Wounded Veteran Says Brantley Gilbert’s Special Gift ‘Changed’ His Heart [Watch]
Brantley Gilbert's support of the military isn't just a bunch of empty words. The "One Hell of an Amen" singer recently took time out of his busy schedule to volunteer for the 2015 Rolling Odyssey, a motorcycle ride to support the Wounded Warrior Project — and he gave one rider a gift he'll never forget.
This year's ride took place May 22-23, kicking off at Stubbs Harley-Davidson in Houston, where Gilbert also staged an acoustic performance. His presence among the wounded warriors was very beneficial to veterans like Justin Patterson, who served as an Army sniper until 2008, when his vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb. Patterson earned four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts during his five years in Iraq and two years in Afghanistan. He received a traumatic brain injury, and didn't realize he had PTSD until he spent two years in his house after returning home. His wife researched and found the Wounded Warrior Project, and now he's able to take part in the rides.
"With Brantley coming out here, that was just the cherry on the top," Patterson says. "It's the coolest thing — you've got a man who could be anywhere in the world, and do anything he wants, and he chose to come out and raise awareness with us. And for me, that's a Godsend. To come and want to ride with us and just be one of the guys — we let him into our pack, and sure enough, he fit right in."
Gilbert was so moved by Patterson's story that he gave him his rosary. The war hero says that gesture "changed my heart. My heart was hard for a while. I didn't think there was any positive that was gonna come out of this. I actually didn't wanna go the first morning. But it's been life-changing for me. It's a blessing, and I thank everybody who was involved."
Gilbert's gift so touched Patterson that he gave the singer his first Purple Heart. “What you are doing for us, you have no idea what that’s doing for us soldiers," the veteran said in handing it over. "I don’t know any other way to thank you.”
Gilbert repaid Patterson by giving him and his wife tickets to the CMT Awards. The two men have become close friends since, and now talk and text frequently.
Check out the video from the very special event above, and see the rest of the amazing story below.
Veteran Gives Brantley Gilbert Emotional Gift
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