Staff Sergeant Justin Patterson recently gave his Purple Heart to country artist Brantley Gilbert.
The Purple Heart is an award given to soldiers wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. Military. The Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. Military members. Windsor, New York, is the location of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
Staff Sergeant Justin Patterson, a veteran, has won three Purple Hearts and four Bronze Stars. He served five years in Iraq, and also served two years in Afghanistan. In 2008, Patterson was caught in a terrible bomb explosion while trapped in a car. This explosion left Patterson with a traumatic head injury. Today, Patterson works with the Wounded Warriors Project. He rides his motorcycle with other vets to help raise awareness for those who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Recently, Patterson presented Brantley Gilbert with one of hisÂ Purple Heart awards. He had never heard of Gilbert before, but knew he had a good heart when he decided to ride his motorcycle with the veterans rather than tour in his much more comfortable tour bus. Gilbert reached out to audiences at his concerts by talking to them about the problems veterans face when they come back from war, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder.
Patterson appreciated that Gilbert helped raise awareness with him, which is why he gave his Purple Heart to Gilbert. Gilbert said that his gift, “meant the world to him” and that he had found a “lifelong friend in Sergeant Patterson.”