In this episode of the “because, bikers matter!” ® Podcast , host David "Vegas" Shuman interviews special guest Billy Gray, a former Marine singer and country music artist. They discuss Billy's childhood in West Virginia, his decision to join the military, and his passion for supporting American military veterans.
Billy shares his experience growing up in a small town in West Virginia, where he spent a lot of time outdoors hunting and fishing. He talks about the strong influence of his father, who served in the United States Army, and how he instilled values of respect, honor, and discipline in him.
The conversation then shifts to Billy's decision to join the military. He explains that while many people in his small town focused on finding good jobs in industries like coal mining and construction, he felt a strong connection to his country and a desire to serve. Inspired by the movie Full Metal Jacket, he joined the Marine Corps as a heavy equipment operator and also became a close quarters battle instructor.
Billy also discusses his charity, S-O-A-M-V (Support Our American Military Vets), which he started to ensure that veterans receive the support they deserve. He expresses his concerns about some organizations that may not allocate funds properly and emphasizes the importance of operating in an honorable manner. Billy shares his experience organizing an annual event to raise funds for veterans, featuring various bands and genres of music.
The conversation then turns to Billy's interest in music. He talks about his passion for singing, which started at a young age, and his journey to becoming a self-taught guitar player. Billy explains his love for old school country music and his desire to preserve the stories and experiences of past artists.
As a surprise, David asks Billy to sing the national anthem, which he graciously performs. They discuss the significance of the anthem and the importance of honoring veterans and first responders.
The episode concludes with a discussion about Billy's love for motorcycles. He shares his early experiences riding dirt bikes and his later transition to a Honda Shadow and a Harley Davidson Road King. Billy expresses his appreciation for the freedom and solitude that riding provides.
David thanks Billy for his service and his dedication to supporting veterans. They discuss how to book Billy for events, with contact information provided.
The episode ends with David thanking listeners for tuning in and encouraging them to like, share, and subscribe to the podcast. He also mentions the Heroes Media Network, where the podcast is broadcast, and expresses gratitude for their support.
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