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May 04, 2010

Army wife honors military spouses through song

By Tim Hipps and William Bradner
FMWRC Public Affairs

Operation Rising Star winner Lisa Pratt, wife of Capt. Matt Pratt, records “Trust Your Hopes Not Your Fears” at Firehouse Recording Studios in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 1. Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – “Trust Your Hopes Not Your Fears” is a song that embodies the strength and positive outlook Army spouses need to support their Soldiers.

The uplifting song, performed by 2009 Operation Rising Star winner Lisa Pratt, is featured in a Public Service Announcement that is gaining momentum on Army Web sites, cable television stations and radio channels around the world. The American Forces Network is broadcasting it on AFN Atlantic, AFN Pacific and its movie channel.

Country music recording artist Michael Peterson, a judge for the Operation Rising Star singing contest, wrote the song specifically for Pratt, who recorded a three-song demo CD at Firehouse Recording Studios in Pasadena, Calif., in early February.

“He wrote it for the Army Family Covenant promise,” Pratt said. “It actually was written for me to represent that – pretty cool. The message is just to never give up – trust your hopes and not your fears and believe in your dreams.

“People tell you that you can’t achieve or that you’re not good enough, and it’s basically saying, ‘No, just trust yourself, because you are good enough.’ The military has always provided programs for us, the wives, like FRGs and the functions they put on, so I guess I’ve known it but I didn’t know the Army Family Covenant was that.”

Pratt, the wife of Army tanker Capt. Matt Pratt, won the fifth-annual singing contest that seeks the best vocal talent in the Army Family. Spouses and Family members were invited to compete in the past two years of the contest.

Operation Rising Star is just one of hundreds of programs, services and opportunities provided by the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command that delivers the promise of the Army Family Covenant and provides Soldiers and Families a quality of life commensurate with their service and sacrifice.

“Now I’m telling everybody: ‘Army Family Covenant. Army Family Covenant – this is what it is,’” Lisa said. “After winning Operation Rising Star and learning a lot about it [at Fort Belvoir, Va.], I realize that it really is awesome.”


Country music artist Michael Peterson and American Idol vocal coach Debra Byrd reunited as judges for the 2009 Operation Rising Star singing contest at Wallace Theater on Fort Belvoir, Va. Peterson later wrote "Trust Your Hopes Not Your Fears" for Lisa Pratt, winner of the competition. Photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

Lisa Pratt is thrilled to be an “ambassador” for both Army spouses and Army Entertainment Division. She hopes to raise awareness of the sacrifices spouses make in service of their country through the PSAs featuring her first “single.”

Her video of the song is available to view and download from a variety of Internet sites, including FMWRC’s ArmyMWR.com, and social media outlets, such as YouTube and Facebook. FMWRC videographer Greggory Dikes of Fort Carson, Colo., produced Pratt’s video.

“What better way to say thank you to military spouses – during Military Spouse Appreciation Week – than through a song about Army spouses performed by an Army Spouse?” FMWRC marketing director Rusty Rayzor said.

FMWRC officials hope the online video links go viral, with Soldiers and spouses sharing the music and message with each other. They hope Soldiers and Family members alike will take the time to learn what is available to them through FMWRC’s efforts to improve their quality of life.

“For folks like Lisa and I, we understand that the covenant is real because there is something tangible for us to touch right now,” Capt. Pratt said. “For those that it hasn’t impacted yet, it sort of seems like just another ad campaign. But I would say as time goes on … more Soldiers will figure out the realness of it.”

FMWRC, through partnerships like this with AFN and campaigns such as Military Spouse Appreciation Week, aspires to bring that “realness” home to every Soldier and Family member.

“Right now, during Military Spouse Appreciation Week, we just want to say ‘thanks’ to all those spouses,” Rayzor said. “But if we can help those spouses realize how many opportunities are out there for them – that’s like giving them a gift and a thank you.”

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