FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Members of 15th Medical Battalion of the 1st Calvary Division in the Vietnam War met Thursday night in Franklin. No one at the gathering expected to have a country star entertain them.
"We hold a reunion each year in different locations, this year it's going to be in Nashville," said organizer and former aircraft commander Art Jacobs.
One hundred former soldiers and their families got together at the Cool Springs Marriott for this year's reunion that honored Jerry Dick.
Dick was the door gunner on a medevac helicopter in the jungles of Vietnam on July 24, 1968 when the aircraft was hit by enemy fire.
"We made an attempt to rescue some guys on the ground and Jerry was shot in the head," Jacobs explained.
Dick was severally injured. For some time it was not know if he would survive. But he did, although he was disabled.
"Jerry you took a bullet for me, on 24 July 1968. You are my hero, you always have been. And Jerry tonight, you're everyone's hero," Jacobs told the crowd as he choked back tears.
When Jacobs heard his friend would make the trip to this year's reunion, he wanted to do something special.
He got the idea to have the legendary Lee Greenwood perform his anthem God Bless The U.S.A. at the reunion.
After working through some scheduling conflicts, Greenwood was able to attend and perform the song for Dick.
"I have such a love for the military, and we really give tribute to the guys and the gals who have served in our military," Greenwood explained.
The artist came out of a side door, to the surprise of Dick and the rest of the men and women in attendance.
Dick made the trip to Franklin in a special van, with his brother and sister-in-law. They live in a small town in Wyoming.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:10 AM EDT2013-06-19 12:10:12 GMT
A restored OH-23 Raven helicopter used as a utility, observation and medical evacuation aircraft during the Korean War is being dedicated at Fort Campbell where it will be permanently displayed.more>>
A restored OH-23 Raven helicopter used as a utility, observation and medical evacuation aircraft during the Korean War is being dedicated at Fort Campbell where it will be permanently displayed on the Warrior Transition Battalion grounds.more>>