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Perched in his 32nd floor, two-room suite at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, a cold-hearted snake stared down at a sea of humanity gathered at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1 and did the unthinkable.

Chances are, though, that the coward didn’t know who he was messing with.

RELATED: A rising country star describes the moment he first heard shots fired in Las Vegas

He had no clue that there beneath him gathered a group affectionately known in country music circles as Aldean’s Army, a band of people that not only love country superstar Jason Aldean, but who love each other.


It’s that love that saved so many on that fateful night of the Vegas shooting. “Under a shadow of bullets, Jason Aldean’s fans, affectionately known as Aldean’s Army, mobilized to leave no man or woman behind,” “Today” host Hoda Kotb said on the show on the morning of Oct. 3. “With no access to paramedics, bystanders became field nurses.”

“Thank God it was a country concert,” a voice rang out from an eyewitness interview.

RELATED: Keith Urban reveals how he explained the Las Vegas shooting to his nine-year-old daughter

Indeed, the country music community stood up to a man via heroics seldom seen on such a large scale by people who might not have known each other, but knew they needed each other to survive. They gave people they didn’t know their trucks to transport the injured. They laid their bodies over people they didn’t know to protect them from the barrage of bullets. They saved the lives of people they didn’t know by using their fingers to plug up bullet holes.

“[They] tell a story the gunman never intended – that of the human spirit,” Hoda said.

The human spirit of Aldean’s Army and the human spirit of the country music community will never be extinguished … but nice try, asshole.

Aldean’s Army stared hatred in the eye, and won TODAY screenshot
Tricia Despres is the contributing editor for Rare Country, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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