the American Forces Network. AFN serves more than 400,000 American service men and women, Department of Defense civilians and their families stationed at bases and American Embassies and Consulates in 175 countries and 200 U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command ships at sea.

The Operation Song Memorial Day Special will also be broadcast locally on Memorial Day.
It’s an hour of music and interviews about unforgettable experiences on the battlefield and back home. Several veterans and a military wife collaborated with hit Nashville songwriters to create the music, working together at Operation Song sessions. Operation Song is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that empowers veterans and active duty military to tell their stories through the process of songwriting in creative and therapeutic settings. 

Don Goodman, Steve Dean, and Operation Song founder Bob Regan are three of the songwriters featured in this special. To create these songs, they’ve collaborated with Chattanooga-area veterans of Vietnam and World War II. They’ve also written one with Lorri Wyatt. Her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, was one of the “fallen five” killed in the July 16 Chattanooga shootings last year. Her song “Chattanooga Rain” is both a tribute to her husband and a way of thanking the community for their outpouring of support after the tragedy.

The songwriters behind this radio special have worked with Nashville royalty such as Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, and Keith Urban, but the songwriters say these military-themed songs are their most meaningful.

“It’s an honor to create this special for local listeners and the American Forces Radio Network,” says WUTC Station Manager Chuck Cantrell. “We are able to produce this special because of generous support from the Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga.”               

WUTC 88.1 FM will broadcast the special on Memorial Day at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. It will also be available to stream on-demand from the station’s Web site, wutc.org.

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