Grammy Award-winner Joe Diffie is the featured performer for this year’s annual Operation Cherrybend concert at the Murphy Theatre Saturday, Sept. 16.

Operation Cherrybend’s yearly event — presented by R+L Carriers, the Flight Deck Veterans Group and Cherrybend Pheasant Farm — is meant to thank our nation’s wounded veterans and spread awareness about veteran’s issues.

Tickets are on sale for the concert headlined by platinum-selling country artist Diffie. The Grand Ole Opry member and Academy of Country Music award-winner has more than 20 Top 10 singles — including number-one hits “Pickup Man”, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Bigger Than the Beatles”, “Home” and “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” as well as “John Deere Green”, “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame)”, “So Help Me Girl” and “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die).”

Tickets can be purchased at or at Net proceeds from the concert will fund veteran events including survivor outreach activities and local veteran foundations.

“There are many ways to get involved and reach out to the community to make a difference,” said Greg Bronner, Vice President of Marketing at R+L Carriers. “Operation Cherrybend is an opportunity to echo the respect and value we have for our service men and women and overall awareness of the health issues that may affect them once they return home and take off the uniform. This particular event is one which R+L Carriers takes great pride in being a part of. R+L honors the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms.”

Operation Cherrybend was founded in 2015 by recording artist and Navy veteran Jared Ashley and the Ellis family, owners of Cherrybend Pheasant farm, a 640-acre hunting preserve in Clinton County.

Last year’s concert, featuring country band Lonestar raised over $60,000 for veterans.

“Building relationships with our local military and veteran heroes has been amazing,” said Operation Cherrybend co-founder Beth Ellis. “We have found that participating in this event helps our heroes that struggle to acclimate back into civilian life after having served. For a week they feel like they did before their world changed,”

Special guest country singer-songwriters at this year’s concert will include Navy veteran Jared Ashley and Marine Corps veterans Daniel Dean and Sal Gonzales.

“Every year I look forward to the camaraderie at Operation Cherrybend,” said Ashley. “It is a privilege to perform among fellow veterans and honor the service members that attend the concert.

“Twenty-two veterans take their lives every day. Operation Cherrybend organizers are passionate about changing that statistic. I’m grateful for the Ellis family, R+L Carriers, the city of Wilmington, and local residents and businesses that support of the area’s local veterans.” Year-round, Operation Cherrybend promotes healing through music with Cherrybend Guitars, a line of custom guitars donated locally to wounded veterans. The non-profit is passionate about educating the general public about the trials and ongoing challenges of all veterans, and fostering healing and compassionate communities for wounded veterans.

To learn more about Operation Cherrybend, visit

About Flight Deck Veterans:

The objective of the Flight Deck Veterans Group is to promote camaraderie between veterans of U.S. Military Flight Deck Service. In doing so the goal is to support one another and pass on the history and legacy of our veterans and flight deck operations to each other and the public.

The Flight Deck Veterans Group is a veterans-based volunteer driven, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Donations to Operation Cherrybend are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. To find out more about the Flight Deck Veterans Group please visit

About R+L Carriers

R+L Carriers is a Global Freight Transportation and Logistics company that has remained family-owned and operated since 1965. In addition to value-added shipping solutions, R+L Carriers has a portfolio of services that extends to international supply chain management, warehousing and customs brokerage.