War Hippies Are NRA Country

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posted on April 3, 2024
War Hippies Are NRA Country
Photo courtesy Mills Fritzner Photography

Veterans Scooter (aka Scott) Brown and Donnie Reis have been rocking the country-music scene since their start, but both artists really found their groove when they teamed up in 2022 to become the War Hippies. After serving as a U.S. Marine, Brown played more than 150 concert dates a year, including performing with Travis Tritt and at the Grand Ole Opry, while Reis first picked up a violin at the age of 10 before serving in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2009. But the two don’t just create great country tunes—they’re committed to supporting the military, military families and other charitable efforts. In fact, they created the “War Hippies Gives” philanthropic initiative to ensure children have access to stringed instruments and receive high-quality music education, which recently raised more than $70,000 for one such program. You can find the War Hippies at warhippies.com, on YouTube and on most social-media outlets. NRA Country’s Lisa Supernaugh had a chance to catch Scooter and Donnie during a small break in their schedule to ask a few questions.

LS: What does freedom mean to you?
SB: It’s a God-given right that every human being, born on planet earth, deserves the right to freedom. It’s an idea worth fighting and dying for.
DR: Same. I believe that every person on planet earth has the right to be free and I believe the idea of freedom is worth dying for.

LS: Tell us about how you came by the name “War Hippies.”
SB: I was giving an interview to a magazine and the person interviewing me asked how I would describe myself. I said, I don’t know, I’m kind of a war hippie … I’m a combat vet who still practices the arts of war but I’ve found an inner peace and love that I practice as well through the arts of meditation, grounding and living a more holistic lifestyle.

LS: What made you decide to form the War Hippies?
SB: I’d made a post [on Instagram] about supporting veteran-owned businesses. Donnie reached out and told me he was an Iraq vet and owned a studio in East Nashville and I should drop by and check it out. I did.
DR: Right around that same time, Scott asked me to sit in with him to play a few songs at a charity concert in Nashville. We had never heard each other play, let alone played together or rehearsed. I had no idea what he was going to play, but when we got on stage, it was like we had played together for 20 years.

LS: Tell me a bit about your work with the veteran community.
SB: About 15 years ago, I co-founded a 501(c)(3) called Base Camp 40, Warriors In The Wild, with a civilian friend out of Grand Junction, Colo., named Paul Bristol. Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of organizations to help raise funds and awareness for veterans’ causes.
DR: I personally have done a lot of work with The Special Operators Transition Foundation (SOTF), which helps special operators transition into their next careers after they retire from the military. It’s also important to us to raise awareness about the veteran suicide crisis. We talk about it at our concerts, hoping our perspective and message helps people that need to hear it.

LS: You are doing a lot of shows and are truly “Killin’ It” (one of NRA Country’s favorite War Hippies songs), so what’s next for y’all?
SB: We are finishing up a second album, planning out and shooting new music video content and really focusing on the brand of War Hippies.

NRA Country is a lifestyle and a bond between the country music community and hard-working Americans everywhere. It’s powered by pride, freedom, love of country, respect for the military and the responsibilities of protecting the great American life. For more information visit nracountry.com, follow us on Facebook facebook.com/nracountryTwitter @NRACountry, and NRA_Country on Instagram.

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