By Madison Vain
March 04, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST

Country artist Cole Swindell, who broke out with his 2013 hit “Chillin’ It,” is debuting the official music video for his latest single, “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” today (Thursday) and while the song included a tribute verse to soldiers overseas—”And, yeah, I’m raising my glass to those savin’ our ass overseas”—the video goes one further, saluting Swindell’s fraternity brother and good friend Kyle Davis, who served five tours with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. 

“It was cool to have Kyle and some of his actual team members in the video—we want to do anything we can to make them feel involved and let them know that we appreciate them, letting us do what we love while they’re out doing that stuff,” Swindell says of the video before humbly adding, “You know, this is my third video and the other two I was just trying not to mess them up.”

Davis appears in the video when Swindell cuts the music and really does raise a glass for a long lost buddy, bringing the soldier on stage for a toast that the crowd (sourced from a twitter invitation from the artist to come help him film the video at a bar in Nashville) goes crazy for, “We wanted the live feel because this is the biggest song I play live. It just shows you the power of that song.” 

The singer is grateful for the opportunity to salute his friend and the troops, “It’s nice to know there’s a bigger meaning behind the video than just an ex-girlfriend. And just crazy seeing them have fun and think what we’re doing was so cool while to us it’s like, ‘Dude, you can be in all our videos if you want. You know, thank you for protecting us.” 

Swindell, who is currently a finalist for the Academy of County Music New Artist of the Year and the sole country name in iHeart Radio’s Best New Artist category (“I mean, to be nominated with Iggy Azalea and Sam Smith, they don’t even know who I am probably!”) is on tour through the end of August, a full list of dates can be found here