OFFSTAGE: Blake Shelton Will Be Veteran’s First Handshake

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I already knew I loved Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco because his attitude after his bilateral arm transplant was just so inspiring. The Iraq war veteran, now 26, lost both his arms (and his legs) after a projectile exploded when he was fighting the fight near Baghdad about four years ago. As it turns out, the first person he wants to shake hands with — after he shakes hands with his surgeon — is Blake Shelton . They had a little Twitter conversation, and on Tuesday (Jan. 29) Shelton said, “Hey Brendan … I can’t WAIT to shake the hand of an American Hero/Stud. … You my brother.” After which Marrocco responded, “@blakeshelton holy mother of god!! I can’t wait. I’m a huge fan and really looking forward to it. Thank you.” I’m not sure when Shelton will shake Marrocco’s new hand, but I hope he shakes it on behalf of every American who’s grateful for his service.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.