Wounded Veteran Gives Country Star A Huge Gift To Thank Him For His Work With The Military

Jun 11, 2015 By Christi Mulligan
Country music superstar Brantley Gilbert has been nominated for at least 13 major music awards, winning five, but nothing can top his latest award. After spending Memorial Day weekend on a motorcycle ride called Rolling Odyssey with former soldiers, raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, Staff Sergeant Justin Patterson gave Gilbert his first Purple Heart. Patterson served five tours of duty in Iraq as an Army sniper and thanked Gilbert for raising awareness about the issues veterans face upon their return home. The heartbreaking bottom line is "22 veterans a day take their own lives," Patterson shared with KHOU-TV in Houston. Patterson did not know Gilbert before the ride, but he was blown away by the star's commitment and humility over the weekend.

Patterson earned four Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts during his five years in Iraq and two years in Afghanistan. In 2008, his duty ended when a vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a roadside bomb. The traumatic brain injury he sustained has forever changed his life, but since he has started working with the Wounded Warrior Project, he is improving and venturing out of his home more. The Rolling Odyssey ride (part of the Project Odyssey program) aims to bring attention to soldiers suffering from PTSD.

Patterson's gift "means the world" to Gilbert, he told KHOU, and, more importantly, he has gained a lifelong friend. The two now communicate daily.
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