After Charlie Daniels, suddenly passed away in 2020, it was Chris Young who quietly stepped in to continue Daniels’ work with The Journey Home Project, offering services and support to veterans in need. In the two years since then, Young has worked tirelessly to raise money for the important cause, later renamed The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, raising more than $1.2 million since the spring of 2021 alone, through various performances, fund-raising initiatives and more.
“We attribute so much of this exciting growth to the generous heart and hard work of Chris Young, who has made an enormous impact in our fundraising efforts, as well as sharing our mission,” says TCDJHP co-founder, and Daniels’ longtime manager and good friend, David Corlew.
Part of the organization’s important work is to combat the shocking suicide rate among veterans, which is currently at an average of 22 a day. It’s a statistic Daniels was passionate about changing, with Young now helping to carry that torch.
“With the rate of suicide within the veterans’ community growing at such an alarming rate, we are prepared to stay in the fight to combat this tragic issue,” explains Corlew. “Our team feels so blessed by the continued growth of TCDJHP, and our military partners, as we continue our journey of supporting the men and women who served our country.”
The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project will also continue to donate its resources to providing for heatlh benefits, as well as educational resources, two causes that were important the Country Music Hall of Fame member before he passed away.
“We continue to support and honor the work that is being done at the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans Center located on the MTSU campus,” Corlew says. “Not only are they providing a plethora of educational benefits, they also offer employment choices, VA assistance, and guidance as they enter into the civilian arena.”
Young stays busy enough with his superstar career, but says he felt driven to partner with The Journey Home Project after Daniels’ passed away.
“I’ve got military in my family,” Young explains to Everything Nash. “I’ve sat on boards for military organizations that were nonprofits. I’ve been overseas multiple different times to Iraq, South Korea. It’s something that I’ve seen firsthand. And I know that music can make a difference in that. It’s one of the things that I’m really, truly passionate about. So I’m very happy to now be involved with that, and helping them raise money and keep that and everything that Charlie meant to so many people, going.”
Young also recently performed in Atlanta, at a special private dinner event, in partnership with Shepherd’s Men, another non-profit which supports veterans in various ways. Part of their work includes raising funds and awareness for their SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for veterans specifically of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffer from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress.
TCDJHP has distributed more than $60,000 in student scholarships and educational programs to the University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University, among others. In addition to teaming with The Shepherd’s Men in Atlanta, TCDJHP has also formed partnerships with Tennessee-based Operation Song, and Texas-based Warriors Heart, and more.
Young recently said that, while his career demands a lot of his time and attention, he is most passionate about continuing the work Daniels began with helping veterans.
“For me, it’s seeing Charlie’s love for the military, getting a chance to help them raise money multiple times a year, and knowing it’s going to help our veterans who might need a leg up or might need to reintegrate into society in a way where they’re not quite prepared yet,’ Young says of why he partnered with the non-profit. “They’ve got a lot of different outreach things for veterans if they’re dealing with something, or if they need some help.”
To learn more about The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, or to make a donation, visit TheCharlieDanielsJourneyHomeProject.org.