JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Morning Show has announced winners of a contest for War Horse, which is coming to the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in February.
Viewers nominated a veteran or military member who deserves a night out. Five winners were picked randomly from all entries. Each received four tickets to the show. Here are the winning entries:
Brian Allen, Nominated by Christena Craig
"I would like to nominate Debbie and Brian Allen for a well-deserved night out. As the parent of a child with special needs, I know how difficult it is to have that night out that is 'so needed'. Not only are they parents of a child with special needs (and a sibling), Brian serves our country while working away from the family on a full time basis. When he is home, they are busy "catching up" with life responsibilities. I cannot think of a family more deserving for this night out!"
Ernest Serna, nominated by Carol Serna
"Ernie served 30+ years in the Army. Did two tours of one year each in Viet Nam. Ernie was shot down in Viet Nam, ambushed and hit with shrapnel while eating and did not receive a Purple Heart until 2013, 47 years later. He was to humble to apply. After nine years of begging and pleading he finally signed the application and told me I could apply for him. Ernie is very proud of his time in the service and has never wanted recognition for it. He left his family many times for as long as a year and did his duty. In Viet Nam he was a forward air controller (he flew at tree top level).
He also has 34 air medals (you have to fly 25 combat missions to receive one). This is what he is most proud of. He has many more medals including the bronze star."
James Watts Jr., nominated by his daughter, Tarsh Hagan
"My daddy! My daddy (James Watts Jr.) definitely should win these tickets. My dad since the day I can remember has always been my hero!! I am truly a daddy's girl. The things he has accomplished in life every since he was 17-yrs-old he has served his country with his whole heart. He is a PROUD Army vet. He served his country for 30 years. He served in Vietnam and was awarded a purple heart. He served in Quebin Prices, Berlin, Germany when the war went up. He was 101st airborne division. He was top recruiter from 1973-1980. He was featured in the movie The Green Beret with John Wayne. He now has retired 3 times and enjoying his much deserved retirement here in Jacksonville . He also serves on the board at one of our local VFW/POW club here as well. He was married for 40 yrs to my beautiful mother who departed him in death 2 1/2 years ago (she is deeply missed). He has 7 kids, 3 adopted nieces and nephews, 30 grands and 11 great grands. He is 70-yrs-old and by the looks of him and movement to be 50-yrs-young. He is still my hero at my adult age."
Ret. Brigadier General John Bridges, nominated by his daughter, Ramona Davis
"My dad, Ret. Brig General John Bridges had a 35-yr career in the Florida National Guard, while also keeping with his passion for education, working his way from coach, to principal to Director of Educational Media in the Hillsborough County School System. My dad is the most unselfish, caring person and I would love to be able to tell him that he would be going to this show! He lives, breathes, eats, sleeps anything that has to do with war and history. Please honor my dad!"
Austin, nominated by his uncle, Gary Crumley
"My nephew has just returned from duty as his first tour overseas as a Marine concluded. I have seen the movie and feel Austin would enjoy a night out with his parents, Roy and Carla (my sister)."
War Horse tells the story of young Albert and his beloved horse Joey. It is currently playing to packed houses in London and around the world.
Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.