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Wynonna: Freedom ain't free, baby

October 10, 2011 -- Updated 1535 GMT (2335 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Wynonna Judd is committed to helping wounded U.S. troops and their families
  • Some of the proceeds from her music goes to the Wounded Warrior Project
  • Judd: These families have 'changed my life by giving me a reason to sing'

Editor's note: Voting is under way for the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. The winner will be announced at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," which airs live December 11. See the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2011 and cast your vote at CNNHeroes.com.

(CNN) -- Country music star Wynonna Judd is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps injured service members and their families.

She recently spoke with CNN's Sonya Hamasaki about the need to support individuals who've served in the military, especially those who have been injured in the line of duty. Below are excerpts from that interview.

Sonya Hamasaki: Why are you committed to helping wounded warriors and their families?

Wynonna Judd: I think these men and women have this ability that I don't know if I'd ever be able to have. They have a passion and a commitment ... that is bigger than anything I've ever seen.

In wartime and in peacetime, these families are what I think of as the true example of the American way. Community. Loyalty. Fellowship. Commitment.

My passion, besides being a proud American, is to be a supporter, to be a part of these families, because they've changed my life by giving me a reason to sing.

Hamasaki: Injuries have forever altered the lives of these men and women. How does the Wounded Warrior Project help them?

Judd: I think the thing to remember is that this woundedness does not take a holiday. These families are forever changed because these men and women have put their butts on the line to fight for freedom, which ain't free, baby.

Wounded Warrior Project is giving back to that man or woman who has gone over and put their life on the line and been wounded.

The support that surrounds these warriors is that of rehabilitation physically, support groups mentally, and just a sense of community. There are all kinds of programs that are giving these families hope.

Hamasaki: How do you help?

Judd: Part of (my music's) proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Project, which is an absolute American dream.

I'm constantly aware that my part in this is to be there to support them, to be a backdrop of everyday life for these families. This music that I sing -- that all of country music brings especially -- is a support for our nation as well as these families.

Hamasaki: What is a hero to you?

Judd: I think the word "hero" describes people who strive for excellence no matter what the job is. They're not standing in front of 20,000 people getting applause like I do. They're simply doing it because it's the right thing to do.

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