Friday, July 2, 2010

On July 4 in Laramie, Wyoming National Guard soldiers perform song they brought back from Iraq

"Freedom Has a Birthday" is Laramie's annual Fourth of July celebration. It takes place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Washington Park on Sunday, July 4. On stage from noon-1 p.m. will be the Joe Speed Band, made up of National Guard soldiers from Laramie and Rawlins. They'll perform their song "Cowboy Soliders," the number one song on GIJams, a web site devoted to military musicians.

Jennifer Dunn wrote about the band in today's Casper Star-Tribune:

Christmas Eve in a tent in Iraq, three members of the Wyoming National Guard recorded a song.

They called it "Cowboy Soldiers."

Despite my cowboy roots
They fit me for some combat boots
Instead of home on the range
We'll be ridin' the plains
Lookin' for that old sand dune

It's a song about what a cowboy from Wyoming needs, serving deep in the desert heat.

Namely, a beer.

It's what a lot of soldiers need, it turns out. The song has become something of an internet sensation, the most listened to and downloaded song on the website GIJams, a website devoted to promoting musicians of all genres serving in any military branch.

"We've been at No. 1 since we've been on there. I would like to think someone can knock us off the top," said Spc. Jeremiah Eaton, 33, of Rawlins. He's one of the three founding members of the Joe Speed Band, formed in Iraq with two other Wyoming soldiers -- Sgt. Nathan Harvey, 26, and Pfc. Dusty Scott, 26, both of Laramie.

Harvey and Scott met in elementary school. They met Eaton while deployed with the Guard's 133rd Engineer Company from 2004 to 2005.

“Nathan and I were heavy equipment operators, and Jeremiah fixed what we broke,” Scott said.

To read the rest, go to

Listen to more music from the Joe Speed Band at