Notes From James





Labor Day at the Fort, and Medal of Honor ceremony for Captain Larry Taylor

My Labor Day in Ft. Oglethorpe was great. It was a beautiful however hot day, and there were thousands of people who attended. My audience was wonderful and I loved seeing everyone and sharing my music with them. All four of my grandsons were there and I had a great time watching them have fun. It was a memorable day for me and I was thankful that my children were willing to drive all the way from Nashville and bring the children to share in this nostalgic moment. Yep, it was all great...old friends, family members, good food, sunshine, great memories.

So the day was spent enjoying the festivities but when it was over it was time to go home to Rock Spring and prepare for my trip to Washington DC and the Medal of Honor ceremony for Captain Larry Taylor. It was an honor to be invited to attend the ceremony and doubly exciting to be asked to sing a couple of my patriotic songs. But at 2AM Tuesday morning, I met my friend Carl Poston (who is a personal friend of Larry Taylor and was instrumental in campaigning for him to receive the MOH) at Groom Transportation in East Ridge, Tennessee to catch the shuttle bus to Nashville International. So we traveled from Chattanooga to Nashville, then met up with Steve Dean (Grammy Award winning songwriter) and caught our 6 AM jet to Ronald Reagan in Washington... the attempt to get a private plane had failed as a flight plan to Washington had to be submitted prior to the flight and the time limit had already expired.

The shuttle bus from Ronald Reagan took us to Pentagon City...where we met up with more friends, dignitaries, politicians, and MOH officials as well as some of the guys that Larry had saved on that fateful night back in Viet Nam. It was there at Pentagon City that Steve Dean and I sang our songs for Larry and the crowd that awaited transfer to the White House. It was a great honor for both of us, and I want to add that Steve Dean is really a gentleman (I knew he was talented) and I truly enjoy making his acquittance.

Shortly after the singing, we boarded buses and the police escorted motorcade moved from the Pentagon to the White House... we parked right in front of the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania we made our way in we passed the Executive Offices where back in 1975 I had sung my song "Fly Eagle Fly" before the United States Bicentennial Committee. And as we entered an aide looked at me and said "Welcome to the White House, Sir".... and the greeting was repeated several times along the way through those famous halls. I thought to myself how special is it that I get to be here and hear that was.

We all were ushered into the East Room of the White House and there we greeted more friends
and were surrounded by a wall of press, journalists, news media, and photographers...

When Larry Taylor walked into the room with the President and as "Hail To The Chief" was played I got tears in my eyes, as I thought of his absolute bravery and commitment under absolute overwhelming odds. It was such an honor to have been asked to attend and be a part of this historical moment.
It took 55 years for him to get the recognition he deserves.

Should anyone want to know what courage, bravery, and a hero looks like... well look at the face of Larry Taylor.

After the ceremony was over, we all went into a ball room where we once again we able to talk with friends. General Mark Milley (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) presented me with a challenge coin for my music and gave me one to pass along to Dolly the next time I see her. It was an honor.

I did not want to add to the mob scene by saying hello again to Larry, but I did want to congratulate him. He has not been well and I know how tiring it can be just saying hello when you are not feeling well, but he is also a great gentleman and takes it all in stride. I shook his hand again and had an aide take a picture.

What can I add .... it was a great honor to have been there ... to have been asked to share my music on such an occasion... I will never forget it.

The police motor cade took us all back to the Pentagon, then a few goodbyes and we were back at Ronald Reagan airport...back to Nashville... it was about 9 PM when we touched down... we found our Groom transportation and then 2 and a half hours later I was back in East Ridge, TN... in my car headed back to my house in Rock Spring.... I was thinking again to myself "what an honor" .... seriously... only hours ago I was in the White House.

It was a little after midnight.... when I got home.

Captain Larry Taylor and James

James and Steve Dean



Just WOW!

...for this most well deserved honor, and THANK YOU for your service to our country, Sir!
And thank you for helping to keep us FREE!


THANK YOU, JAMES for sharing this incredible experience with us!
We are so proud of you and FOR you!




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