Gordon Tittsworth started writing the song "Tribal Scars" months ago.

Like the other lyrics he's written for his York County band Images of Eden, the words just poured out of him.

Tittsworth said he likes to leave his songs open to interpretation, so each listener can find his or her own meaning. But when he read the words back, they had a personal significance.

He thought of his father, who served in the Air Force, and his friends who signed up for the service.

"It's one thing that I have huge respect for," he said. "Everything the country stands for (the troops) are fighting for."

I know what he was talking about. I've written about my grandfather John W. Schrack, who served in World War II with the 86th Infantry Division of the United States Army - The Blackhawks.

I never realized he was a Bronze Star recipient until after his death in 1998. He never spoke much about the war.

But I wish I had thanked him for what he fought for while he was still alive.

Tittsworth started Images of Eden in 1999, but had never shot a music video. He decided to attempt it with the group's current lineup - Dennis Mullin, Chris Lucci and Dean Harris. The song that band and their labels (SavvyMuzik for digital sales and Nightmare Records for in-store sales) chose was "Tribal Scars."

"This was always something I wanted to do," Tittsworth said. "I knew I wanted footage of the band playing with a story."

The story found him when he talked to his co-worker at his day job at Maryland fleet leasing company.


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The co-worker had just been to the funeral of his buddy, Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto, who died in March in Afghanistan.

Tittsworth was moved when he heard about the military service, complete with a 21-gun salute. He decided the footage would go well with the song, which the band planned to dedicate to fallen heroes. Those, like my grandfather, who we might not have thanked before they passed away.

He contacted the filmmaker Barbara Brown of Diamond Films, and she sent him the original footage.

The only thing Images of Eden needed was a backdrop to film the band shots.

After scouring York County for possible sites, Tittsworth settled on DONSCO Incorporated in Wrightsville.

After coordinating schedules and resources, the group had only one day to shoot. That day was Sept. 11..

As the band set up amid the scrap metal and machinery, Tittsworth said he had a good feeling about the shoot.

"I always know what to expect when I'm heading into the studio, but this was the first time I had done a video," Tittsworth said

Everything went according to plan and after seeing the final cut of the video about two weeks ago, he said it turned out perfectly. The whole experience, Tittsworth said, amplified his respect for veterans and military personnel.

The video was recently posted on Porto's memorial Facebook page.

"Tribal Scars" will be the first single from the group's third album "Rebuilding The Ruins," which will be released Feb. 22.

"I think (the song) is something to really share with as many people as we can," Tittsworth said. "(Iraq and Afghanistan veterans) are going to have issues to deal with when they get home. We need to show our respect and support."

POPeye is a bi-weekly column focusing on the ever-changing landscape of popular culture. To reach writer Erin McCracken, call 771-2051 or send an e-mail to emccracken@ydr.com.

Online

For details about Images of Eden and to watch the "Tribal Scars" video, visit www.imagesofeden.com.

Read stories, listen to audio and watch videos from World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq veterans at www.ydr.com/remember.

For more on veteran and military affairs, visit www.ydr.com/vets.

For military news, commentary and more, visit The Yellow Ribbon blog at www.yorkblog.com/yellowribbon.

About Marine Cpl. Jonathan D. Porto

When Jonathan Porto proposed to his wife, he didn't have a ring to give her. So he improvised.

The Marine took the small chain from his dog tag and wrapped it around Rachel's finger.

"I showed it off like it was a freaking 2-carat diamond platinum piece of work," she said. Rachel Porto eventually got a real ring a few weeks later, when Porto surprised her at her family's cabin at Walt Disney World.

It wasn't long after their marriage that the couple had another special gift: their daughter, Ariana, born Jan. 15. But Porto never met his daughter in person, despite being in the delivery room via a fuzzy phone connection.

Porto, 26, of Largo, Fla., died in a vehicle crash March 14 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, his family said. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune and graduated from Timberlane High School in New Hampshire.

Porto's sister, Sonya, said her brother was the most fun of her numerous siblings.

"He had a heart of gold, and he really wanted to make sure everyone was OK," she said.

Porto enlisted in 2008 - in part because he had trouble finding a job in the poor economy, said his father, Steve Porto. And he loved it, telling his mother that he even enjoyed the grueling basic training he went through at Parris Island.

Sources: The Associated Press, militarytimes.com

Happy Hour in honor of veterans

White Rose Bar and Grill and York Traditions Bank host a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. today at White Rose Bar and Grill, 48 N. Beaver St., York.

The event will include hors d'oeuvres and attendees will have a chance to get to know more about American Red Cross Club Red, a young adult group of volunteers between the ages of 21 and 40.

Admission to this event will be items for donation to Operation Uplift for troops in Afghanistan. Donations include international phone cards, beef jerky or Slim Jims (individually wrapped), wet wipes (80 count or less preferred), socks (white cotton, crew length only), underwear (men's briefs/boxers; ladies briefs/boy shorts) or packs of disposable razors.

For details, call 771-3551 or visit www.redcross-yorkadamspa.org.