It’s been more than two years since the legendary fiddle player and singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels passed away. He’s gone, but far from being forgotten. He lives through his enigmatic music and the people keeping his legacy alive.
Since his passing, Daniels’ friend and manager David Corlew has helped carry that torch. He organizes the Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards Dinner which continues the musician’s passion and dedication to our country’s veterans. The fourth annual event will take place on October 26 and Nashville’s City Winery. The benefit will raise proceeds for Daniels’ non-profit organization for veterans, The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project.
“We just want to raise as much money as we can,” Corlew told CMT ahead of the event. “The issues of the returning veterans and suicide obviously takes first place. It was something that Charlie and I had discussed before he had passed away. He was so concerned about the enormous amount of life lost after combat. One of the figures that we deal with every day is that with all these veterans that went to combat over 9-11, now there’s, there’s been more veterans lost to suicide now than were lost in 9-11 or in combat.”
An Evening Charlie Daniels Would Be Proud Of
Chris Young will perform at the event. His sister served in the Marines and was previously award the Patriot Award. The evening will kick off with a performance from The War Hippies, a new country music duo comprised of veterans Scooter Brown and Donnie Reis.
Additional guest speakers will include former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, decorated military veteran and Benghazi survivor Mark “Oz” Geist and Col. Jay Powers, former Commanding Officer, 5th Group (U.S. Army Green Beret). SiriusXM’s Storme Warren will host the event.
“As the world continues to change and evolve, we as a community must not forget the men and women who have sacrificed so much in the past decades, as well as our future warriors and their families,” Corlew said. “The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project exists to honor and to provide much-needed support in their time of transition.”
The dinner ceremony will also include a silent and live auction. Plus, Daniels’ wife Hazel and son Charlie Daniels, Jr. will be in attendance. The evening will also honor two special veterans. 97-year-old WWII Navy vet Mathias Gutman and 99-year-old WWII Coast Guard vet Gladys Hughes.
“We have so many distinguished guests, stories, and above all, the presentation of our three award recipients who most represent patriotism, commitment and giving back in this critical time,” Corlew said. “Our live auction will feature two of our most honored guests, Mathias Gutman and Gladys Hughes, as we auction a guitar signed by ten Medal of Honor recipients in order to complete a project of erecting a statue that will honor the men and women of World War II and Vietnam.”
This year’s Patriot Award honorees will also be revealed during the special event. The Charlie Daniels organization decides the honorees based on the organization’s mission, which is to support veterans in their return, rehabilitation, and reintegration into civilian life.