Big & Rich receive Viet Vets honor
Thursday, July 19, 2007
– Big & Rich were honored this week with the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Vietnam Veterans of America's 13th biennial National Convention in Springfield, Ill. The award recognizes their 2006 single, "8th Of November," inspired by the duo's close friend, Ret. Master Sergeant Niles Harris, a Purple Heart veteran and member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade who, as a 19-year-old army private, was shot in a jungle fire fight during the Vietnam War on Nov. 8, 1965.
After performing the song at the convention's opening ceremonies, Big & Rich invited Harris to join them onstage, where he also was honored with a Vietnam Veterans Of America Achievement Award.
Big & Rich recounted meeting Harris while playing in his tavern in Deadwood, S.D., where the three men became immediate friends. Big Kenny thanked Harris for "coming into our lives with this amazing story that became this amazing song. Without you, we never would have written '8th Of November."
Harris accepted the award, saying, "John and Kenny are genuine artists and true friends, who not only embraced the 173rd Airborne veterans, but have embraced all veterans across the US."
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