Who knew that behind the makeup, leather, wigs, and prominently displayed tongues, the members of KISS have a soft spot for America’s veterans?
Last year, KISS invited veterans to apply to become a roadie for their tour with Motley Crüe. Almost 2,000 vets submitted their names, with the lucky winner being Paul Jordan, who served for 27 years in the Army — including three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Possibly putting him ahead of the other applicants? Not only has he been a fan of KISS since he was four years old, but also he sports a tattoo on his chest of Gene Simmons sticking out his seven-inch tongue.
“Since I retired, I’ve had a really hard time trying to find a find a job,” he told the Today Show last year. Now with a year of roadie service under his belt, he said, “I know now that life exists after military service. You just have to find something you’re passionate about and go get it. There is a world of opportunity out there.”
Last year’s program was such a success that KISS is accepting applications for a roadie for this summer’s tour with Def Leppard, as part of an effort to give a couple of veterans the job of a lifetime and raise awareness for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign (a program that works to help military men and women find jobs).
The issue of helping veterans is one that’s close to the heart of Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen. After having his left arm amputated after a 1984 car accident, Allen thought his career was over and he suffered from PTSD, according to BlabberMouth.Net. He learned how to drum again, however, and wanted to reach out to others who’ve undergone amputations. At the USO’s request, he began visiting wounded veterans at the Walter Reed Medical Center and became involved with the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It is our privilege to draw attention to the obligation we all have to the brave men and women who volunteer to risk their own lives to protect the liberties and freedom that we all take for granted,” Paul Stanley of KISS told the Today Show. “We should all jump at any opportunity to provide any assistance needed by our warriors. Heroes deserve jobs!”
KISS and Def Leppard are accepting roadie applications from vets online through May 9. Although only two vets will win a roadie job for this year’s tour, hopefully the example set by these hairspray-loving rockers will inspire others to offer vets a job.