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Dennis Quaid Presents 99-Year-Old WWII Veteran with Salute to Service Award

Photo from Dennis Quaid’s Instagram

Dennis Quaid Presents 99-Year-Old WWII Veteran with Salute to Service Award

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actor Dennis Quaid presented the Salute to Service award to a 99-year-old World War II veteran at the 2023 Patriot Awards.

During his acceptance speech, Andy Negra – the 99-year-old veteran – reminded the audience that one of America’s greatest values is her perseverance.

“I never thought that we fought so hard during World War II to find the country in the condition that it is today,” he said. “But let me assure all of you, every time this country ever got into a problem, they solved it. So regardless of what’s going on now, we will break this badness and get back to good.”

Quaid was impressed by Negra and wanted to soak in all of the wisdom he had from living through the Great Depression and World War II.

“He’s my hero. He’s 99 years old,” Quaid said. “[His speech] was the highlight of the evening for me…His mind is so sharp.”

During the awards, the actor also got a chance to perform songs from his new Gospel album, “Fallen.”

“I wrote a song called ‘On My Way to Heaven’ a couple of years ago. It was in the movie I CAN ONLY IMAGINE,” Quaid said, explaining where the album came from. “And Gaither approached me about doing a Gospel album.”

“So I wrote a bunch more,” he continued. “Half of it is like traditional songs and hymns. Like the kind I would sing growing up in the Baptist church. It was a blast.”

His album has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Gospel Performance/Song for “Fallen” and Best Roots Gospel Album.

Though Quaid grew up in the church, he fell away from faith in his 20s. It wasn’t until he was well into his 30s that he returned to Christ as he looked to get away from drug addiction.

“It was the red words of Jesus that really struck me,” he explained.

Through his music, Quaid has been able to share his faith with the public and point others toward Christ.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Dennis Quaid is opening up about the process of making his new album “Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners” and why he prefers Nashville over Hollywood. 

“A lot of people are embarrassed to talk about their faith,” Quaid told Variety. “They think it’s some kind of Boy Scout thing, where you’ve got to follow the rules. But I talk to God a lot, every day. I question everything I do. I believe it’s about keeping trying. It’s about self-examination and throwing your ego out the door.”

“Fallen” was a collaboration between Quaid and two producers — gospel music star Ben Isaacs and country legend David “Fergie” Ferguson.

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