The 3rd annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards Dinner was held last week at Nashville’s City Winery, raising more than $250,000 for our nation’s military veterans.
The benefit for The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project featured a performance by Chris Young, special guest speakers, and presentations of the 2021 Charlie Daniels Patriot Award to recipients such as country artist Darryl Worley, decorated military veteran Mark “Oz” Geist (Benghazi survivor and co-author of 13 Hours/U.S. Marine Corps, retired), the Daniels Center at Middle Tennessee State University, and firearms manufacturers Marty and Cindy Daniel of Daniel Defense.
Prior to his passing last year, Daniels and his longtime manager and TCDJHP co-founder David Corlew handpicked this year’s Patriot Award recipients. The criteria is based on the mission of the organization: to support veterans in their return, rehabilitation, and reintegration back into civilian life. Previous recipients include Young, Mike Huckabee, Judy Seale, William Horton, Donnie Mingus and The Shepherd’s Center.
Special guest speakers and presenters during the evening included Corlew, TCDJHP board member Major General Terry “Max” Haston (retired), former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, David Rutherford (former U.S. Navy SEAL), Eddie Gallagher (former U.S. Navy SEAL) and decorated military veteran Chris Spence, one of the real horse soldiers portrayed in the 2018 film 12 Strong starring Chris Hemsworth.
“This year we were faced with both a physical challenge as well as an emotional one … moving venues as well as trying to do one without Charlie,” explains Corlew. “I quote Charlie in saying, ‘By the grace of almighty God and the United States military,’ we did it. It was an epic evening with friends, family, an awesome group of veterans, warriors and music giants. It couldn’t have been any better, and I know Charlie would be proud. We’d also like to send a special ‘thank you’ salute to 96-year-old Navy vet Mathias Gutman who was in attendance. He served on six islands in the South Pacific during World War II. A true American hero.”
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