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Five For Fighting Releases New Single and Video Filmed On Ukrainian Battlefield with Ukrainian Orchestra

John Ondrasik enlisted the help of Save Our Allies to visit Ukraine and film Can One Man Save the World?”

KYIV, UKRAINE (July 11, 2022)– John Ondrasik, the platinum-selling, Grammy®-nominated singer and songwriter known more broadly by his performance name, Five for Fighting, has released a new version of his single Can One Man Save the World? and powerful companion music video, featuring the Ukrainian Orchestra.  The song, inspired by the courage of President Vladimir Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, asks the nation, and the world, to stand up for the core values of freedom and justice.

Check out the video here.

Moved to action that extended beyond songwriting, Ondrasik entered an area that had seen heavy combat shortly after the Russians pulled back from the capital with an American production crew led by Save Our Allies co-founder Nick Palmisciano and filmmaker Hollywood Heard.  In coordination with the Ukrainian military, Palmisciano and Heard filmed and documented Ondrasik’s performance with the Ukrainian Orchestra conducted by Victoria X.  Proceeds from the single and its companion video will benefit Save Our Allies and further its mission of providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“I was honored to perform my new Ukraine tribute song Can One Man Save the World? with the Ukrainian Orchestra in the ruins of the Antonov Airport – in front of the Ukrainians’ beloved Mriya, the world’s largest cargo plane that Russia destroyed at the outset of the war,” said Ondrasik. “In sharing this musical collaboration on such hallowed ground, I saw firsthand the fortitude and grace of the Ukrainian people, who whether playing a violin or driving a tank, will not be deterred by Putin’s atrocities and aggressions.”

To achieve his audacious goal of filming a music video in a war zone, Ondrasik enlisted the aid of Save Our Allies (SOA), a direct-response rescue and relief organization formed during the fall of Afghanistan to assist with evacuations from those fleeing the Taliban. Since its founding in August 2021, SOA’s impact has continued in Afghanistan while extending to Ukraine, where they have provided on-the-ground support with precision evacuations, include the rescue of injured Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall, and “last mile” medical and logistics support.

Ondrasik was connected to SOA through founding board members Sarah Verardo, the wife and caregiver of SGT Michael Verardo,  catastrophically wounded in Afghanistan, and former Army infantry officer Palmisciano through their shared participation in NGOs rescuing U.S. citizens and allies from Afghanistan after the American withdrawal. Save Our Allies, powered at the time by just 12 men, and one woman stateside, successfully rescued 12,000 Afghans in 10 days, and continues evacuation operations to this day. To date, Save Our Allies has evacuated more than 17,000 wartime Allies from Afghanistan.

“I had been working with Save Our Allies in the wake of the withdrawal of Afghanistan, so I already had great admiration for Nick, Sarah Verardo, and their SOA colleagues. They were, and are, heroes who gave me hope with their determination to keep the American promise by rescuing our Afghan allies abandoned in Afghanistan. But this was something different,” explains Ondrasik. “I asked Nick if he knew any guys crazy enough to travel into a war zone to film the video. As I would hear often in the next few weeks on our journey, ‘We will figure it out.’”

Five For Fighting and Save Our Allies joined together to accomplish something remarkable: a grueling physical journey to reach the shell of the Antonov Airport, escorted by SOA’s Director of Expeditionary Forces, in partnership with the government of Ukraine that would only serve to underscore the haunting beauty of Ondrasik’s “Can One Man Save the World?”

Ondrasik continues to use his gift to bring awareness to the plight of the Ukrainian people and is inspired by the work of Save Our Allies, saying, “Can one man, one person, save the world? Not alone they can’t. Though this song recognizes President Zelensky and all Ukrainians, it is equally about each one of us. I believe we all, as free individuals, and free nations, must do our part in ensuring that freedom and liberty is defended when one of our fellow democracies is being destroyed. As the last words of our video state: ‘History Starts Now.’”

Ondrasik’s mission is clear, and so is his edict for fellow artists. “I call on my colleagues in the arts to join me in holding a ‘Live Aid’ type concert for Ukraine at the end of summer to benefit Ukrainian relief and refugees. The Russian people need to understand they are pariahs not only economically and politically, but culturally. Music can be a powerful salvo in permeating borders for those deluged by propaganda.”

“Can One Man Save the World? featuring the Ukrainian Orchestra” can be viewed here Twitter link here.
About Five For Fighting

In the two decades since Five for Fighting’s first major single, “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” hit the stratosphere, Five For Fighting, has released six studio LPs, including the platinum certified America Town and The Battle for Everything; and the top-10 charting Two Lights, along with an EP and live albums. A post 9-11 anthem, Ondrasik performed “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” at the 2001 Concert for New York, a benefit show at Madison Square Garden that honored first responders and the fallen about a month after the tragic September 11th attacks.

Ondrasik has penned major hits, including the chart-topping “100 Years,” “The Riddle,” “Chances,” “World,” and “Easy Tonight,” which have earned tens of millions of streams and placed him as a top-10 Hot Adult Contemporary artist for the 2000s. The reflective “100 Years” has joined “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” as part of the American Songbook and continues to stand the test of time.  Five For Fighting’s music has also been featured in more than 350 films, television shows, and commercials, including the Oscar-winning “The Blind Side”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “The Sopranos”, and the CBS drama, “Code Black”.

About Save Our Allies

Established in 2021 in direct response to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Save Our Allies was founded by three Special Operations Veterans and the caregiver of a catastrophically wounded Veteran. They have successfully evacuated over 17,000 people from Afghanistan and have been a leading NGO in Ukraine since February 10, 2022, where they have performed precision evacuation, last mile medical care, and logistics.  They continue to be a force for good to help the suffering of innocent people anywhere the need arises. To learn more, visit https://saveourallies.org/.