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Tennessee Hills to hold ‘Red, White & Blessed’

George Dalton Gouge

By Richard Roark

A patriotic, USO-style show titled “Red, White & Blessed” is coming to Tennessee Hills Mountain Melodies on Saturday, July 3, at 6 p.m.

“It will be an evening filled with many unexpected surprises, games, music, dancers, singers, actors and so much more as we come together to celebrate our country and remember those who fought for our freedoms,” show organizer Barbara Desso told The Erwin Record. “We have a representative from each branch of service as well as different generations.”

Desso said the show will feature several special guests, including George Dalton Gouge of Johnson City, who served  in the Navy in the Aleutian Islands and throughout the world as a Gunner Mate 2nd class during World War II. 

“He celebrated VJ Day in Cape Town, Africa, when the war ended,” Desso said. “He is known as Uncle Dalton and is nearly 97. He was the grand marshal in 2019 in the Veterans Day Parade in Johnson City.”

Azad Husnian

Also scheduled to appear is Azad Husnian of North Carolina. “He was drafted at the age of 24,” Desso said. “Azad became a Lieutenant Colonel with two tours in Vietnam. He was loaned from the UN to Israel and worked in intelligence, receiving the Bronze Star Medal of Valor and served 28 years in the Army.”

She added that Husnian is 87.

Desso said that there will be period-specific music as well as several surprise visitors.

“We have several musical numbers from LuAnne Powers, the Keplingers and so much more,” Desso said. “We have a swing dance group coming in. There will be skits and fun historical facts presented throughout the night.”

A patriotic theme of “The Greatest Generation of the 1940s” will be featured. The wearing of military garb, patriotic colors, or costumes from that era is welcomed. Admission is $6.