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The story of U.S. Army PFC Ervin O. Jones, a World War II hero from Georgia, has inspired many, even after his death. Craig Gleason, a Georgia songwriter, was moved to write “The Ballad of Ervin O. Jones” after discovering Jones’ headstone in a cemetery in Alpharetta. Gleason also teaches songwriting to struggling veterans at Camp Southern Ground, founded by Grammy Award-winning musician Zac Brown. Through his song about Jones, Gleason highlights the power of everyday experiences and the importance of honoring and remembering American heroes.

PFC Jones was killed at the young age of 20 during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. After learning about Jones’ story, Gleason sought out his brother Curtis, who shared artifacts, pictures, and stories about his brother. Despite the grief that overtook their family, Gleason found a connection with Curtis and realized that heroes like Jones come from humble beginnings. The story of Jones and his family’s enduring grief serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by American patriots and war heroes.

Gleason’s song serves as a tribute to Jones and a reminder of the impact of war on families. Through his research and connection with Curtis, Gleason learned about the bravery and heroism displayed by Jones during his service. The pain of losing a loved one in war is something that never truly goes away, as seen in the case of Jones’ parents, who grieved for their son until their passing. The story of Jones and his family exemplifies the lasting impact of war on individuals and communities.

Gleason’s experience with Jones’ story underscores the importance of honoring and remembering American heroes, especially those who come from humble backgrounds. Through his song, Gleason aims to convey the message that heroes like Jones can be found in all walks of life and that their sacrifices should be recognized and appreciated. The tale of Jones and his family is a poignant reminder of the toll that war takes on individuals and the importance of preserving the memory of those who have served and sacrificed for their country.

The lessons learned from Jones’ story are ones that Gleason seeks to pass on to others, including aspiring musicians, veterans, and everyday Americans. By sharing the story of Jones and the impact of his heroism, Gleason hopes to inspire others to recognize the sacrifices made by American patriots and war heroes. Through his songwriting and storytelling, Gleason aims to honor the memory of individuals like Jones who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In doing so, he pays tribute to the heroes who have come from the most humble of circumstances.

Overall, the story of PFC Ervin O. Jones serves as a powerful reminder of the lasting impact of war on individuals and communities. Through his song and connection with Jones’ family, Craig Gleason sheds light on the bravery and heroism displayed by American soldiers during World War II. The lessons learned from Jones’ story, including the enduring grief of his family and the importance of honoring American heroes, resonate with audiences today. Heroes like Jones, who come from humble backgrounds, exemplify the sacrifices made by those who serve their country, and their stories deserve to be remembered and celebrated.

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