About a month ago, Bass Pro Shops hosted a similar event at their headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.
During the event, Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris helped present the keys to two new homes to veterans that were wounded in combat fighting the war on terror. The event was part of Morris’s pledge to provide 25% of the financing for the next 100 homes that Helping A Hero donates to veterans, a roughly $2 million commitment from a brand committed to giving back to the community.
Helping a Hero is a non-profit organization that provides support for military personnel severely injured in the war on terror by providing specially adapted homes for qualifying service members as well as engaging the community to provide services and resources for wounded heroes and their families.
Helping a Hero is one of the largest home-building organizations in the nation for wounded veterans and to date that have already provided homes to over 100 wounded veterans from 23 different states
To celebrate that accomplishment and that pledge, Helping a Hero and Johnny Morris have launched the 100 Homes Challenge and invite individuals and companies to join the challenge by making their own donations to help fully fund these next 100 homes.
Yesterday, two more homes were donated towards that 100 home goal at event outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
To help capture the full spirit of America for the event, some country music talent was on hand to provide entertainment, including Helping A Hero Ambassador Lee Greenwood and his good friends John Conlee, and Tony Orlando.
The event also served as a special patriotic tribute with a special ceremony that reflected on 9/11.
Color guard presentation for the event was provided by the Hendersonville Fire Department. The ceremony commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a symbolic bell ringing, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, wreath laying, 21-gun salute, playing of “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes, and a Tennessee National Guard flyover of two Army Black Hawk helicopters while the 13 names of those service members lost in the attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26th were read out loud.
During the ceremony, customized homes were awarded to retired Marine Lance Corporal Eric Frazier (pictured above) and retired Army sergeant Antonio Mullen (pictured below) and their respective families.
In addition to the awarded homes, Greenwood presented Kelley Paul, wife of Senator Rand Paul, the Lee Greenwood Patriot Award for her continued selfless efforts to help our wounded veterans. Greenwood also invited retired Army Specialist JP Lane on stage to perform a special song that helped him heal from his own injuries and experiences stemming from his fight in the war on terror.
The event concluded with Lee Greenwood bringing many of the veterans in attendance up on stage with the band and other high profile attendees to join together in singing Greenwood’s much heralded song“God Bless The USA.”
At a previous event, Morris spoke about what Greenwood’s song means to him.
“When I hear the words to Helping a Hero’s national ambassador Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA,’ every word of that song hits home and reminds us how lucky we are to be able to call America our home.
We’re coming up on our 50thanniversary at Bass Pro Shops, and it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for those who have defended our freedoms.”
The lyrics to that song capture the essence of what most proud Americans like myself feel today as they reflect on the horrible attacks that rocked our nation 20 years ago.
The powerful lyrics and Greenwood’s nationally televised performance of that song during the 2001 World Series at a sold out Yankee Stadium in New York City provided an iconic moment of American pride of unity for an entire nation trying to find healing amidst the pain.
As we all reflect on the 20 year anniversary of 9/11, Greenwood’s song is still a source of comfort and pride to a whole lot of people that are still damn proud to be an American.
“… And I’m proud to be an American Where at least I know I’m free And I won’t forget the men who died Who gave that right to me And I’d gladly stand up Next to you and defend her still today ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the USA …”