Randy Travis stunned his old friend Charlie Daniels when he joined him on stage by surprise at his 2016 Volunteer Jam in Nashville, helping to present a humanitarian award for Daniels' efforts on behalf of American military veterans.

The date was Nov. 30, 2016, and Daniels was most of the way through an all-star concert event that included performances from 3 Doors Down, Travis Tritt, Larry the Cable Guy, Kid RockChris Stapleton and Luke Bryan. Daniels had just finished a scorching performance of his classic song "The South's Gonna Do It Again."

Travis had made only a handful of public appearances since suffering a debilitating stroke in 2013, and Daniels seemed clearly stunned as Travis was helped onstage at the Bridgestone Area in downtown Nashville, looking stronger and healthier than he had since his illness.

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Travis helped present Daniels with the Rare Country Humanitarian of the Year Award for his efforts with the Journey Home Project, which assists U.S. veterans in a wide variety of ways. Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Keith Huber, who serves as MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, was also on hand to help present the award.

"This has been an incredible year," Daniels told the assembled crowd. "I am so honored to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with my brother Randy Travis. I was so surprised when he came walking out here. This is one of the strongest, most courageous men that I know."

Daniels died on Monday morning (July 6) at the age of 83 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, and Travis turned to social media to remember his longtime friend, writing, "Charlie Daniels was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known. He, and Hazel, have been two of my and Mary's dearest friends over the past years. We laughed, cried and prayed together. Not only was he a gift to us, but to the entire world."

"A few years ago, Charlie had a colt born on my birthday and named him after me," the "Forever and Ever, Amen" singer added. "The memories go on and on, so I'll leave it at this — Charlie, thank you for everything you've done for me, your endless support of us, your unconditional love and the sweet memories. It is my greatest honor to be your Country Music Hall of Fame classmate — you will live on forever as my hero … my friend. I love you."

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