By Kirt Webster
After five Grammy Awards, nine GMA Dove Awards, an induction into the Grand Ole Opry and a forthcoming induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame—The Oak Ridge Boys have been presented with yet another distinction—the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. This award recognes work with The American Legion. The group accepted the award at the Nashville Salutes Gala surrounded by 25 Medal of Honor recipients.
In September 2014, the Oak Ridge Boys joined forces with The American Legion to help raise awareness and support for better detection and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder among U.S. military servicemen and women and veterans. Through the partnership, The Oak Ridge Boys have also assisted with improving the VA benefits process as well as the education and career opportunities that are available to veterans once they return to civilian life.
The Nashville Salutes Gala honored 25 living recipients of the Medal of Honor and served as a catalyst for the Middle Tennessee Character Development Program (CDP), whose goal is to develop the values required of every citizen among the youth of America. At the conclusion of the CDP presentation, The Oak Ridge Boys took the stage and sang a heartfelt rendition of “Thank God for Kids.”
The award, named after famed entertainer Bob Hope and the work he performed to start the USO Tours, was conceived to honor entertainers who have demonstrated a commitment to the U.S. military through the film “The Oak Ridge Boys”—literature or music. Past recipients include Mark Wahlberg, Tom Selleck and Trace Adkins, among others.