Courtesy of Big Machine Records
NASHVILLE, TN (August 18, 2021) – CreatiVets will continue its partnership with Big Machine Label Group this fall with the release of “Don’t Give Up On Me” on Friday, August 20.
The nonprofit’s 10th standalone track with BMLG features the work of Richard Casper, Tommy Karlas, Barry Zito and veteran John Fricano.
Fricano joined the armed forces after studying international relations and foreign policy in college. As the son of World War II immigrants, he felt “maybe subconsciously the military path was always going to be a part of life.”
After his initial tours of duty, which included roadside bomb hunting and diffusing, Fricano volunteered for several federal deployments.
He shared, “Continuing that type of stuff, putting myself in harm’s way, I got into a cycle… lost a sense of who I was and myself.”
He dove into volunteering at the VA’s veteran centers and various other service organizations in 2017. Despite the stress he had faced in service, he said, “I guess I always had some type of faith of, okay you survived, you continue to go on, and you give back and you help others that may not have as many choices in life.”
He came to CreatiVets not just to tell his story, but also to put out a narrative for the people supporting veterans’ healing at home.
“That was kind of the greater intent [with ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’].. speaking to those that are less glorified than any type of first responder, combat veteran or so forth.”
Karlas, vocalist on the song, spoke in agreement, “The spouses give and go through so much as well, and often are the veterans’ strength behind the scenes where most people don’t see.”
In Zito’s words, “The song is really a plea to the spouse to stick with them through the difficulty of adjusting back to civilian life, which can be very difficult and at times impossible for these brave men and women.”
Though the write spanned just seven hours on one day in 2018, its expected impact is unimaginable.
Fricano detailed, “When the draft came out, I had guys’ girlfriends, wives, significant others saying, ‘I had no idea’, and ‘you pretty much wrote CliffsNotes on what he’s dealing with’, calling me crying and saying thank you. It hit its mark exactly, and exactly where I was looking for.”
Zito was equally optimistic. “I hope that wives and husbands of veterans can hear it and find a place in their heart to feel compassion for all their spouse is dealing with… to know the veterans are doing their very best with the tools they have at the moment to deal with the immense stress they have been through.”