KISS Members Visit Wounded Warriors

According to WJBF-TV, some of Augusta's Wounded Warriors got to go see KISS in Atlanta Monday night (October 26), but for those who couldn't, KISS came to see them.

On Wednesday, some of the band members stopped by the uptown Augusta V.A. Medical Center, on Wrightsboro Road.

Paul Stanley, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer (Gene Simmons had a prior engagement) took photos, signed autographs, and just said "thank you" to veterans who were injured overseas. It was a big day for those veterans, but Stanley said it was also a big day for the band.

"We're honored to be here with you people," he said, addressing the large crowd assembled in the rehabilitation room. "We're here for you. God bless you all."

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Stanley said it was important to KISS, as a band, that the service men and women who are injured in the line of duty receive the respect and attention they deserve. Success, for the highly successful band, means ensuring that happens.

"People talk about the ultimate sacrifice," he said. "But isn't it a sacrifice to come back home and discover you no longer have your life? We want everyone home safely and to urge everyone to give these people the respect they deserve."

Stephen Ogles attended the event with his face painted with Gene Simmons' distinctive design. Stanley joked that he could be in the band, but he's a little too young. The wheelchair-bound Ogles said staff at the VA helped him prepare to meet KISS.

"I've been a fan of the boys for a lot of years," he said quietly. "I like that they came down."

Leonel Orozco left the event sporting a Paul Stanley-signed eye patch. He admitted that he had not grown up listening to KISS, but now considers himself a member of the KISS army.

"I really wasn't a fan at all," he said with a laugh. "I think I knew one song. But that concert made a fan out of me. They treat their fans really well and they are, I think, our biggest fans."

After meeting fans, signing autographs and taking pictures, the band took a short tour of hospital units, including its innovative kayak rehab center. Stanley said that as well as bringing a little joy to the patients, he hopes the KISS visit might bring attention to the Charlie Norwood VA Medial Center as well.

"You have this amazing facility here and it's almost a secret," he said. "It shouldn't be a secret. It should be a model, the template for facilities like this."

Read more from Augusta Chronicle.

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