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18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Bret Michaels sing onstage during the Operation Homefront 6th Annual Military Child of the Year Awards Dinner Thursday at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. (MC1 Daniel Hinton / DoD)
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gave Poison lead singer Bret Michaels something to believe in when they sang a duet together on Thursday.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey and Michaels were presenting Thursday at the sixth annual Military Child of the Year awards, which recognized five children from military families — one from each of the services. The winners, who were selected from nearly 1,000 nominees, each received $5,000, a laptop and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the ceremony.
One of the highlights of the evening happened when Dempsey, who is known for his lovely singing voice, launched into a baritone rendition of “God Bless the USA.” As Michaels joined in, Dempsey briefly wrapped a red bandanna around his forehead in a tribute to the hair metal legend standing next to him, drawing cheers from the audience.
After the song reached its crescendo, both men hugged.
Thursday’s awards ceremony was held by the nonprofit organization Operation Homefront. Military Times was one of the sponsors for the event.