An officer in a gentleman's game

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Navy graduate Billy Hurley III
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Navy graduate Billy Hurley III
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

July 9, 2012

Billy Hurley III has every intention to see Toby Keith's concert Wednesday night at the state fairgrounds.

It's tough to get more patriotic than seeing one of the biggest country stars play on the Fourth of July. But for Hurley, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who served overseas, the concert will carry a little more meaning.

"He actually debuted his 'Red, White and Blue' song at the Naval Academy after September 11th," Hurley recalled. "I think it was the third time he had actually sung that, and the first time in front of a big crowd. He had a concert there, and that was one of the first times he sang that song, which is pretty cool."

(The song's long title: "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).")

That was a strange time in America, but more so at a military academy. Suddenly, a group of men and women training for military leadership service witnessed a rare attack on American soil, and knew their life as going to take a different direction.

Which direction, nobody was sure.

"It was weird. We didn't exactly know what was going on; we were trying to put pieces of information together," Hurley said. "The hardest part is that you have a lot of military kids there, and a lot of their dads and moms work at the Pentagon.

One of my roomates' dad actually worked at the Pentagon for a while; we weren't sure if he was OK. I had another friend whose dad had meetings every Tuesday at the World Trade Center, and he didn't know if he was OK.

For the full article by Doug Smock of wvgazette.com click here