June 25, 2012
Instructions for BOOMER's Hiring Our Heroes Voting

Read the following individual "Notes" below. Each Note represents a US Veteran who is a finalist to meet and interview rock band, KISS, in July for BOOMER Magazine.

We had an overwhelming amount of entries and need YOUR help to determine our hire. Share your favorite Notes with your friends and family on Facebook, and encourage them to "like" their favorite entry. The US Veteran's note that has the most Facebook "Likes" on this page will be selected by BOOMER Magazine for the job.

KISS Finalist F: William R - Indianapolis, IN

I have been a huge KISS fan since I was in High School some 35 years ago. When I served in The Marine Corps in the 1980's, I had to rebuy all of my KISS music because I was unable to take my albums with me. So I had to get cassette tapes to listen to in my squad bay, and then in my two-man rooms when they were finished.

In the past 3 years, I have seen KISS at the Indiana State fair, on 8/9/10, and at Springfield, Ill, on 7/18/2011 and I have tickets for their concert on 9/1/2012 in Noblesville. I have been to the last 2 KISS expos here In Indianapolis, and gotten my picture taken with Eric Singer twice and with Tommy Thayer once this year, and I was able to talk with Tommy because I am originally from the state of Oregon and found out that Tommy has relatives from my hometown.

I am a disabled vet and in the past 3 years I have undergone surgery 4 times and 2 of these surgeries have been in the past 6 weeks. I was going to purchase a meet-and-greet package to meet the band on this tour, but because of the cost and my limited income I was unable to do this and I would enjoy to meet all of the band members and thank them for always honoring the troops that have served and who are serving today so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today.

KISS Finalist E: Michael R - Roanoke, VA

Thanks for the chance of a lifetime … I am a 100% disabled Iraq War Veteran (Baghdad 2004-2005), with 15 years of service in the Active Duty Army prior to my medical discharge in 2006. I am a former Regional Director (SW Virginia) for the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program. I have a proven track record of pushing for Veterans to be hired within Virginia and have found countless jobs for Veterans.

I have been a fan of KISS for over 30 years; my parents are huge fans and insured we grew up listening to KISS. I know everything about KISS and I am fully aware of their support in hiring Veterans and their support of National Veterans' Programs such as the Wounded Warrior Project. I have tickets to the Bristow, VA, show and I will be attending with my 17- and 12-year-old sons, and insure I pass the honor of being a true KISS ARMY member to my sons. My family has suffered as much and if not more from my injuries suffered from my deployment, thus they are truly my biggest supporter through everything … Much like KISS, the KISS ARMY is a family within itself and support comes from family, and KISS has created this larger-than-life following that supports everything KISS …

There is no doubt their efforts to push for hiring Veterans translates to each member of the KISS Army, and members own businesses and have positions to hire Veterans and we follow suite with KISS and insure that happens … I have seen KISS on every major tour since 1984 and look forward to attending the Bristow concert … It would be a dream of a lifetime to be selected to conduct the interview (maybe sneak my boys in). I have more than enough backing to relate all things Veteran-related and a bonus, a KISS ARMY member … Please feel free to Google my name and read about my efforts on behalf of Veterans within Virginia … Also I didn't win the Hire a Vet for a KISS Roadie.

KISS Finalist D: Will R - Des Moines, IA

Message: Dear BOOMER magazine and staff,

I would love to have the opportunity to meet with KISS and interview the band members for BOOMER magazine. If chosen, I believe I could do a great job of representing veterans and your publication.

Since I was a child, I have been a huge fan of KISS. My very first record I ever owned was Rock & Roll Over that my mother let me pick out for my seventh birthday. From then on I was in the KISS Army. I own every KISS album and have seen them in concert three times. I am also a fan of “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.”

Being Jewish myself, knowing that KISS was a bunch of Jewish kids from New York, just made them that much cooler. As an adult, I have been active in my synagogue and serve on the Greater Des Moines Jewish Federation Board and Jewish Community Relations Committee.

In 1989, I joined the U.S. Army and served as an M-1 Tank Crewmember. In the fall of 1990, I was deployed to the Persian Gulf and was in combat as a part of Desert Storm. After my enlistment in the U.S. Army, I became an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post #9127) and have served in several leadership roles, including Post Commander from 1998-1999 and Club Commander from 1998-2001.

In addition, for the past six months I have been working on developing a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization with the goal of assisting low-income and impoverished veterans and their families with the costs associated [with] funeral and burial expenses. I hope to launch this new organization on Veteran’s Day of this upcoming fall.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need any additional information in helping you make your determination.

And thank you for the opportunity to interview KISS.

KISS Finalist C: Robert C - El Paso, TX

I surely meet three requirements, I'm a war veteran, I'm a crazy KISS fan and I will be available on that date. I'm living proof of the American dream because my dreams came true when I met KISS for the first time. I was born and raised in Bolivia, South America. And I knew I was never going to see KISS in my country, so when the opportunity came up to move to the U.S., I did!!! Based only on the idea that I had more chances to see KISS in the US than in South America. And once I moved to New York when I was 18 years old, guess what? Six months later I joined the US ARMY. June 14, 2001, was the date I joined. Guess what I did with my first paychecks? I bought KISS goodies.

Couple of years later I got deployed to Iraq and served in that combat zone for a year. But once again, KISS comes on my way ... while I was in Iraq I managed to get their latest CD/DVD at the time, KISS ALIVE Symphony. Can you imagine me listening to KISS in Iraq??? Imagine how scratched that CD was because of the times I played it. KISS was the motivation to keep going. And once my time was up in Iraq, I went back to the US and celebrated my safe return going to a KISS concert on their Rock The Nation Tour 2004. I always linked the military with KISS because you need something to push you and motivate you. My way of saying thanks to this country (US) for letting me come in was to join the military. I'm a proud US Veteran.

So that short story is one reason why you should hire me to interview KISS, my heroes, plus I have interesting military-related questions I would like to ask them in a kind of "military environment" as we used to do it in military boards. And finally, I would like to thank them personally for their support to our troops. I might be a hero to them ... but they're my heroes.

KISS Finalist B: Joe D - San Antonio, TX

I have been a KISS super-fan forever. I have been to 67 KISS shows worldwide with several in the Northern Virginia area. My career had me assigned there for 10 consecutive years, and I lived in Woodbridge, VA, from 1994 to 2004.

I am originally from Newark, DE. Last year when I retired, I had a KISS-themed retirement party and was blessed to have it featured on Currently, I have remained retired but have become extremely involved musically. Specifically, San Antonio's own KISSit tribute band has hired me to be their summer tour coordinator throughout South Texas. [The] tour ending on July 14th. I'm having a blast because it is my passion to live my life with KISS by my side and in my house ... [I] got the KISS room to prove it! Try moving a KISS pinball machine your whole career, although [it’s] a lot more fun than what the Air Force makes you carry.

I am also coordinating the 1st ever San Antonio KISS fan expo in 2013! Everyone who knows me, automatically thinks KISS! I could not have gone through my 21 years of active duty without them. KISS truly alleviated all the stress that comes with serving. I am truly proud of KISS' current focus and charity causes with the Wounded Warriors. Gene, Paul, Eric and Tommy get it. They clearly are not performing for money anymore. If that were the case they would have retired a long time ago. We have always had the KISS Army and now we also have the KISS Navy. It's only a matter of time before all the branches are uniquely identified. Their commitment and attention to detail easily translates to the military lifestyle. I only wish I could have tested for promotion with all KISS-related questions. I would have made all the ranks.

The honor would be all mine to represent BOOMER magazine, interview KISS and once again serve as a military role model to my family, my son, daughter, friends and the community. KISS is relevant and their name screams quality. No tapes – just live music that must be seen and heard. It's their planet we are just living on it.

KISS Finalist A: Chris R - Annapolis, MD

Greetings to the KISS Army!

I am hoping to realize the dream that all of us share, to sit down with KISS and discuss their music, experiences, legacy, future, and relevance to our military community. In my interview, I will explore areas with the band with questions that have built up over the 36+ years I've been a dedicated fan, examining issues that have been largely ignored by the media, and give you information that will provide new insights and respect for these icons that have been rocking our world for decades.

My military experience, including service in the Marine Corps for 20 years, and now as a Department of Defense attorney, gives me a unique perspective on the impact that KISS has had on military members individually the Armed Forces collectively. For virtually all of my life, I’ve been known as “that Kiss freak”, and as a baby-boomer myself, this reputation has had an array of amazing consequences. From my first live KISS concert in Buffalo, New York, in 1977 (I still have the ticket at home), to listening to the band through college, law school, playing Destroyer as I was preparing for courts-martial in the Marines, and rocking out to “Alive!” while deployed with the Marines in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm, my connection and commitment to the band has been and remains rock steady through today. My love of the band even resulted in me picking up the guitar myself, and I’ve learned to play some of the catalogue.

Like all of you, I have a legion of questions that need to be put to the band regarding their music (and not just the lyrics, but also how their approach to song-writing and guitar playing has changed over time) their past, the band’s amazing trajectory and where it all will lead, their connection to the U.S. Armed Forces, plus there is one seminal question for Gene Simmons that has NEVER been asked – and I can’t understand why. This is the singular opportunity to have an interview conducted by someone who has grown up with KISS, through every lineup and genre, and can ask meaningful and penetrating questions that will do justice to the band and the KISS Army.

I am a true fan that has remained loyal and faithful to our rock gods for my whole life. If given this amazing opportunity of a lifetime, I promise to represent the actual military component of the KISS Army with integrity and zeal. Thanks for your consideration.