Find out the endearing story of the military veteran who stars in the video for Eric Church’s hit “Talledega”

It’s a scene that can cut to your core. It’s the sight of a man in a hospital, his World War II hat sitting on the table next to him. A heart machine beeps in the background.  Memories race through his consciousness.

And then a smile crosses his face.

This man in the hospital with the World War II hat next to him and the heart machine beeping alongside him is Ray Jackson. And in an article published in the March 9 edition of The Tennessean newspaper, we come to find out that this endearing man is alive and well, living in Tennessee and relatively unfazed by the fact that he made his acting debut in one of Eric Church’s most memorable videos.

A World War II Army Air Force veteran, Jackson told reporter Jessica Bliss of a special gift Church gave to him after the filming of the video – “a signed, limited-edition hardcover book of “A Song to Sing” — a Christmas present from Church. It came with a personal note that is tucked inside a scrapbook alongside pictures of his great-grandchildren and old Army photos.”

And all of a sudden, a video that had already made quite an impression hits us even deeper.

We salute you Mr. Jackson and we thank you Mr. Church.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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