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Big & Rich To Receive The President's Award For Excellence In The Arts

Big & Rich To Receive The President's Award For Excellence In The Arts

Big & Rich To Be Honored At
Vietnam Veterans Of America’s National Convention
Duo will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts
for their emotional hit single “8th Of November”

Big & Rich will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts on Wednesday, July 18, at the Opening Ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s 13th biennial National Convention in Springfield, Illinois. The award recognizes their 2006 single, “8th Of November,” inspired by the duo’s close friend, 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 November 8, 1965. Harris will attend the Opening Ceremonies, which are open to the public and will be held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.

In addition to raising public awareness with “8th Of November,” Big & Rich have worked selflessly to support Vietnam veterans. In October 2006, along with Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Anderson, Cowboy Troy, and The Lost Trailers, Big & Rich performed a benefit concert in Atlanta, Georgia, raising $500,000 in one day. All profits from the show went to the building fund for the 173rd Airborne Brigade National Memorial, to be built at the new National Infantry Museum campus in Ft. Benning, Georgia.

“Vietnam Veterans of America is honored that Big & Rich are taking time from their national touring schedule to join us in Springfield,” said VVA National President John Rowan. “They have done exemplary work for Vietnam veterans, including performing gratis at many events. Our Convention Opening Ceremonies are always spirited, exciting occasions; Big & Rich will add immeasurably to that experience.”

“This week definitely marks a high point in our career,” John Rich stated. “Receiving the President’s Award is an incredible honor.” Big Kenny added, “To receive an award of this caliber, it has never crossed our minds. It’s a wonderful surprise and to have Niles, the man who inspired this song there, brings everything full circle.”

Previous recipients of VVA's President's Award for Excellence in the Arts include: Kris Kristofferson, Bob Hope, George Jones and Raquel Welch.

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