Nine flags waved over the desertlike landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats last week as Nathan Osmond tapped the return key on his laptop and sent pre-recorded melodies over the great expanse.
The country singer and his band proceeded to rock out, attempting not to trip over the uneven terrain.
A hodgepodge crew of musicians and producers gathered on the Bonneville Salt Flats to film scenes for Osmond's single "Stars and Stripes." All the while, onlookers stopped at the rest stop just up the hill to check out what was going down below.
Band members pounded steel rods into the rough ground while videographers wrestled with their equipment. Filming began about an hour and a half later than expected Wednesday evening.
Osmond wrote the song to honor military families. "I'm just thinking what's on my heart," he said.
In other staged scenes, the video will feature Robert and Krista Iverson and their children. After hearing the country ballad at a recent concert, Krista Iverson volunteered to participate in filming the music video. "We heard it and we thought it really captured some of the experiences we've been through," Iverson said.
Robert Iverson was awarded a Purple Heart after his tank was attacked in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Marine officer said he appreciates the message of gratitude Osmond's song sends to troops, veterans and military families.
"We traveled a lot of miles, we killed a lot of people, we went back to our camp and started all over again the next day," Robert Iverson said. "It was really rough on us."
The music video is one reminder of the sacrifices of soldiers serving overseas. "I really appreciate what [Osmond] is doing putting the military back on the nation's conscience," Iverson said. "So many paid the ultimate price. I'm honored to just be associated with those people."
Families at home also face significant struggles, and in the music video Krista Iverson is pictured praying for her husband, awaiting his return.
"People realize how hard it is on the guys, but it's a whole other experience for the wife and family," she said.
Iverson, who gave birth to daughter Leah before Robert returned home from combat, said the labor she endured in the delivery room rivaled the emotional struggles her husband went through across the world. She enacts the arrival of her daughter in the music video, the lyrics over the footage narrate, "I wasn't home for Christmas and I missed the birth of our baby girl."
"Being in the delivery room is supposed to be such a happy experience," Iverson said. "But when you look over and the one you're supposed to be sharing the joy with is gone, it's just devastating."
Osmond said he received a challenge from veterans at a Hawaii concert last year to write a song thanking the veterans. "Stars and Stripes" is his attempt to do that.
"I have always had so much appreciation for their sacrifice and how much they go through," Osmond said, referring to veterans, including his father and grandfather.
He hopes the music video will be finished before July Fourth.
Draping the Flats in patriotic colors
Nathan Osmond and his band filmed parts of Osmond's music video "Stars and Stripes" last week on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The video is set to be released this week.