From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
With a grandfather who served in World War II and uncles who were veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars, McGraw was raised to view military service as "a very high calling," he says. He even thought he might be called himself. "I was taking a military science class in college and started to fall in love with the idea," he says. "I remember filling out papers and talking to a recruiter. I got really far." At the last moment, he followed his passion for music instead. "I'd like to say I could have done it, but I don't want to say that because I have so much respect for the troops. To be under that pressure, to be away from home ... I've got it easy, and it's because of those guys." That's why he has looked for ways to support military families, like launching the HomeFront program, which donated 25 mortgage-free homes to veterans earlier this year. "When you live like we live and get to hold your kids and kiss your wife every day, you think about their sacrifices. There's a sense of obligation because of how blessed we are."