Bruce Springsteen, Roger Waters and Comics Galore Salute Wounded Vets at ‘Stand Up for Heroes’ Benefit

Bruce Springsteen

(from Billboard Magazine, November 7, 2013) The seventh annual “Stand Up for Heroes” benefit began on November 6, 2013 and was run by ABC newsman Bob Woodruff’s foundation. This benefit is put on every year to raise money for wounded service men and women. Bruce Springsteen auctioned off his own guitar for over $250,000 which was definitely the highlight of the night.

Bob and Lee Woodruff spend a lot of time assisting veterans who need help after they’ve been wounded. They started putting this benefit together after Bob Woodruff was nearly killed when an improvised explosive device went off near Bob and his team eight years ago. This year’s event emphasized the importance of the caregivers that take care of their veterans, and the event included comedic acts from Jon Stewart, Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan, and Jerry Seinfeld. Musical performances by the former front man of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, performed with a band that was composed of wounded veterans and Springsteen. Roger Waters had about two dozen veterans on the stage with him to sing and play guitar. During many songs Waters passed his microphone off to the other singers.

The show was staged at the Madison Square Garden Theater and was streamed online through Google Plus and YouTube.
The benefit also included some speakers from Belton, Texas:  Rachel and Larkin O’Hern. They told the story of how they fell in love and the difficult road to recovery which captivated the audience. Larkin, who lost both of his legs and his right hand, talked about the road to recovery as “the triumph of slim hope over crushing despair.”

Springsteen commented that between four comics and an audience filled with servicemen, he was quite surprised that not a single dirty joke had been told. So he of course had come prepared with three of his own. He mentioned to the audience that he had gone into the wrong profession before he continued singing a three-song set that tied into the night’s overall theme.