When Country Outfitter approached country music legend Ronnie Dunn about participating in its Win Your Wish List giveaway, Dunn jumped at the opportunity. Then, went over and above, without ask or hesitation, to make sure one very special family got a $500 Country Outfitter gift card and a few memories guaranteed to last a lifetime.
“This life that I live is almost too good to be true in so many ways. When Country Outfitter presented me the opportunity to make someone’s Christmas a little brighter, I knew I wanted to use it to shine a light on the incredible work of Folds of Honor. The service and sacrifices that these heroic people have and continue to make can never be forgotten,” says Dunn about teaming up with Folds of Honor and Country Outfitter.
Folds of Honor works to provide educational support to spouses and children of America’s fallen and wounded soldiers.
— Folds of Honor (@FoldsofHonor) November 19, 2015
With the help of Folds of Honor, Dunn chose Wesley Bauguess and her daughters, Ryann and Ellie, as his Win Your Wish List winners. Wesley and the girls will be flown to Las Vegas for the Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace show and will get to meet Dunn, Kix Brooks and Reba backstage.
Wesley’s story, these days, isn’t all that uncommon. Her husband, Larry, was an Airborne Ranger serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan when he was killed while attending a border meeting in Pakistan as a part of a peace meeting. From what Wesley knows, Major Larry Bauguess died saving the men in his unit.
Wesley and Larry met in college in North Carolina and built a life together in the military before Wesley left active-duty to be with the couple’s daughters. Very young at the time of their father’s death, Wesley says the girls now understand the sacrifice he made, “They are amazing kids, they get it– they understand their dad’s sacrifice.”
Part of the girls’ understanding comes with a Folds of Honor scholarship to help shoulder the burden of paying for their education. To date, Folds of Honor has raised more than $70 million and awarded 10,000 educational scholarships to family members of military personnel killed or disabled during combat.
“The greatest gift we can be given is to have our soldier remembered. We’re so thankful to Major Dan and all Folds of Honor is doing,” says Wesley.
An opportunity to attend a Brooks & Dunn show is just icing on the cake for her and the girls, “Larry was a huge fan of Brooks & Dunn, how cool is this?”
Though the girls are still a little too young to remember the “Rock My World – Little Country Girl” video, Wesley says because of the legacy their dad left behind, they too love Brooks & Dunn (and Reba), “They grew up listening to country with their dad. They know all the words to ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’ and ‘Fancy’!”
Currently, Wesley is writing a book about Larry and his sacrifice, but mostly she’s just thankful she gets to be a mom to two “cool kids” and help carry on the legacy her husband left behind, “life goes on and freedom isn’t free, but having people honor and remember Larry’s sacrifice means the world to us.”
Of course, one of those people is Dunn, who has a long history of honoring our military heroes like Larry. Wesley is most excited to thank him in person and hear Brooks & Dunn sing their hit, “Believe.”
“Larry was an amazing man, he was a warrior and a true gentleman. I can’t believe Ronnie Dunn dreamed this up for us. I’m so thankful. I’m going to cry the whole time we’re there.”
Image Source: Bauguess Family, Ronnie Dunn