At Saturday’s ACM “Party for a Cause” in Las Vegas, Lee Brice surprised a military widow with the family truck her husband traded in before shipping out to Iraq 10 years ago.
Ginger Gurley Gilbert Ravella’s late husband, Troy Gilbert, was an F-16 pilot killed in action on Nov. 27, 2006. Lee heard about Ginger’s desire to recover the 1992 Chevy Silverado 1500 that once belonged to Troy, and he, his management team and several friends of Ginger’s immediately began researching.
Fighting tears, Ginger said, “Troy traded in 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. After he was killed I was most certainly grateful Troy took another big thing off my plate after he was gone.”
Ginger eventually sold the newer truck to save money while Troy was in Iraq. “Years later, when Lee’s song came out, it wasn’t the new truck I wished we still had,” she said. “It was the old one, the one that belonged to Troy’s dad first, the one Troy drove for years, the one I knew our sons, Boston and Greyson, would get a kick out of.”
Once Lee found the truck, he purchased it and had it shipped to Las Vegas. During his “Party for a Cause” set, Lee presented a $40,000 donation to Folds of Honor — a non-profit that provides educational support to spouses and children of America’s fallen and wounded soldiers — sang his moving “I Drive Your Truck,” and invited Ginger and her family to the stage where he presented her with the keys to Troy’s truck.
“I’m so happy that we were able to locate this truck because it meant so much to Ginger and her family,” Brice said. “Troy paid the ultimate price in service to our country and I’m grateful we got to show our appreciation in a small way, comparatively, this weekend.”