By Robyn Collins
Country music singer and songwriter Lee Brice performed Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” during a private service held in the Old Post Chapel on Joint Base Myer-Hendreson Hall to honor U.S. Air Force Maj. Troy Lee Gilbert. The service, held at Arlington National Ceremony, came 10 years after Gilbert’s F-16 crashed on the ground in Iraq.
The hero was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, but it took 10 years for his final remains to make it home because his body was stolen by al Qaeda fighters, reports Taste of Nashville. He is the first soldier to be honored at Arlington National Cemetery three times.
Brice first got involved when Gilbert’s wife Ginger Gilbert Ravella told the singer how much his song, “I Drive Your Truck,” meant to her. From there, the story took on a much heavier meaning.
“I told him how much we, as fallen families, cling to pieces left of those we love,” she said. “Troy sold his old beloved truck for a new one about a month before he found out he was deploying. Things were starting to break on his old one, and he needed a reliable ride. Just a week before he took off for Iraq, he said, ‘I think we need to sell my new truck. We really can’t afford to make payments while I am gone.’ So we sold it and he left. Years later when Lee’s song came out, it wasn’t the new truck I wished we still had. It was the old one; the one that belonged to Troy’s Dad first, the one Troy drove for years, the one I knew [my sons] Boston and Greyson would get a kick out of.”
In April of 2016, Brice, his team, and friends of the Ravella family searched for the 1992 Chevy Silverado 1500 that formerly belonged to Troy. Brice found the truck, bought it and gifted it to the family.
After his performance, Brice shared in a press release, “I’m grateful for Troy’s sacrifice and I admire [his wife] Ginger and her family for their sacrifice, also. I can’t imagine what they went through and I’m honored to have been a part of this special moment with this incredibly strong family.”