Charlie Daniels is a man who speaks out about the things he believes in. One of the things you will hear him talk about often is the men and women in the U.S. military, especially the ones who have come home and now need help to get back to their normal lives.
The Journey Home Project is one of the ways Daniels is able to help these men and women. The not-for profit organization assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Daniels founded TJHP in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew. Major General Terry “Max” Haston (retired) joined TJHP in 2018 as the non-profit’s newest board member.
Conscious of the need to assist our nation’s veterans, these men and the folks who work with them set out to partner with organizations that do the most good, with the least overhead, to help veterans. By working in tandem with these organizations, TJHP makes a difference in the lives of American patriots.
One of the ways Daniels helps fund the organization is the annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Award Dinner, held at The Palm Restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. This year’s event raised more than $200,000 for TJHP.
The benefit includes a dinner, auction, and performances by Daniels and invited guests. This year, Darryl Worley, whose song “Have You Forgotten” is an anthem for veterans everywhere, performed. Chris Young, who has participated in the evening in the past, made a surprise appearance.
“The Journey Home Project dinner event at The Palm just gets better and better every year,” says Daniels. “We are so very grateful to the good people of Middle Tennessee for supporting us in our efforts to help our veterans.”
The premise of TJHP is simple. When a veteran needs help, the organization does its best to work with them through a simple application process. “These men and women bring a lot of problems with them when they come back, and they don’t need to accumulate more when they get here,” Daniels explains. “We try to be there for them. Veterans fill out applications and we have board meetings to decide which of the veterans we can afford to help, and we are glad to do it.
“We don’t like to turn people down but sometimes we have to because we are faced with a project that is out of our league. When somebody needs education, a car, a houseful of furniture … whatever we can do to help our vets when they come back, when they make the journey home, we try to do it.”
Daniels is also involved in the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The goal of the Center is to assist current military, veterans and family members move from military to college, then from college to a successful career.
“These veterans have needs and problems that the ordinary student doesn’t think about,” Daniels says. “With this center they can get together and talk to like minded people who understand what they have been and or going through. Plus we have a teleconferencing situation where they can apply for jobs to help them move into a career. There is a mental health specialist available for them to talk to. We try to make it a comfortable place on campus for our veterans to go and be there with their family.
“I’ve been around veterans enough to know that there are things they can’t share with the general public. Being at the Veterans and Military Family Center is therapeutic and it helps when they can talk to other people who have been through similar things that they have. We are hoping we can get other universities to open one on their campus. The veteran population on college campuses is become bigger and bigger, and it’s vital to have a center like that for them to gather.”
Donations for TJHP come in from different areas, many from a project organized by individuals who want to help fund TJHP’s work. In the past people have benefits including golf tournaments and auctions and designated the money to The Journey Home Project.
This year’s event at the Palm included remarks from retired U.S. Marine Mark “Oz” Geist, one of the Benghazi survivors and co-author of “13 Hours.” Also there to speak to the attendees were US Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, former National Security Adviser / US Army Lieutenant General, retired Michael Flynn and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik. The evening was hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren and former Navy SEAL David Rutherford.
Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards were presented to Nashville businessman Donnie Mingus of Team Construction) and music industry international talent buyer/promoter Judy Seale of Judy Seale International / Stars for Stripes. Young, last year’s Patriot Award recipient, made a surprise appearance to present a third award to the Shepherd’s Men, an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the SHARE Military Initiative at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.
Each recipient was handpicked by Daniels and his manager and TJHP co-founder, David Corlew. The criteria for the award is based on the mission of the organization: to support veterans in their return, rehabilitation, and reintegration back into civilian life. The award honors a person, persons, or group that fulfills and exemplifies the efforts and dedication of TJHP’s purpose to continuously care, support and encourage the men, women, and families who have served our great nation.
For more information on The Journey Home Project, go to https://www.thejourneyhomeproject.org/