Lynne O’Quinn is no stranger to the military. Her father and grandfather both served and instilled in her a respect for the sacrifices that service members and their loved ones make.
Growing up near Fort Bragg, North Carolina, she watched soldiers and their families carrying out the nation’s business. She didn’t necessarily plan to start a ministry built around the military, in fact, she had her heart set on a career in music, but when it happened, it was clear that this was what she was meant to do. The ministry, His Little Ones Ministry, was founded in 2008 and is currently in 110 countries. In addition to running His Little Ones Ministry and the His Stars and Stripe subsidiary that focuses on military children, she is set to release the single, “Stand Proud.”
Now in its second iteration, “Stand Proud” was first conceived during a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
“This song was released one time before during Operation Desert Storm. It was right when Desert Storm had begun. It was actually the 4th of July that I wrote it,” said O’Quinn. “All of this stuff was going on overseas … they were burning the flag and so many other things that were hard to see.”
Inspiration struck when O’Quinn was walking through Arlington National Cemetery looking at the headstones and reflecting on the sacrifices.
“There were so many. I was looking at the names and ages on each grave and some weren’t even marked,” she said. “It just really grabbed me and these words just started coming to me.”
From there, she visited the National Archives Building, where she found herself overwhelmed with the history of the nation. “God just started working in my heart and I tried to conceive of all the sacrifices that have been made … I was just overcome. I sat on the steps and pulled out whatever was in my pocket and started writing down these words. Within a few minutes it was done. Then the 4th of July parade happened, and I was in tears.”
When she returned home, O’Quinn teamed up with longtime friend and musician Doyle Wood who wrote the music to go with the lyrics. The song came together quickly and was met with success but was pulled from distribution when Operation Desert Storm ended.
Recently, while working on another project, O’Quinn came across the original recording of “Stand Proud.” She knew right away that it was time to breathe new life into the song. She brought it up to Wood, who agreed, and the two set out to refine the piece.
“We have worked very hard on this and were very careful to have something unifying in every sentence to make this a song that can bring America together,” said O’Quinn.
The project has taken on a life of its own, reaffirming O’Quinn’s belief that this song is about more than entertainment. It is about healing. It features powerhouse musicians like Miss North Carolina Beth Stovall and Vanessa Mathis Holland, who has had hits place at No. 2 and No. 6 on the Soul Charts, the Snyder Memorial Baptist Church Choir, Laura Stevens and many more notable talents.
“The piece is already in orchestration,” said O’Quinn. “We are receiving calls from churches and other organizations that want to perform this piece, and we will have the musical scores so it will be ready for any band, symphony or other musical group to perform.”
All of the proceeds from the song will be used to support the His Stars and Stripes Ministry in support of military children.
“We are wanting this for the country and to help troops and to build their morale and do something to say ‘Thanks’ and that ‘We appreciate all you and your families have done,’” said O’Quinn.
Find out more about Stand Proud at www.americastandproud.org. Learn more about her ministries at www.hislittleonesministry.org/about/his-stars-and-stripes.