May 22, 2007

Nearly 30% of war veterans return from active duty with diminished hearing. Clarity ( and The EAR Foundation ( partnered with the country music industry to help bring attention to this important issue and to raise money for disabled veterans.

The partnership enlisted country music artists to help the cause by autographing a donated Takamine guitar at the Academy of Country Music Awards May 15.  The signed guitar will be displayed as a traveling exhibit at 21 Disabled American Veterans (DAV) air shows throughout the summer in order to raise funds to support the DAV’s service and outreach for veterans.

Several prominent music artists agreed to sign the guitar before the ACM Awards. ACM Award winners Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry were the first to donate their signatures for the DAV.

"Giving our autographs is the least we can do to help our veterans," Gentry said. "When our men and women in uniform are asked to protect our country, they don’t think twice.  So if the DAV needs our signature on a guitar, consider it done.  Country music has a strong tradition of supporting our troops and I hope every artist follows our lead."

Clarity and The EAR Foundation have attended the ACM Awards the past three years, raising awareness of hearing loss issues and donating products to help musicians who suffer from noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).

"Our goal as a company is to provide solutions that improve a person’s quality of life," explained Chris Dutton, of Clarity. "It is our hope that we, along with some of country music’s greatest artists, will be able to help The EAR Foundation and DAV raise awareness and funds to help improve the lives of those they serve."

"In past years, we wanted to use the ACM Awards platform to emphasize the dangers loud music and other noises pose to one’s hearing," Suzanne Wyatt, executive director of The EAR Foundation, said. "While we’ll still accomplish that goal this year, we have the deeper mission of raising awareness of our soldiers’ hearing health.  They take care of us in so many ways, and we to need to make taking care of them a top priority."