Brantly Gilbert, popular country singer from Georgia who created the chart-topping albums “Just as I am” and “Halfway to Heaven”, spent his Memorial Day taking a long ride with the participants and members of the Wounded Warrior Project.
He traveled across various parts of Louisiana and Texas to increase understanding and empathy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Various army veterans in the group, including Justin Patterson, were honored and impressed by this gesture. He said “Take the music away, he’s one of the guys. He fell into the pack with us.”
Being an Army sniper, Patterson served several tours in Iraq and earned a variety of distinctions including 4 Bronze Stars and 3 Purple Hearts. He received a brain injury due to an IED however and was unable to find peace in almost any activity he did from then on.
According to Patterson, 22 veterans commit suicide each day. This is in his eyes a heart-wrenching, somber reality. Patterson was so humbled by Gilbert’s participation that he gave him his first Purple Heart.
Gilbert was likewise honored to receive it. He mentioned that the gift meant the world to him and that he now has a friend for the rest of his life in Justin Patterson.