Dierks Bentley Meets With Wounded Veteran

“Meeting Dierks backstage was an awesome experience," U.S Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland says. 

Written by Sydney Smith
Dierks Bentley Meets With Wounded Veteran
Dierks Bentley and U.S. Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland; Photo courtesy Veterans United

Dierks Bentley is no stranger to honoring the military. His father and grandfather both served, and he has helped raise money for veterans on many occasions. In April, Bentley helped orchestrate a surprise homecoming for a military family, and recently, he met with a wounded veteran and his family and signed a guitar to help get their dream home built.

Bentley’s July 15 What the Hell World Tour stop in Virginia Beach was a part of a weekend long event hosted by Veterans United Home Loans. The company brought U.S Army Sgt. Legrand Strickland and his wife, Carrie, backstage to spend some time with Bentley.

While Strickland was backstage, Bentley signed a Fender acoustic guitar that will be part of a later auction. In addition, artists performing at the amphitheater this concert season will also be signing guitars to be auctioned off. Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) to help build Strickland a specially adapted smart home.

In 2010, Strickland was returning from a mission in Zabul, Afghanistan when he was struck by an IED. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, a shattered jaw and lacerations to his kidneys and liver. Strickland also had to have both legs amputated above the knee. Strickland and his wife have two sons, and they plan to have the new home built in St. Louis. Veterans United and the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program, which provides mortgage-free, specially adapted smart homes customized specifically to the needs of severely wounded veterans, are partnering to build the home for the family.

“I am incredibly humbled by the generosity of the employees at Veterans United Home Loans for choosing me,” Strickland said. “Meeting Dierks backstage was an awesome experience and the entire weekend was a great chance to get away with my wife and enjoy ourselves. I can’t express my appreciation enough to Veterans United and the Gary Sinise Foundation.”

Thanks to Bentley and the various other artists who will be contributing to the auction, as well as Veterans United and the Gary Sinise Foundation, Strickland and his family will be able to have a new home that will make life a lot easier.

Dierks Bentley still has several dates left on the What The Hell World Tour with Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell. For dates and information, visit his website.