Brantley Gilbert Returns the Favor for Veteran Who Gave Him His Purple Heart
Brantley Gilbert received the gift of a lifetime when wounded Army veteran Justin Patterson gave Gilbert his first Purple Heart. And while Gilbert acknowledges that nothing will ever come close to matching Patterson's generosity, the singer did offer the vet one pretty cool gift in return.
After Patterson joked with Gilbert about being his date to the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Gilbert came up with something even better.
“There’s no way I’ll ever be able to thank you enough for your gift while we were on the ride. It means more to me than you’ll ever know," Gilbert says in a surprise video message to Patterson on Fox & Friends. "There’s no way I’ll ever be able to pay you for that, but I’m not gonna make it to the CMT Awards this year, so me and my fiancee have two seats that are available. Hopefully you and your wife aren’t too busy, and ya’ll can check it out. We’d love you to be there representing us that night.”
Patterson met Gilbert when the "One Hell of an Amen" singer joined Patterson and other vets on a Wounded Warrior Project motorcycle ride over Memorial Day weekend. At various stops throughout the ride, Gilbert sang and shared his concerns about the troubles that vets like Patterson face every day, including suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“You know, the fact is that 22 veterans a day take their own lives. And that’s just heartbreaking,” Patterson says. “I get goosebumps just talking about it. But there’s just not enough help out there. You know, for this guy to take time out of his tour and put his two cents in went a long way.
“And the guy that’s got everything, I think the only thing I could give him was my blood, sweat and tears,” Patterson continues. “… I couldn’t write him a country song or give him a Grammy, but to say thank you, for me, it was easy. It was an easy decision to pull the trigger on that.”
Patterson served five tours of duty in the Army, in Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts, before, in 2008, a roadside bomb caused a vehicle that he was riding in to explode, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury. Patterson now works with the Wounded Warrior Project.
The 2015 CMT Music Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on June 10 at 8PM ET on CMT.
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