Above, standing on his own two feet in every way, Robert Doughty, former Special Ops Staff Sargeant in Iraq, waits outside the restaurant with his wife, Krissy and their two children. He lost both legs in Iraq when an IED went off at close range. With them is Dick Autrey who organized the first warrior/country music event last year, after his own son, Ryan, returned from Iraq with only one arm.
Welcome to Music City USA and the Country Music Festival!
Of course, mine is an unofficial greeting from a regular person who's neither a city dignitary or a country music star. (You'll surely get plenty of that as the weekend here unfolds.) But it doesn't diminish my heart felt appreciation for what you've done for your country and regular people like me. We people don't often take the time to know or thank you as we should.
I must confess, I was somewhat skeptical that our get-together might be a real downer, what with knowing all of you were banged up pretty bad in the Iraq War. Most of you survived massive IED explosions and were hospitalized for months, if not years at Walter Reed and Brooke Medical Center. So I stuffed some extra Kleenex in my purse when I came to the dinner, expecting that I might cry all the way home afterwards.