Randy Travis Surprises Police Officer Who Lost Home in Fire
Now more than ever Randy Travis understands the importance of music, so when a friend and North Texas police officer lost everything — including his cherished guitar — in a house fire, he was eager to help.
Officer Keith Bartlett of the Gainesville, Texas police department got his family out safely when the Dec. 12 fire started, but the home was a total loss. The community has rallied behind him, helping him replace home items. His department even helped him find a place to live. Travis himself donated furniture, according to KXAS-TV in Fort Worth, Texas.
However, Bartlett was missing his Gibson acoustic guitar. He was an avid player, and his favorite instrument was irreparable after the blaze. That's when Travis, his wife Mary, the Bartlett family and the Gainesville PD plotted their surprise. Bartlett was sent to respond to a phony call about a suspicious vehicle on Christmas Day, and when he returned he found the Country Music Hall of Famer in the department's briefing room.
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"When Randy found out about this tragedy, Randy wanted to help him out," Officer Michael Green told KXII in Texas. It was Bartlett who helped with a theft case at the Travis ranch in Cooke County several years ago, an act that didn't go forgotten. Travis made a call to his friends at Gibson, and the guitar maker had an acoustic overnight delivered to Texas. The surprise brought Bartlett to tears.
“I just know how important music is and what therapy it is, especially at a time like this,” Travis' wife Mary told KXAS. Her husband is three years removed from a stroke, and she adds that music has played a major role in his recovery. While it all unfolded, Travis watched with a smile on his face.
Last October Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and during the 50th annual CMA Awards, his music was honored during a massive medley. At the end of both, he sang for the audience, marking his first public songs since his stroke. On Feb. 8, his music will be honored during "1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time.: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis" at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
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