D.C. ) - Top country music stars Big & Rich (Kenny Alphin and John Rich) will receive the President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts on Wednesday morning, July 18, at the Opening Ceremonies of Vietnam Veterans of America’s 13th biennial National Convention in Springfield, Illinois.
Big & Rich will be honored for their hit song “The 8th of November,” which celebrates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans, and for their selfless work supporting Vietnam veterans’ causes. Vietnam veteran Niles Harris, the inspiration for the hit song, also will attend the Opening Ceremonies, which are open to the public and will be held at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.
“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.”
VVA, the only congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization that works exclusively for Vietnam War era veterans and their families, will hold the Convention from July 18-22. Some eight hundred delegates from VVA chapters across the country will join hundreds of other Vietnam veterans and guests in Springfield. The delegates will set the organization's course for the next two years, hear from an array of speakers, attend information sessions, and take part in special events, including a star-studded Awards Banquet on Saturday night, July 21.
To be honored at the Awards Banquet are singer Nancy Sinatra, who entertained the troops in Vietnam and has been a long-time veterans’ advocate, and Vietnam veteran Bill Nelson, the chief operating officer at HBO.