How One Springsteen Cassette Changed a Veteran's Life

How One Springsteen Cassette Changed a Veteran's Life


Hey, I believe in supporting veterans, service members, and their families year round. They deserve a lot more credit than they get.

I'm a sponsor of the Bob Woodruff Foundation's event Stand Up For Heroes (SUFH), and the money raised goes to support programming and resources for the folks who give up so much for our country.


The Craig Newmark Foundation just gave away 2 tickets to the SUFH benefit concert to a US Army veteran and Bronze Star Recipient, John Cianci. Bruce Springsteen (among others) will be performing. John told us his story which he's given us permission to share.

John said that he listened to Bruce Springsteen every morning and every evening while he was deployed in Iraq in Desert Storm. He listened so often that he went through four cassette tapes of Born in the USA.

In 2009, shortly after his mom passed away, John when through a rough patch where his wife moved out and his business was failing. One day, during this time, John was driving and Born in the USA came on radio. He said it was almost like he was reliving all the good things in his life, like he was in concert, back in college, attending Springsteen's Born in the USA tour. At that moment, something really odd happened—John passed someone standing on the side of the road who he had not seen in almost 25 years. It was a soldier who he'd considered "his boy" in Desert Storm, a 19 year old service member he had taken under his wing years previously, on the ay they left for Operation Desert Shield in 1991.

After their roadside reunion, John pulled away and heard a commercial for Springsteen's upcoming concert. He decided to call up his wife, who had moved out, and he invited her on a date to the Springsteen concert. She said yes. The concert was so powerful that John returned the next night, too. He was, and still is, so moved by Springsteen's commitment to veterans. It was these moments that were the catalyst for the beginning of John's recovery.

It is such an honor to be able to award these tickets to John Cianci, and to be at the very same concert with him years later. You can still get your tickets, sponsor, or follow along using the hashtag # #Stand4Heroes.

And, even though the contest is over, I'd love to hear your stories about why you are thankful for service members, veterans, and military families.


[photo credit]



Sohrab Kakalia

Hi Craig

This is a topic so close to me. Security and safety is taken for granted by most of us.
Its only until we are either exposed to or travel to countries where even walking on the street esp at night is dangerous.

Besides a government, the armed forces play a critical role in securing our safety. The veterans are also the police and fire services who literally show up when needed – putting their lives in grave danger 24×7.

Many war veterans and police have indelible scars of memories that firces them to depression or anger. It is up to us as citizens to go out to them – not just for donation support, but employment and long term acceptance to rehabilitate them .

At Thrive and Radiance we do solar projects in remote parts of developing countries and find veterans have incredible resilience, hard work and sometimes the best logistics and people management skills.

Writing this as I await trick or treaters on Halloween!

Love to hear your views

Happy Hallloween


Thank you so much for your support of our Military Members, Vets, and their families!
I wished more people felt like you do about our country's HEROs!
I truly wonder if people honestly consider or even care to understand the price that is paid by these HEROs!
Is it just me or does it feel like more people are interested in what the "Celebrities" wear or vacation then wonder how our HEROs, the people who have and who do go to WAR and face death everyday because of the uniform they wear.

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