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One Tough Joe

“Joe.” It’s a term that’s been used to name American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen for a very long time. Maybe not as much anymore, but it’s still a term that conjures resilience, a tough quality and a solid, reliable soul.

The American Veterans Tribute Organization, even as a fledgling entity, is packed with people who are passionate about those who chose service and duty for their country over self. While many with AVT have never been in uniform, we strive to show our appreciation with our gifts and pay tribute with a passion, precision and pride that we hope is felt not only to our past & present honorees, but to those in attendance at Lake Gaston, VA.

We have our own “Joe”. A humble, talented, reliable and tough soul.

AVT board member Gerry Vassar has assembled a tremendous group of musical talent that has taken the Tribute to a new height and in the middle of that is One Tough Joe.

Joe Hesh sings, plays guitar and keyboards, creates and arranges original music and makes all of us around him better.

But this year Joe wasn’t better, he wasn’t 100%. In fact, Joe postponed a surgical procedure so he could attend the 2013 Tribute, putting all of us, our past and present honorees and the Tribute before himself.

Surrounded by flashes of light and constant loud bangs and blasts of fireworks, Joe pushed on, until he needed help and a trip to the hospital. You wouldn’t have known it. Joe didn’t want the attention, but he got checked out and was released.

Now, Saturday night ended for the band around 1 a.m. and for Joe, about 3 a.m.

Our Tribute concluded with a Sunday morning program, more intimate for the honoree and family, more music and more celebration. Our “Tough Joe” was there Sunday morning, too. To play, sing and honor.

Joe Hesh embodies the spirit of the American Veterans Tribute Organization. That is why AVT is striving everyday to build our virtual therapeutic educational program for our Veterans with PTSD, their families and their employers.

There are so many “Tough Joes” out there that aren’t 100%. AVT’s mission is to let them know we are here to help with passion, precision and pride.

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