HOUGHTON — A Houghton school teacher will soon be releasing an album in honor of a close friend he lost when he was serving in the military overseas. Jeff Hauswirth served as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy and Naval Reserves, and in 2006, fellow combat medic Jaime Jaenke was killed by an I.E.D. during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The songs on this EP are all inspired by that time,” Hauswirth said. “Every time I pulled them out, it was kind of like going back to that period in life, which wasn’t always a good time because, you know, I had a friend die and we’re kind of like family members in the military. We get really close and become a family, and I didn’t want to deal with that time period.”
It took Hauswirth over 10 years to bring himself to record the song Forever 29, the title track of the EP, which he wrote for Jaenke.
“When this song was written, I don’t recall how old I was, 40’s somewhere,” said Hauswirth. “And I was just thinking of that, and how she will always be forever 29. And that kind of sparked a sit-down, and grab a pen, so that song is kind of in honor of that time period as well.”
Hauswirth was able to travel to Nashville, Tennessee over the summer to work with award winning producer Michael Flanders and studio band members to make this dream a reality.
“Luckily last summer I knew someone who knew someone, and I wound up in Nashville,” Hauswirth said. “And I took it as a sign that it was time to face that, and it wound up being really good therapy as well.”
Forever 29, the six–track EP will be available for purchase on all digital and streaming outlets on April 26th, and 25% of each sale will be donated to a non–profit that supports veterans and their families.