Beck also got emotional when he acknowledged audience member Ed Assman of Pierre, a combat veteran who received two Purple Hearts for wounds sustained in Vietnam. During the VIP reception before the keynote speech, Assman attached a Purple Heart pin — which awardees may purchase — to Beck’s lapel and spoke softly to him for a few moments. Beck hugged Assman and wept in response.
“What I said was, ‘Mr. Beck, the two Purple Hearts I got in Vietnam pale in comparison to the hits you take on a daily basis for us, for flag, for God and for country,” Assman said after meeting with Beck.