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Billy Ray Cyrus Pays Tribute To The Veteran Who Changed His Life

Billy Ray Cyrus is almost as well known for his dedication to honoring America's veterans as he is for his musical career.

For years he's performed at the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a motorcycle rally that ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and radio stations across the country still play his song "Some Gave All" on Veterans Day.

Now, Cyrus has revealed why recognizing America's military heroes is such a point of pride for him, telling his fans that he owes his career to one Vietnam vet in particular.

The Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom.A Time For Choosing

You might know that "Some Gave All" was inspired by a real encounter Cyrus had with a Vietnam vet. The man told him "all gave some, but some gave all," inspiring Cyrus to write the song overnight.

The song was a huge hit for Cyrus, spending 17 weeks at #1 on the country charts and earning him 2 Grammy nominations. But Cyrus says he owes the success of another one of his smash hits to a Vietnam vet.

"Achy Breaky Heart" was one of the biggest songs of the 90s, becoming the first country song since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands In The Stream" to go platinum. But not many people know it was written by Don Von Tress, a country music writer who piloted helicopters in the Vietnam war.

Don Von Tress and Cyrus in the 90s.

Cyrus makes it his mission to recognize America's fallen heroes at his concerts, including his most recent performance at the Opry.

He dedicated his show to Weston C. Lee, a US soldier who died fighting ISIS in April.

Cyrus calls his upcoming performance at Rolling Thunder a "full-circle moment," as he'll get to perform "Some Gave All" and "Achy Breaky Heart" in front of the Veterans Memorial one more time.

Share this post if you think America's veterans deserve recognition!

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