Fort Moore hosts Independence Day, Interpreter Huntley gives a preview

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – As the 4th of July approaches, Fort Moore is celebrating early and you’re invited.

We’ve got more details on Saturday’s big event and chatted to one of the folk bands performing.

Huntley, winner of The Voice and soon to perform on Fort Moore, recalled: “I was a dad cooking spaghetti dinner for my kids when I got the call, I thought it was a telemarketer.”

Huntley got that call to make it to the “blind,” or auditions in front of celebrity judges, on NBC’s “The Voice” a year ago. And last December, he won season 24 of the popular singing competition.

His next concert is at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Fort Moore, fronting country star Brett Young, at the Army installation’s Independence Day celebration.

“It’s the least I can do, bring some normalcy, bring my silly self out there with my band,” he said.

Huntley knows firsthand the sacrifices made by soldiers and their families.

“My grandfather was actually a prisoner at the Battle of the Bulge. My brother-in-law actually died in 2005 in Afghanistan,” Huntley told News Leader 9.

Now he gets to entertain the band at 4pm on Fort Moore at this free event open to the military and the public. DJ Black Rhino kicks things off.

“It’s a great opportunity for Soldiers and the community to relax, enjoy some music … come together to celebrate our nation’s independence,” said Nick Bailey, MWR Fort Moore special events coordinator. “We like to give our Soldiers a break and celebrate the 4th of July, the real holiday, as they would like to spend time with their families.”

This early celebration, the largest of its kind locally, will feature 50 vendors. Huntley will take the stage after the MCOE Rolling Thunder Rock Band. And in the coming months, he’ll be making some new rock music himself.

“I’m actually getting ready to record in Reba’s studio, which is a dream come true,” Huntley said. “It’s really important, while I’m working on this album, to get out there and sing for the military while I’m doing it.”

He and everyone else who attends will also have a chance to try the 34-foot jump towers.

“You get a little glimpse of what it’s like to be a paratrooper,” Bailey said.

And you can buy all kinds of food and drinks at Independence Day.

“We have everything from German food to funnel cakes to hot dogs and hamburgers,” added Bailey. “Right at 10:00, we will have fireworks choreographed to live music. We also have a children’s area with inflatables.”

There will also be aerial demonstrations by the Fort Moore Parachute Display Team.

“I know everyone thanks you for your service, but when I say it, it gives me chills on the back of my neck and a tear in my eye,” Huntley said.

Go to to hear my full chat with Huntley about his strong connection to the Army, faith in God through hard times, and winning “The Voice.”