Dr. Ben Carson, Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris, Ainsley Earhardt, Paula Deen, and Michael W. Smith Among 40 Total Award Recipients This Year

HOUSTON, Texas – Helping a Hero and the charity’s National Ambassador Lee Greenwood recently hosted three national events to promote patriotism and support our nation’s wounded veterans. During the events held in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina in May, Helping a Hero and Greenwood recognized 22 honorees with the Lee Greenwood Patriot Award for their commitment to our military heroes.

The events are part of a year-long initiative to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of Lee Greenwood’s iconic song “God Bless the USA” by honoring a total of 40 patriots with the Lee Greenwood Patriot Award. Proceeds raised will benefit Helping a Hero’s efforts to build specially adapted custom homes for severely wounded warriors through the Wounded Hero Home Program, as well as other support programs and resources to assist veterans and their families. Click here for pictures.

“Our men and women of the military sacrifice so much to protect our country and our freedoms, and while we can never do enough to fully repay them, we can strive to do everything we can to support them when they return home,” said Lee Greenwood. “It has been an honor to partner with Helping a Hero over the last decade to help with their mission of empowering our wounded heroes by building specially adapted homes. Like all charities, we were not able to hold many events in 2020, but we fast-tracked three national events in the past month, and thankfully, we will be able to help a lot more deserving veterans and their families.”

“Meeting heroes like CPL Sue Downes, USA (Ret), who lost both of her legs in an anti-tank mine explosion in Afghanistan, reminds me that America is strong because we have men and women willing to put their lives on the line to protect our homeland,” said Dr. Ben Carson, who received the Lee Greenwood Patriot Award in Houston on May 13. “I am humbled to receive The Lee Greenwood Patriot Award from one of America’s National Treasures, Lee Greenwood.”

During the most recent event on May 19 hosted with NASCAR legend Richard Childress at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C., Helping a Hero recognized Penny and Bob Barnhill, Paula Deen, Ainsley Earhardt, former Lt. Governor Dan Forest, Bass Pro Shops CEO Johnny Morris, and recording artist Michael W. Smith. Previous award recipients in 2021 include James A. Baker, III, George Bishop, Jack Brewer, Joanne King Herring, Charles W. Jenness, Rush Limbaugh, in memoriam, Sam and Kevin Sorbo, Annette, and George Strake, Jr., and 45th President Donald J. Trump.

“I would like to salute Lee Greenwood and Helping A Hero for their work building homes for severely wounded warriors,” said Richard Childress, chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and 2020 Lee Greenwood Patriot Award Recipient. “It was an honor to host the Lee Greenwood Patriot Awards Dinner at Childress Vineyards and I am thankful for the opportunity to join in helping even more of our heroes regain their independence by receiving an adapted home.”

“I read the words again to Lee Greenwood’s song, ‘God Bless the USA,’” said Bass Pro Shops Founder and CEO Johnny Morris. “Every word of that song hits home and how lucky we are to be able to call America our home. It is so special. I think a lot of my father. My Dad was in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and he never mentioned it until I was 21 when we were around a campfire. He was passing on to me about how he had had some tough times.”

Morris continued, “To be here tonight to salute and pay tribute and honor all these veterans, the defenders of this great land is humbling and wonderful. In a small way, we can show some support to them.” Morris accepted his award with 96-year-old World War II veteran and Bass Pro Shops employee Emil Martinka by his side.